28 March 2017 saw the first South African Altair Technology Conference taking place at River Meadow Manor in Irene, Gauteng. When we started, we were not sure of what to expect with regard to attendance since was our first event. We would read with envy of Altair ATCx events in other countries with sizeable numbers. Little did we know! We had to finally close our registration page the week before, when we were reaching close to 80 registrations, our maximum for the venue!
Our one day event brought together engineers and designers from several industries to discuss the latest technology trends and developments around simulation-driven design and manufacturing in South Africa.
We secured some excellent keynote speakers for our first event. Chris Maxwell from Bloodhound SSC answered the question “Why Design a Car to Travel at 1690 km/h?”. The Bloodhound SSC will attempt to surpass the world land speed record at Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape of South Africa in 2018. In his presentation Maxwell shared how the engineering community will benefit from the technology and experience gained from this iconic engineering adventure. It will inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and fellow engineers to strive for more innovation in their projects. Altair’s HyperWorks® suite of computer-aided engineering tools has been used in the development of the jet and rocket powered car.
Gideon Potgieter from Resolution Circle showcased the company’s process for developing an idea through to the final design. A special focus of his presentation was the challenges start-ups and large corporations alike face when getting an entirely new idea off the ground.
Clive Hands, lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NMMU in Port Elizabeth and Project Manager of the NMMU Eco-Car project
gave delegates insights into why the NMMU team decided to participate in the EcoCar competition and how the students benefit from a project of this nature as well as from learning to work with simulation solutions such as Altair’s HyperWorks suite.
Other speakers throughout the day covered topics such as Augmented Reality and how the technology, that originally was mainly used in the gaming industry is now starting to be implemented to develop innovative products.
Modern manufacturing methods, such as additive manufacturing, also had their place in the conference’s program by showing how to design for additive manufacturing and use this technology to make better products.
With close to 60 participants attending and 9 presentations from Altair and its customers, the event was very successful and we are looking forward to future events in South Africa.