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Behind the Pretty Pictures How to get the most from your Finite Element Analysis contractors.

John Davidson, Senior Mechanical Engineer, WorleyParsons Services

Joint Technical Session presented by Mechanical Branch Engineers Australia WA, The Place Sub Heading here Institution of Mechanical Engineers and American Society of Mechanical Engineers EVENT DETAILS

Date: Wednesday, 23 July 2008 Time: 5.30 pm for a 6.00 pm start Venue: Auditorium Engineers Australia 712 Murray Street West Perth Cost: Free RSVP:

Each year for the last decade we have seen a massive growth in the use of high-end, software-driven, numerical analysis such as finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) by the engineering fraternity. As processing power increases and the efficiency in the use of these software packages improves, we are becoming more reliant on this software to push the boundaries of design previously limited by the accuracy of desktop or cookbook methods.
Students are now graduating from university with a grounding in the use of these analysis packages as well as a desire to use them, and many more clients are recognising the potential benefits in the efficiency of the design of their equipment by the use of such tools. As material prices sky-rocket, each tonne of material represents savings in capital and potential weight-dependant operating and repair costs. So as the use of such software becomes more prevalent, what are the dangers associated with their use? The complicated nature of the theory behind the software poses the risk that, as with any black-box package, garbage in = garbage out. The use of these tools is highly dependant on the experience and understanding of the operator and their familiarity with the fundamental design principles behind the equipment they are modelling.

Not required

So what should you expect from your FEA contractor and how can you ensure technical integrity? This presentation aims to highlight some of the risks and to provide clients with a guide on how to maximise the benefits from the FEA they are paying for. About the Speaker: John Davidson is a Senior Mechanical Engineer with WorleyParsons Services in Perth. A graduate in mechanical engineering and chemistry from the University of Western Australia, he has worked for the last 7 years in a variety of roles from onshore hydrocarbons piping design and stress analysis, offshore platform structural design and pressure vessel design and verification. He now manages the specialist Pressure Equipment Group within WorleyParsons Minerals and Metals Customer Sector Group and is the Senior Finite Element Analyst for this group.

712 Murray Street, West Perth WA 6005 Phone: (08) 9321 3340 Fax: (08) 9481 4332 E-mail: Website:

Western Australia Division