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SimuTech Takes the Fast Track to Community Service

UWashington Formula Motorsports race car

Few things are more exciting to engineering students than designing, building, and testing formula-style race cars. However much fun University of Washington students are having in the UWashington Formula Motorsports (FSAE) team, they’re still learning important Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) concepts. FEA and CFD simulation software aren’t taught much at the undergraduate level, though, according to Kevin Tam, UW engineering student and FSAE team member.

Enter Butch Vision, SimuTech Group’s Vice President of Engineering. When the FSAE team needed help, Vision answered the call. “I feel that it’s important to help students as much as I can, given how important engineering is and how beneficial real-life engineering problem-solving skills are,” said Vision, who’s also one of SimuTech’s key FEA engineers. Vision has made several visits to the UW campus to give students hands-on lessons in ANSYS® FEA simulation software, volunteering his time and giving guidance and advice.

Upwards of 40 hours a week, the FSAE team is working in the “pit” while still managing their work, classes, and exams. Over the last few years, the team has brought two cars, one a combustion engine and one fully electrical-powered, to competitions in Nebraska and Germany. This year, the eCar did well, placing 5th. Over the years, they’ve placed as high as second place.

“Judges at these events are professional engineers within the automotive industry and proper validation of design through engineering methods (such as FEA/CFD) is worth big points,” said Tam. The students are also the drivers, so safety is “of upmost importance, and properly done simulations will ensure no catastrophic failures occur within the car.”

Tam credits Butch with helping the team learn and succeed. “Working with Butch is awesome. Overall he’s a great mentor with a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

By the way, Tam’s hard work and initiative landed him a summer internship with SimuTech West in Everett, Washington, where he’s working on structural analysis, additive manufacturing, and CAD geometry. A Puget Sound area native, Tam graduates in December 2017 with a major in Physics (applied track) and a minor in Applied Math. He hopes to find work as a structural engineer and then become a teacher.

About SimuTech Group

SimuTech Group is a simulation services company specializing in ANSYS finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and electromagnetic simulation software as well as turbomachinery and testing services. SimuTech Group is the largest full-service provider of ANSYS FEA, CFD, and electromagnetic (Emag) engineering simulation software in North America. Offices across the US and Canada provide sales, technical support, training, and consulting services for ANSYS simulation software.

For more information about SimuTech Group, visit https://www.simutechgroup.com.

For more information about University of Washington Motorsports, visit https://uwformula.com/.

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