FEA on a new level! Or how to design an engine!

Some time ago I realized that I’ve got to know some amazing people in the last 2 years of blogging. Having so many great friends feels awesome, but I figured I will push it a bit further. This is the first interview I will post here, where I will discuss FEA related stuff with a dear friend of mine:

Antti Lehikoinen did his Ph.D. in some sort of electromagnetic thing. Now his company is designing magnetic engines for startups… In his free time, he wrote his own nonlinear solver in Mathlab called SMEKlib and he also teaches at Alto University. You know… a typical guy : )

You can also learn more about him in his super fun to read blog!

In today’s talk, we will discuss how we started our adventure in FEA, is it really important to know mathematics and theory behind FEA and share some good career advice for FEA engineers! Buckle your seatbelts, and let’s go!

Worth remembering:

  • 02:43 – Everybody starts small. FEA is a really wide field, and you will definitely find something for you here. Just don’t get discouraged! It takes time to learn everything, so just start small and move on. We both had to go through that as well! Of course, if you like, you can speed up the learning process with training and workshops *caugh*LikeMine*caugh* : )
  • 08:34 – Sometimes even very complicated things can be greatly simplified. I was actually surprised that engines are designed in 2D. This only shows that if you know what you are doing, a lot of stuff will get simpler in time ; )
  • 12:15 – Math in FEA can be useful… but: you need to be really down in a specific topic. If you are writing (or using) your own FEA code then this is a big part. But for commercial packages, this isn’t as important as you may think. Also, this will be something I will discuss with a lot of other friends of mine : )
  • 22:04 – Some career advice:
    • Connect with people – this may require going to a local HQ of a big company with a bottle of Scotch : )
    • Know your stuff, but also other things – if you only know your “field” a lot of people does that as well. Knowing more in areas that are “useful” can give you a tremendous edge!
    • Learn people skills – for real! I wouldn’t believe in this advice 5 years ago, but now I know this is actually critical!
  • 39.14 – Software used in electromagnetics:

Doing this interview was a super fun! Let me know in the comments if you like it. I hope to make a few more in the near future 🙂

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