SIMULIA Community News

Special Edition: Simulation Gets Personal

The Real Wonders of Engineering

By Jean Colombel, Vice President, Life Sciences, Dassault Systèmes

Welcome Letter

When we think of the wonders of engineering, we might think of machines, bridges, deep sea-oil wells, or the myriad of devices that improve every facet of our lives. But in the 21st century, the real wonders of engineering will be far more personal; in fact, they will be exactly that...personal. We are entering an age of engineering where you and I will no longer be second thoughts in product engineering, but rather at the center of human experience-based design, particularly as we innovate for health.

For the past 10 years, as the lead of Dassault Systèmes' Life Sciences Industry, I have seen the patient-centric vision starting to become a reality at an accelerated pace. Through medical and scientific progress, catalyzed by digitalization, incredible innovative healthcare solutions are surfacing to the benefit of patients. By connecting engineering with people, we significantly enhance the ability to truly address unmet medical needs.

At this year’s Science in the Age of Experience conference, we saw a glimpse of the convergence of science and engineering that offers us a new horizon of innovation. It is this pioneering spirit that inspired this special edition of SIMULIA Community News.

As you read through this magazine, you will discover some profound examples at the leading edge of biomechanical engineering. In the cover story, we see researchers at the Insigneo Institute highlighting their commitment to in silico medicine, demonstrating that we can not only model the human spine, but we can predict the ideal procedures to return function to normal. You will also see several examples of simulation of the human heart and cardiovascular system, some of the foundational work that inspired our own Living Heart Project, our contribution to fueling the transformation of engineering and connecting it to the patient experience.

In Georges Limbert's work, he may not answer the question of whether beauty is skin deep, but he does demonstrate that we can understand the underlying physics that control the appearance of our skin and use this knowledge in new and exciting ways.

Maybe the best look into the future comes from Professor Ellen Kuhl at Stanford, who showcases her approach to engineering education by challenging her students to actually model themselves. Through this lens we can see how truly personal engineering can be and how we can improve our lives directly.
As exciting as all of this innovation is, we must remember that when we turn our focus to Life Sciences and human experiences, we must exercise the utmost caution to ensure the safe application of our technology. The leader in providing this safety net for our ideas is the FDA. So we also hear from Donna Lochner, who has been at the forefront of helping to guide the regulatory process for medical devices into science-based processes. Her vision is a breath of fresh air for all of us who dream of a future where medical device innovation is not bottlenecked by trial-and-error testing.

I hope you enjoy this edition as much as I do and draw your own inspiration for what is possible by connecting engineering to the human experience with SIMULIA technology.