Last week, I had a trip down to Swansea to attend IBFEM-4i, or Image Based Finite Element Modelling – for industry. The title is a little of a misnomer, as the talks include any image-based modelling, and next year the conference name will be changing to that effect; IBSim-4i
The conference itself started with two days of workshops, which sadly I missed, and then culminated with two days of talks (and a networking reception in the evening). Deftly organised by Llion Marc Evans, the meeting went as smoothly as one could hope for.
Talks covered a range of topics including additive manufacturing (3D printing titanium!), CT Scanning difficult objects to identify tiny defects, and simulating objects under load in light of the detected defects.
Obviously, this was well outside my usual area, but was nothing short of absolutely fascinating. I was intrigued by some of the techniques being used to image difficult objects, or to extract information from CT data that you would think wasn’t recorded. It was also great to build up contacts with people well outside my usual field. At the evening networking event (free food! free beer and wine!), I had a great time chatting to engineers and other people from industry, and the exchange of ideas between very different disciplines was fruitful. I certainly came away with a few new ideas to try on my own CT data and simulations, and I hope that at least a couple of people I spoke to had some out-of-the box ideas from me to take away.
I gave a talk on my use of imaging (CT, XROMM) and simulation (DEM), and that seemed to go over well with the other delegates (I was technically in the ‘applications’ session, though not exactly an industrial application of image based modelling).
Not a lot else to say, other than it was really fun and engaging to go outside my usual comfort zone and meeting niche, and I’d highly recommend it. It’s also worth noting that Swansea University’s Engineering campus is stunning – a really nice looking place right beside a SSSI and beach.
The conference attendees outside the great hall of the Swansea Engineering campus.
I gather slides from some of the talks will be made available soon, and I’ll update this post with a link when I can.