Simulation-Based Engineering:
Where Do We Go From Here?

Monday November 15th | 10am EST
Prof. J. Tinsley Oden

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The period of slightly over a half-century, beginning with the emergence of digital computing and the introduction of finite element methods in the mid-twentieth century and ending in the current age of computer modeling and simulation, is but a heart beat in millennia of human existence. But, it is a period of enormous historical significance. During it, the foundations of engineering and science were permanently changed. The traditional heuristic and approximate methods of the past have been rendered obsolete and displaced by quantitative methods for handling models of engineering systems and physical phenomena governed by partial differential equations and, now, by discrete models as well. This has resulted in a revolution of engineering, impacting all aspects of analysis and design, changing the foundations of engineering education, and lifting computer modeling and simulation to the level of a third pillar of scientific discovery.

This webcast attempts to answer the question: What’s next?

What, in particular, can be inferred from the rapid move to miniaturization in many technological areas, the dramatic advances in data-intensive computing, the growing use of imaging, sensors, and feedback control systems in guiding simulations, the widespread interest in the analysis of biological systems and in the simulation of events that take place at cellular and molecular levels, the dramatic progress in biomedical applications, advances in nanomanufacturing, and, in all of these areas, the move toward the development of methods to quantify uncertainties in engineering predictions? One picture that emerges is that engineering analysis itself will become more broadly based and will require interdisciplinary approaches to a multitude of problems that bridge traditional engineering fields. There will arise more frequently a need for models that bridge several spatial and temporal scales, that couple finite element methods to models of microscale events, that are guided by imaging and other data processing systems, and that demand a higher level of specificity in the quality of predictions, their uncertainty, and their variability with uncertain data. Several examples are given to illustrate these issues and to help provide a forecast of computational engineering in 2020.

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Webinar Presenter:

Prof. J. Tinsley Oden

Associate Vice President for Research
The University of Texas at Austin

Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES)
Founder and Director,



This Webcast is the Opening Plenary Session of the NAFEMS 2010 North American Virtual Conference, being held online from 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM on November 15-16, 2010. For more information and to register for the entire Conference, please go to

 This Webcast, as well as all 24 presentations included in the Virtual Conference, will be archived and available to all registrants for (re)viewing for at least one month after the Virtual Conference.



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