3 Highlights of the COMSOL Conference 2019 Boston

October 21, 2019

Earlier this month, we hosted our annual COMSOL Conference in Boston. The COMSOL Conference 2019 Boston was a great opportunity to learn about the latest news and techniques in simulation, and it was also a chance to take in the rich culture of the Boston area. Here’s a recap of some of the notable aspects of the event: the keynote talks, panel discussions, and top papers and posters…

Keynote Talks from COMSOL Staff and Invited Speakers

The keynote talks at the COMSOL Conference 2019 Boston kicked off with a sneak peek at the next version of the COMSOL® software.

A photograph of COMSOL staff giving a keynote talk about an upcoming release.
Left to right: Bjorn Sjodin, Daniel Smith, Svante Littmarck, Kristian E. Jensen, and Mats Nigam of COMSOL discuss upcoming software features.

Keynote talks from invited speakers are another exciting aspect of the conference.

Karen Thomas-Alyea from Lockheed Martin gave a presentation titled “Electrochemical Models for Battery Design”. She discussed the role batteries will play in the energy economy of the future as well as their uses from electric cars to mobile phones. She also touched on the benefit of batteries for enabling renewable energy usage on the power grid.

Danick Gallant of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) gave a presentation titled “Development of Corrosion-Resistant Automotive Designs Using COMSOL Server Apps and Machine Learning Algorithms”. He also discussed the future — but in terms of corrosion, such as how numerical simulation can be used to successfully predict corrosion in performance materials for automotive designs. Gallant also mentioned how the use of simulation applications, as well as deploying them through COMSOL Server™ and COMSOL Compiler™, have benefitted his organization.

A photograph of keynote speaker Karen Thomas-Alyea.
A photograph of keynote speaker Danick Gallant.
A photograph of keynote speaker Sam Zhang.

Karen Thomas-Alyea (left), Danick Gallant (center), and Sam Zhang (right).

Sam Zhang from Analog Devices, Inc., gave a presentation called “High-Performance MEMS Sensor for Autonomous Vehicles and the Quest for High-Fidelity Simulations”. Zhang went into how simulation methodology is key for the success of navigation-grade inertial sensors.

Panel Discussions: From Loudspeakers to Bioscience

The COMSOL Conference 2019 Boston featured panel discussions in a diverse array of industries, from medical centers to acoustic test labs. Each discussion was an opportunity for the panelists to share their insights — and their hopes for future versions of COMSOL — as well as a chance for attendees to ask questions relevant to the panel topics.

The Frontiers of Modeling in Photonics Research

The first panel kicked things off with a discussion on modeling in photonics research. The panelists came from primarily academic backgrounds and provided insight into how the COMSOL Multiphysics® software is useful in their research. They also touched on how the COMSOL® software’s flexibility enables users of varying experience levels to create models and simulation applications.

Advances of Acoustics Simulations for Product Development

The acoustics-focused panel was moderated by Nagi Elabbasi of Veryst Engineering, a COMSOL Certified Consultant, and covered how simulation aids in acoustic product development. The panelists came from a range of companies who produce or analyze acoustic products such as loudspeakers, headphones, and more.

A photograph of the acoustics panel discussion at the COMSOL Conference 2019 Boston.
From left to right: Nagi Elabbasi, Veryst Engineering; Jin Liu, Carrier; Andri Bezzola, Samsung Research America; Sarah Heile, Bose; and Mads Jensen, COMSOL.

Advances in Bioengineering Modeling and Simulation

Another panel at the conference discussed the future of simulation and modeling in the field of bioengineering. Moderated by Jeff Crompton of AltaSim Technologies, a COMSOL Certified Consultant, the panelists discussed a wide range of application areas for simulation software in bioengineering and medicine, such as tumor ablation. One of the interesting things you can learn from this panel is that simulation is not just used by engineers, but by physicians as well.

Users’ Perspectives on Creating and Using Simulation Applications

The last panel discussion of the COMSOL Conference 2019 Boston proceedings discussed how simulation applications can be used in a variety of ways and by users of varying experience levels. The panelist shared how they feel more companies should be taking advantage of this opportunity, emphasizing that this functionality is representative of the future of simulation, as applications enable organizations to bring the capabilities of simulation into the field, to customers, and more.

A photograph of the panel discussion on simulation applications at the COMSOL Conference.
From left to right: Phil Kinnane, COMSOL; Joe Pramberger, Tech Briefs Media Group; Vasu Venkateshwaran, W.L. Gore and Associates; and Brett Austin, Viega.

Top Papers and Posters from the COMSOL Conference 2019 Boston

There were many impressive paper and poster submissions for the COMSOL Conference 2019 Boston in a variety of sciences and application areas. A few select projects received Best Paper and Best Poster awards.

A photograph of the 2019 award winners at the COMSOL Conference Boston.
Svante Littmarck, COMSOL founder and CEO, with all of the award recipients.

Best Paper Awards

Researchers Jerry J. Wang, Joel D. Malissa, James R. Philips III, Michael R. Johansen, and Carlos I. Calle were awarded a Best Paper award for “Numerical Model of Mars Electrostatic Precipitator”. They used simulation to analyze and evaluate how an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) can remove dust particles in the atmosphere of Mars.

Jun Kim, Amanda Morgott, Ziqi Wu, Liane Hopaluk, Michael Miles, William Stoner, and Qilin Li also won an award for their paper “Simulating Transport and Adsorption of Organic Contaminants in 3D Porous Activated Carbon Block Media”. They used COMSOL Multiphysics and the add-on Chemical Reaction Engineering Module to evaluate organic contaminant removal in an activated carbon material.

Best Poster Awards

One of the Best Poster awards went to researchers Alex Eden, Farnaz Lorestani, Sean Mackenzie, Stephen Minne, David Huber, Carl Meinhart, and Sumita Pennathur for “Simulation of a Novel Induced-Charge Electrokinetic Actuation Mechanism for Diaphragm Micropumps”. The researchers were able to use COMSOL Multiphysics to develop a full numerical model of an electrokinetic component of a micropump design.

A poster on simulating a novel mechanism for a micropump design.
“Simulation of a Novel Induced-Charge Electrokinetic Actuation Mechanism for Diaphragm Micropumps”

Xiaotong H. Chadderdon and Matthew T. Wendling also won an award for their poster titled “Mathematical Modeling of Primary Zn/MnO2 Alkaline Batteries”. They were able to use porous electrode theory to develop a mathematical model of a battery design.

An image of a poster from the COMSOL Conference on modeling alkaline batteries.
“Mathematical Modeling of Primary Zn/MnO2 Alkaline Batteries”.

Best Paper and Best Poster Award Winner

There were three winners each for both papers and posters, but one competitor took home both awards. Katie Gandomi from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, along with her colleagues Paulo Carvalho, Zhanyue Zhao, Christopher Nycz, Everette Burdette, and Gregory Fischewon, received a Best Poster by Popular Vote award and Best Paper award for the project “Thermo-Acoustic Simulation of a Piezoelectric Transducer for Interstitial Thermal Ablation with MRTI Based Validation”.

A poster showing research into a piezoelectric transducer design for thermal ablation.
“Thermo-Acoustic Simulation of a Piezoelectric Transducer for Interstitial Thermal Ablation with MRTI Based Validation”

The work used simulation to analyze needle-based therapeutic ultrasound for treating malignant cancerous cells that cannot be removed through conventional surgery.

See You Soon!

We hope to see you at the COMSOL Conference 2020 Boston. Check back soon for dates and details.

Did you attend this year’s conference? Tell us your favorite moment from the event in the comments below!

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