Autonomous aircraft that fly in the harshest conditions on Earth and gather critical data on how polar ice sheets are affected by climate change; a student race team that consistently earns top placement in international Formula-style car competitions. Innovative minds at the University of Kansas School of Engineering make these accomplishments possible.
But before teams of KU engineering researchers and students are able to put these ideas into practice, they rely on a key piece of computer modeling software that helps improve and perfect their designs in the virtual world.
The KU School of Engineering has long relied on MSC Software to provide programs to help run computer simulations during the design phase on a variety of projects across numerous engineering disciplines.
“It’s an outstanding design tool that we can use to analyze any material for any purpose,” said Robb Sorem, associate professor of mechanical engineering. “In our senior design course on finite element analysis, I’ll teach theory in the lecture part of the class. Then the students go to the lab and get hands-on experience using the software to problem solve.”
Sorem also serves as the faculty adviser for the highly successful Jayhawk Motorsports Formula car team. He said the student team uses MSC Software to model the vehicle’s chassis.
“We put in all the properties, apply different loads and then look at the stress and the structure. That tells us how many different layers of carbon we have to apply, and really provides a key basis for the design of the car,” Sorem said.
Jayhawk Motorsports, while utilizing MSC Software, has had numerous top 10 finishes in international Formula SAE car competitions over the years, including overall first place at the 2012 Formula SAE West competition, and first place in the electric vehicle division for its all-electric vehicle entered in the 2012 Formula Hybrid Competition.
About KU School of Engineering
The University of Kansas School of Engineering is a rapidly growing program at a major research institution located in Lawrence, Kan., about 30 miles west of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The school’s nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students are pursuing degrees in 12 undergraduate disciplines and 16 disciplines at the graduate level. KU is the only university in Kansas with faculty in the National Academy of Engineering and has been a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities since 1909.
About MSC Software
MSC Software is a global leader of multidiscipline simulation solutions that help companies improve quality, save time and reduce costs associated with designing and testing manufactured products. MSC Software works with thousands of companies worldwide to develop better products faster with simulation technology, software and services. MSC Software employs 1,000 people in 20 countries. For additional information about MSC Software's products and services, please visit
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