“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” – Theodore Levitt
Last week Modelon marked a milestone by hosting its first-ever global conference. Simulation and modeling professionals from 15 countries met in Stockholm for Modelon Innovate 2022. Our team promised a conference of inspiring keynotes, real-world examples from customers using Modelon technology, networking sessions, and comprehensive training. I’m happy to say the event was all that and more.
It had been quite a while since we met in person – and this was the first time we brought our customers together at the same time. What stood out to me were the commonalities across this diverse group of simulation professionals, representing a wide range of industries. To paraphrase feedback a speaker shared with me, “Simulation departments are often small, so there isn’t much space to bounce ideas. But Modelon Innovate brought together a community I didn’t know was so big. There’s a lot of expertise to lean on.”
We kicked off Day 1 with a keynote presentation by Tony Phipps, Chief of Future Methods at Rolls Royce. Tony explained how Rolls Royce achieves innovation at a large scale and told us that crazy ideas are necessary in a volatile and intensely competitive world. To nurture a crazy idea and turn it into innovation doesn’t always go to plan, Tony reassured us these ideas can suffer three or more deaths before their underlying value is discovered. They’re thought up, produced, tested, and often fail; but with persistence and a bit of risk-taking, crazy ideas can pay off big time. He urged us to embrace these ideas and to share the research effort (and reward) by partnering with academia and industry. Tony’s wisdom and inspired delivery was a perfect way to start the day.
Over the remainder of Day 1, we heard real-world success stories from eleven customers. They presented challenges and solutions that would be impossible to tackle without simulation. Martin Nuernberg’s presentation is one example. Newcastle Marine Services set a goal to demonstrate emissions-free operation of an offshore service vessel by 2025. Martin and his team had some constraints to work with, they plan to retrofit an existing vessel with a well-defined mission profile, and they knew the fuel they would use (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier), yet they still faced a daunting array of variables to explore. As you might have guessed, Newcastle Marine Services successfully used system simulation to build confidence in a concept, and are now continuing with fine-tuning and detailed design exploration. Martin’s presentation was one of many that demonstrate how engineers use simulation technology to uncover innovative solutions.
Every presentation was incredibly well-prepared and insightful, we are grateful to all Day 1 speakers. I want to recognize Leonhard Wolscht of MAN Energy Solutions, who earned this year’s best presentation award, as judged by his peers. Leonhard presented MAN Energy Solutions’ approach for modeling and validation of a Transcritical CO2 heat pump at an industrial scale. Using his extensive modeling background and Modelon Impact, Leonhard and his team were able to model, integrate controls, simulate and validate a complex system that offers impressive efficiency and performance benefits in industrial applications.
The second day of Modelon Innovate was an opportunity for Modelon’s experts to share their knowledge. Workshops ranged from basic ‘getting started’ with Modelon Impact to specific industry applications like modeling hybrid aircraft. We heard a lot of great feedback from Day 2 attendees, who told us they walked away with knowledge they can apply immediately – as a partner to the industry, nothing is more rewarding. Material from Day 2 of the conference is available on the Modelon Help Center for all to see and benefit from. Of course, if you’re looking for customized training and workshops, you can always reach out to us anytime.
During our Stockholm harbor dinner cruise, amongst the energetic conversations and abundant smiles, it struck me how fortunate we are to have this community, and how rewarding face-to-face events like this can be. I have no doubt the knowledge, curiosity, and energy shared at Modelon Innovate 2022 will help turn a few crazy ideas into reality.
We look forward to welcoming this year’s attendees, and many more, back to our next iteration of Modelon Innovate. Stay tuned!
Special thanks to the presenting companies: Iquant Consulting, R2M Solution, Newcastle Marine Services Ltd., Collins Aerospace, Heliogen, Volvo Autonomous Solutions, Electric Power and Research Institute (EPRI), MAN Energy Solutions, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), and ENGIE.