This article was originally published in the Autumn 2018 issue of The Record.
Science is driving advancements in all areas of our lives, from the food we eat and clothes we wear to personalised healthcare, autonomous vehicles and air transportation. The combination of science and engineering with the latest advancements in digital technology is enabling collaboration, accelerating innovation cycles and facilitating the discovery of disruptive solutions to the world’s most challenging problems.
To explore the convergence of science, engineering, data intelligence and digital technologies, Dassault Systèmes recently hosted more than 1,000 business leaders, scientists, engineers and designers at our third Science in the Age of Experience conference in Boston.
Organised around four key themes – Science is Personal, Science is Discovering, Science is Material, and Science is Sustaining – this mega-trend event kicked off with symposiums on Additive Manufacturing (including a hackathon), Material Modelling and Simulation Data Science. These were followed by in-depth explorations of the four themes by prestigious keynote speakers and in breakout sessions which included more than 60 customer presentations.
Science is Personal
Improving patient outcomes and quality of life was a strong focus for the Science is Personal theme. As advances in drug discovery, medical devices and surgical procedures accelerate, a potent combination of scientific simulation and patient data is set to create the next breakthroughs in personalised healthcare. Modelling, simulation and 3D printing are all in the spotlight as the global medical and scientific community explores new ways to model the human body and the devices that interact with it.
The revolutionary potential of these solutions in personalising healthcare became clear as keynote speaker Bruno Ferré, co-founder of start-up Digital Orthopaedics, shared his insights on how simulation and clinical decision support systems enable a personalised approach that is transforming orthopaedic surgeries and treatment. Focusing on orthopaedic reconstruction of the foot, he reviewed how a ‘force-based’ approach, enabled by virtual modelling, may help to improve patient-specific outcomes compared to the traditional technique of simply repositioning the bones.
The conversation on personalised healthcare continued throughout the conference with presentations highlighting diverse topics such as the Living Heart Project, Drug Induced Arrhythmia, Abaqus Knee Simulator, Arthritis, Customised Medical Devices, Annuloplasty and Personalised Neuromodulation.
Science is Discovering
Under the Science is Discovering banner, the focus was on how the power to create and share scientific knowledge digitally enables scientists, designers and engineers to avoid errors and waste while freeing themselves to be truly innovative. Michael Rosbash of Brandeis University – a 2017 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology – discussed the scientific discovery process, focusing on the collaborative discovery of molecular mechanisms controlling the Circadian Rhythm or ‘biological clock’. With observations on the role of curiosity, scepticism, persistence, collaboration and humanity in the pursuit of science, he revealed his vision of how science will move ahead in both real and virtual worlds.
Our community of scientists and engineers saw examples of using Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform for research and design exploration through virtual modelling and simulation. The platform enables all stakeholders to collaborate in generating new knowledge and know-how and in turn improve laboratory practice and product design.
Science is Material
With issues like energy regulations, sustainability and plastic pollution creating some of society’s most pressing problems, scientific research into new, custom and intelligent materials is seeking to address these issues. The Science is Material theme proved a rich seam of exploration. Dassault Systèmes applications are being used across all industries to understand material behaviour at the microscopic (formulation) and macroscopic (constitutive) levels.
Byron Pipes from Purdue University provided a vision for simulation in 2040, exploring the role of simulation in developing a virtual twin for evaluating performance and manufacturability in the aerospace, marine and automotive industries. His discussion focused on various workflows that use roles available on 3DEXPERIENCE for Design, Simulation and Biodesign (materials) to develop end-to-end composite manufacturing processes, including validation, to achieve ‘manufacturing informed performance.’
Nyle Miyamoto, additive manufacturing chief engineer at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, also took an in-depth look at advances in additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry, emphasising its important role in building the industry’s future.
As the spectrum of materials research was reflected in presentations across the conference, a clear picture emerged of how science and engineering are converging with modelling and simulation to accelerate the development and innovative uses of new materials. Attendees learned how modelling and simulation is being used to explore and improve material behaviour to solve engineering and product development challenges from technical presentations from companies such as Dupont, ATG Tire, Granta Design and many others.
Science is Sustaining
In every industry energy resources, production materials and waste can cause cost, time and regulatory problems. Enabling the efficient recovery, usage and disposal of these resources is a key priority of Dassault Systèmes and our customers. The Science is Sustaining theme focused on how our solutions are being used to achieve sustainability in a vast range of industry processes, from pharmaceuticals to manufacturing and oil and gas.
Efficient use of materials is just one benefit that can be achieved through simulation, according to special guest presenter Stefanie Feih, senior scientist at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. She discussed insights from her research into how manufacturers can bridge the gap between numerical simulation and experimental analysis, enabling them to improve structural efficiency, meet emissions targets and reduce material wastage.
Throughout the event, it was clear that the personal, discovery, material and sustaining aspects of science are part of the fabric of every industry. Science in the Age of Experience showcased how the scientific and engineering community is improving the ecoefficiency of cars, increasing lifespans and making new discoveries for sustaining our world in ways never previously imagined. With continued advancements in technology and collaboration, it also highlighted the potential for even greater achievements tomorrow.