Aerospace & Mechanical

AME Student a Winner in 2016 MSC Simulating Reality International Contest

Hat-stiffened panel.
View of a single carbon fiber hat shaped stiffener (top), a single-hat stiffened panel (middle), and 4 hat stiffened panel (bottom).

The Simulating Reality International Contest is an annual global competition hosted by the MSC Software Corporation, one of the leading providers of professional finite element method simulation tools to manufacturers and research facilities in the aerospace, automotive, general machinery, medical, and transportation industries among others. Each year, university labs and industry R&D departments submit their project statements, research papers and presentations describing their finite element analysis (FEA) related research. Finalists are selected to present their research projects for peer review evaluation. The best presentations receive award certification, cash reward, and a GoPro Hero Session motion camera as prizes.

Computational Model.
Computational model.

At the most recent 2016 Simulating Reality International Contest, 1st place in the University Category was awarded to University of Southern California. The two Trojans who proudly brought this special honor home are Bo Jin (Ph.D. candidate, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering) and Xiaochen Li (Ph.D. candidate, Chemical Engineering and Material Science), both advised by Professor Steven Nutt, Director of the Gill Composites Center at USC.

This year, the ten university finalists are from the following countries: U.S.A. (three universities: University of Missouri, University of Texas, and University of Southern California), the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Egypt, and Belgium. Among these universities, USC’s presentation "Structural Analysis of Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Hat-Stiffened Composite Panels for Aerospace Applications" won 1st prize in the university category.

Stress distribution over the 4 rib stiffened
Stress distribution over the 4 rib stiffened panel.

Besides receiving award certifications and the GoPro motion camera, the two Trojans at USC Gill Composites Center will be interviewed for their research story and will be recognized in this year’s MSC Journal of Simulating Reality. The research work of all the finalists this year are exhibited in the "Simulating Reality" International Contest Gallery (, which demonstrates a collection of the most interesting videos and images that illustrate real-world FEA and CAE applications using MSC FEA technology worldwide.

Congratulations to USC Gill Composites Center, and, Fight On!