User Perspectives

Andrew Griesmer | December 18, 2012

SOund NAvigation Ranging, or Sonar, has been an important part of naval warfare and since the 1950’s. Although it is a relatively simple way to locate objects, it’s the best for doing so in water, emitting sound waves and listening for echoes made by objects in the water. In today’s world of undersea warfare, the threats and the necessary responses to them are becoming more important and urgent. Sonar systems are required to detect these threats, making it necessary for […]

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Andrew Griesmer | December 4, 2012

Here’s a story we’ve all heard before: due to the inefficient nature and inevitable decline of fossil fuels, alternative energy resources are becoming increasingly popular. Wind energy is a popular source of alternative energy, with wind farms sprouting up all over the world. Here’s something you may not have thought about: lightning strikes are a major problem for these wind turbines. Intuitively, places with high wind speeds also have stormy weather, and a 150 meter tall metal pole makes an […]

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Andrew Griesmer | November 29, 2012

Growing older is an inevitable part of life, and with it, our body slowly begins to show that. I recently started wearing eye glasses because my eyesight is weakening. It’s a little unnerving, but I am comforted by the ever-improving technology being produced. My hearing is still fully intact, but the same cannot be said for 17% (36 million) of American adults who report some degree of hearing loss. In most cases, regular hearing aids are sufficient in treating hearing […]

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Phil Kinnane | November 28, 2012

One of the differences between this year’s COMSOL Conference, and previous years’, is that this year we filmed a lot of it. During the next few weeks we will be publishing some of these videos for those that were there, to enjoy it once again, and for those that weren’t to get a taste of what went on. To kick these all off, I’m proud to present the first keynote video, which takes us to Babel.

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Phil Kinnane | November 27, 2012

Many of the engineers and scientists that we collaborate with have been in the game for years. All of them are great experts in the applications that they want to model, and many of them are also proficient at computer science — it was not unusual that the first model or simulation of their application was a few lines of code they wrote themselves. Moreover, in a number of situations I’ve come across their application has been so specific that […]

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Andrew Griesmer | November 26, 2012

While alternative energy is the energy of the future, fossil fuels are the energy of right now. Coal, especially, is still heavily relied on for energy production and is a primary source of electricity generation in many countries including the US and China. In fact, world coal consumption is actually increasing year-to-year. Scientists need to be concentrating on how to make alternative energies more widespread, but they also need to make coal a better, more efficient fuel source. Designing systems […]

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Andrew Griesmer | November 21, 2012

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a treatment for chronic back pain that has been around for over 40 years. It involves implanting electrodes that apply electric potentials directly to the spine, interfering with the human pain signaling circuitry. The body attempts to send pain signals to the brain, but the electrodes act as a barrier preventing the signals from reaching the brain. Although an overall successful method for treating back pain, researchers have been improving on the design since the […]

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Phil Kinnane | September 5, 2012

In these days of globalization, keeping the world connected is imperative. Information needs to pass as freely and quickly as possible in order to keep markets up-to-date with the latest news and to ensure that commerce can be conducted without hindrance (at least of the technical kind). So what do you do – look to the sky? The answer is no; in fact, 99% of this information is carried by undersea cables. These unsung heroes sit at the bottom of […]

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Phil Kinnane | July 26, 2012

Much has been written lately about increasing the energy efficiency of cars. Batteries and fuel cells are very hot topics, and not so long ago I blogged about the University of Michigan’s use of solar cells to fully power a car. Yet, even on the smallest of scales, such as the sensors in your car, improvements are being made. Utilizing a MEMS (Micro Electromechanical System) piezoelectric energy harvester, Alexander Frej and Ingo Kuehne at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich are […]

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Phil Kinnane | July 23, 2012

How do you simplify a 3D geometry to reduce the computational resources required to model it? Do it in 2D. What if the phenomenon can only be properly simulated in 3D? Find the planes of symmetry and reduce the size, most engineering objects are symmetric in some way. What if there is no symmetry, such as the propagation of random cracks through a steel pipe? Well, as this story from COMSOL News shows, there are other methods, such as using […]

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Phil Kinnane | July 17, 2012

Düsensauginfiltration (DSI) is a novel technique for lowering water levels at mining and construction sites while not actually having to transport the water away from these sites. This came to my attention at the latest COMSOL Conference in Stuttgart. There, Ph.D. student Yulan Jin and Assistant Professor Dr. Ekkehard Holzbecher from the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany was presenting their research into this groundwater lowering technique.

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