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5.9.14 Scapa


James Scapa, Chief Executive Officer and Uwe Schramm, Ph.D., Chief Technical Officer, Altair
May 9, 2014, 10:00 am, NIA, Rm 137
Seminar Video

The ability of a company to thrive in today’s economy depends on new and innovative products. Profitable enterprises require a constant stream of creative ideas moved into products to win new customers and satisfy existing customers’ needs. What computer-aided engineering tools will be needed in the future to complement the creative process of design? How will they be employed? Do current design tools actually inhibit the creative process? If so, how might this be rectified? How can simulation inform the ideation phase of product development? In the ideation phase, when the freedom to create and modify a design is at its peak and risk is low, creative use of computer-aided engineering can enable quantification of design performance based on the concept. This supplants subjective decision making and may lead to better product outcomes. Computational techniques become tools for requirements-based design creation rather than merely tools for performance assessment. Traditionally, computer-aided engineering tools are used to document a verified design after-the-fact rather than as a tool to drive the design. Putting computer-aided engineering tools up front in the design process requires a fundamental paradigm shift in how organizations approach design, the use of simulation, and the roles of designers and analysts. Eventually, this will lead to a more efficient design process which will produce more innovative products. The requirements and technology for such a vision will be reviewed.

James R. Scapa brings more than 35 years of engineering experience to his dual role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Altair Engineering, Inc., a title he has held since the company’s inception. In 1985, Mr. Scapa and two partners founded a small consulting activity in the new field of computer-aided engineering. Today, the company employs over 2,000 employees with more than 40 offices throughout 20 countries. Through Mr. Scapa’s leadership, the company is now a leading global provider of simulation technology and engineering services that empower client innovation and decision-making. With over 5,000 clients, Altair serves the automotive, aerospace, government and defense, heavy equipment industry sectors as well as the consumer products, ship building, energy, electronics, life sciences, and architecture engineering and construction markets. Prior to establishing Altair, Mr. Scapa served as an engineering consultant to the automotive industry, beginning his career with Ford Motor Company in 1978. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Uwe Schramm is the Chief Technical Officer for Altair’s solvers, optimization and smart multi-physics solutions and strategy. Beyond developing computational engines for speed and accuracy to solve today’s most complex engineering problems, his organization is committed to developing and deeply embedding optimization technology throughout Altair’s software portfolio to spur innovation and to drive the design process. Holding senior management positions at Altair over the past 18 years and globally recognized for his research contributions in structural and multi-disciplinary optimization, Dr. Schramm brings a unique blend of deep technical and business management expertise to his current role. Dr. Schramm joined Altair in 1996 as an Engineering Manager following a career in academia at the University of Virginia and University of Rostock. In 1999, Dr. Schramm was promoted to Director and relocated from Germany to California to oversee the development of Altair’s optimization technologies and to build a western region consulting practice. Having achieved success in both endeavors, he was promoted to Vice President of Product Technology for Altair HyperWorks in 2004 and then to Chief Technology Officer of HyperWorks in 2008. Moving back to Germany in 2011, Dr. Schramm assumed responsibility for Altair’s German operations as Managing Director. Dr. Schramm received his Dipl.-Ing. (Master’s) and (PhD) in Solid Mechanics in 1984 and 1988, respectively, and completed his Dr.-Ing. habil. (post-doctoral degree) in Mechanical Engineering in 1991 from the University of Rostock.



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