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Platinum/Foundation Sponsor 

Analysis, Simulation, and Systems Engineering Software Summit

The Center for Understanding Change is underwriting this very special summit on simulation software, which took place at the Santa Fe Institute, January 8-9, 2015

The past five+ years have been clouded by massive economic upheavals – and not just from the recession. The purpose of this Summit is to identify and resolve the issues that confront simulation software and the simulation software industry as we move beyond the recent economic crash and face new and complex challenges. We’re defining the simulation software industry as the ecosystem that creates or uses software to analyze, and simulate complex systems/products.

The need for simulation tools, products, and services has never been higher, yet we face major challenges limiting our ability to capitalize on that need. Some of those challenges are obvious to all, some less so – and there are more that we haven’t even considered yet.  The Summit is designed to put a stake in the ground and prioritize our issues, expose hidden issues, and start the conversation that we jointly benefit by discussing. Attending the Summit will be a “who's who” of the CAE and engineering software industry: 40 visionaries, each with the title and position that empowers them to implement their vision.

This is a major international summit (by invitation only) in the spirit of the great European summits in the sciences earlier this century.

The results of this historic summit were shared at a press conference on January 13, 2015 and a paper is expected to follow.


For simplicity’s sake, we’ll refer to the combined arena of engineering analysis, simulation, and systems engineering as SIMULATION. For the purposes of this Summit, we define the SIMULATION software industry as the ecosystem that creates software to analyze, and simulate behavior of complex systems/products.

The use of SIMULATION has seen continual double digit % growth annually for about 30 years (until the global economic recession of 2007-12). This cumulative growth now means that SIMULATION is a significant portion of the market for engineering software and a driver for future growth. There has been a corresponding increase in focus and investment in SIMULATION. This growth is coupled with increasing awareness of business benefits and increasing expectations as SIMULATION is increasingly perceived as the key enabler to increased competitiveness across multiple markets.

While many aspects of SIMULATION are well established in many enterprises as part of their Product Development Process, there are still challenges related to SIMULATION that raise questions concerning the future directions of SIMULATION software. Key among them:

  • Advances in engineering analysis software (CAE) tools often outpace customers’ ability to use them effectively and efficiently.
  • Simulation is still too often constrained by the need for highly trained and focused specialized analysts, constraining the growth potential for the software due to lack of expertise available.
  • Increased understanding of the value of low-fidelity systems engineering models has been accompanied by great uncertainty on the relation and integration of those low fidelity systems models with the detailed, high fidelity simulation models, limiting their value.

Among the many questions that confront us are:

  • Which business are ready to leverage SIMULATION as an enabler for competitiveness
  • What is preventing more organizations from leveraging SIMULATION?
  • What is preventing experts from using more SIMULATION?
  • What is preventing non-experts from using SIMULATION?
  • Is transparent SIMULATION the goal?
  • What business drivers are forcing a “revolution” to overcome the level of expertise required for SIMULATION?
  • How does the cloud impact SIMULATION usage?
  • What is the connection path between 3D high fidelity simulation and systems engineering?
  • How can the confidence in SIMULATION results be improved?
  • What can be done to increase the understanding of uncertainty in SIMULATION results
  • How can the collaboration process be made easy, its tools be refined and simplified?
  • Where will we find the people demanded by the SIMULATION software market?
  • How must education change to meet the demands of the coming decade?
  • What are the key enabling technologies?

On top of that, there are developments outside our domain that are likely to have longer-term, major impacts on SIMULATION. Notable among them include:

  • Cognitive computing (think IBM’s Watson as a very early example)
  • New, non-von Neumann computing architectures (IBM and Micron both announced new chips in 2014 that have the potential to be disruptive)
  • Business model evolution

These are just a few of the questions and challenges facing the SIMULATION software industry today.