17:30 PM

Learning real-world simulation

Ansys gifts the Swanson School $25,000 to offer a new course preparing students for a career using simulation software

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering will offer a new class where engineering students will work with universally used simulation software alongside its experts.

Ansys, an industry leader for engineering software used for simulation structures, electronics and machine components, gifted the Swanson School $25,000 to develop the first-of-its-kind course at Pitt, “Software Based Finite Element Analysis for Electrical Engineering Applications” beginning fall 2023.

“Students will gain an appreciation of what real-world simulation tools companies are using and what these tools from Ansys are capable of,” said Brandon Grainger, course administrator, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Eaton Faculty Fellow at the Swanson School. “For example, students will be working on several assignments that will teach them how to validate their answers and not to strictly depend on computer output. Other case studies will result in a course project where students might analyze a wireless power transfer system, planar transformer or electric motor.”

The topics will be related to what Ansys does on a daily basis to support their customers. Grainger said this approach will give Swanson School students a distinct advantage in the marketplace. 

“The ability to effectively use Ansys at the Swanson School will make students more competitive job candidates as they enter the field because every manufacturer uses these tools,” Grainger said. 

Paul Obhodnicki, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and RK Mellon Faculty Fellow said this course supports the mission of the Advanced Magnetics for Power and Energy Development (AMPED) consortium

“The new class will be a significant enhancement in the educational opportunities available to students interested in a practical, interdisciplinary education focused on solving advanced problems in electromagnetic components for electric power applications,” said Obhodnicki, who helped develop the course alongside Grainger.   

Marius Rosu, electromechanical lead product manager at Ansys, and Bo He, R&D manager at Ansys, will serve as the course’s main instructors. As an expert in the software themselves, Rosu and He organized all class materials.

“What’s exciting is that students will learn how this software impacts their daily life as an engineer,” Rosu said. “It will impact their design process and ultimately build a strong career around it.” 

Rosu added that this partnership between Ansys and the Swanson School continues the growing history between the two. Ansys was founded in 1970 by alumnus John A. Swanson PhD ‘66, the American engineer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist for whom Pitt’s engineering school was named. 

“It’s important to acknowledge there’s a legacy here,” said Rosu. “We want to continue this strong partnership with the University of Pittsburgh.”