Training – Is it Cyclical?

Our Training enables students to be leaders in solving problems with COMSOL Multiphysics

Training – Is it Cyclical?


Training – Defined (according to
1. The process or routine of one who trains.
2. The state of being trained.
2a.The process of bringing a person, etc, to an agreed standard of proficiency, etc, by practice and instruction
3. The education, instruction, or discipline of a person or thing that is being trained.


What’s the first word you think of when you hear the word “training”? Do you think of the process or routine of one who trains? Do you think of the process of bringing a person to an agreed standard of proficiency by practice and instruction? Do you think of the education, instruction and discipline of the person being trained?


Here at AltaSim, when we think of training we think like this: “To further the exploitation of advanced multiphysics modeling we share our expertise through focused, personal training courses at both the introductory and advanced level. Participants learn how to use COMSOL Multiphysics® to solve real world problems from scientists and engineers that use COMSOL Multiphysics® on a daily basis to solve problems and develop innovative solutions. Training is offered through personalized classroom instruction and web based instructor led classes that draw upon our decades of experience in applying COMSOL Multiphysics®.”


At a time when spending on Corporate Training is rising (or soaring according to one article found here:, we are curious to see how training in our industry impacts other industries. Since so many people in our industry spend so much time trying to create, invent, improve, develop, etc., new technologies that many other industries utilize, it makes sense that more people trained to an agreed standard of proficiency by practice and instruction could exponentially impact the overall growth rate of technologies, companies and industry segments as a whole.


This is a really fancy way of saying that we are committed to training more and more people to become more and more proficient in solving real world problems with COMSOL Multiphysics®. More highly trained experts helping more products and technologies get to market could create the kind of growth that puts more money back in the training budgets to get more highly trained experts helping more products and technologies get to market. Your thoughts?


More Blogs on Training coming soon.


Webinar: Simulation of Thermal-Structure Interaction – July 17th

Simulation of Thermal-Structure Interaction – July 17th


On Thursday, July 17th, Mechanical Engineering and COMSOL will give a free webinar on “Simulation of Thermal-Structure Interaction.”
Details and registration are available below.


Live Presentation – Thursday, July 17th, 2014, 2:00pm EDT


Kyle C. Koppenhoefer from AltaSim Technologies
Shankar Krishnan, Applications Engineer, COMSOL


Multiphysics simulation can be used to model thermal-structure interaction and involves coupling structural analysis and heat
transfer. One application includes simulating thermal expansion in order to analyze thermally induced stresses in electronics, MEMS
devices, and machineries. In this webinar we will cover related topics, including thermal and mechanical contact. We will explore
features of COMSOL Multiphysics(R) that are needed for solving thermal-structure interaction problems. The webinar will include
a live demonstration showing how to set up such a problem, and will conclude with a Q&A session.


For more information and to register, visit:


If you are unable to attend the live event, register and you’ll receive notification once the recorded version is available.


Tomorrow’s technologies lend themselves to a growing need for multiphysics simulation, and both COMSOL and AltaSim Technologies are committed to helping more and more people become skilled in the use of COMSOL Multiphysics(R). We have just updated our Training Calendar for the next six months and invite our readers to check out and register for upcoming classes as an investment in the future of simulation. Excellence is not an accident. We want to help you get there.

Solver Settings Class Wrap Up

Our Training enables students to be leaders in solving problems with COMSOL Multiphysics

Solver Settings Class Wrap Up


We held another Solver Settings Class recently, the second time we have offered this class via the Web. Offering web-based classes is something we have started to do recently, and based on the feedback we received, something we will do more and more of moving forward. Josh Thomas was our lead instructor for this class, and as you can see from the feedback highlighted below, participants left well-equipped for Advanced COMSOL Analysis.


Here’s what a couple students had to say:


“This has been an excellent class, well designed and well delivered.  The most critical aspects have been Josh’s extensive description of the study-node structure, and how the solvers operate on different levels. The COMSOL classes really obscure this by distinguishing the iterative solver only from the direct solver.  I see now how iteration can occur on any of at least 3 different levels and only in this class have those levels become plain to me.  In addition, this class has helped me interpret information that the COMSOL gui presents in a confusing way, especially in cases where there are partial solutions at numerous substeps.  At my job, I will use what I’ve learned immediately.” (Thomas Dreeben, Staff Scientist at Osram Sylvania)


“Really want to thank you for offering this course.  It probably saved me more than 6 months to a year of time trying to figure out just the solver node.  I am thinking to take the 4 day training just to re-enforce my experience with COMSOL.  Hopefully I can get someone to sponsor me here.  Will let you know if I do.” (Chung M. Wong, Ph.D., Member of Technical Staff, Contamination Group, Space Materials Laboratory, The Aerospace Corporation)


“I really appreciate your kind help and information about this class. It is a very good and informative class. Josh did a really great job and that quite helps me using COMSOL in future.” YUECUN LOU (Terry), Graduate Assistant (Ph.D), University of Toledo, Chemical & Environmental Engineering


Doing any advanced COMSOL analysis can quickly push the limitations of hardware due to the amount of RAM it requires and the time it takes to process. Since we utilize COMSOL everyday, we completely understand these issues. This Solver Settings class is specifically geared towards these challenges – it helps you run COMSOL within the existing boundaries of your hardware. The web-based version, spread out over three days, actually gives participants more time to work through course material than our one-day, in-person class does. Driven by our desire to see more and more people master COMSOL, we will continue to explore ways we can offer practical classes. Now we know for sure web-based classes work well.


Our next Solver Setting for Effective Analysis in COMSOL Multiphysics (web-based) class takes place August 19-21.

Computational Analysis of Scattering of Electromagnetic Waves by Particles

Computational Analysis of Scattering of Electromagnetic Waves by Particles


A computational model of Mie scattering was developed using COMSOL Multiphysics® and its RF Module. It solves for the scattering off a dielectric, magnetic or metal spherical particle with radius a. The model geometry is shown in Figure 1.


MIE Scattering

Figure 1: Model geometry for Mie scattering by a spherical particle


The air domain is truncated by a perfectly matched layer (PML) inserted to limit the extent of the model to a manageable region of interest. The solution inside the domain is not affected by the presence of the PML, which lets the solution behave as if the domain was of infinite extent. This layer absorbs all outgoing wave energy without any impedance mismatch that could cause spurious reflections at the boundary. The PML is useful in maintaining the solution at the desired level of accuracy and optimizing usage of computational resources.  COMSOL also supports far-field calculations, which are done on the inner boundary of the PML domain where the near field is integrated. The surface S is used to calculate total scattered energy. An incident plane wave travels in the positive x-direction (see Figure 1), with the electric field polarized along the z-axis. Perfect magnetic conductor (PMC) and perfect electric conductor (PEC) boundary conditions are used on the x-z and x-y symmetry planes, respectively. The plane wave incident on the sphere is defined by its amplitude, wave vector in the air and circular frequency.



COMSOL conveniently provides all the necessary functionality to calculate scattering integrals. Scattering characteristics for the three types of particles considered are shown in Figures 2, 3, and 4. The results of the computational analysis show good agreement with available experimental results (see references).


 Fig2Blog2Figure 2. Cross-section parameters and radiation force for a dielectric particle with refractive index n and relative permeability MuFig3Blog2

Figure 3. Cross-section parameters and radiation force for a magnetic particle with relative permittivity Epsilon and relative permeability MuToo

Fig4Blog2Figure 4. Cross-section parameters and radiation force for a silver particle with dielectric constants.

Simulation of Mie scattering problems enables visualization of the effects of small particles on an incident electromagnetic wave (see Figure 5) to allow better understanding of the interactions.




Figure 5: Distribution of the z-component of the electric field due to scattering of the incident electromagnetic wave by a particle of 0.1µm of 950 radius. The arrows show the time-averaged power flow of the relative fields at a frequency THz.




Mätzler, C.: MATLAB Functions for Mie Scattering and Absorption, Version 2, IAP Research Report, No. 2002-11, InstitutfürangewandtePhysik, Universität Bern, 2002.

AltaSim Receives SBIR Award


AltaSim Receives SBIR Award


AltaSim Technologies was recently awarded an SBIR Award from The United States Department of Energy. The award was given to help AltaSim further develop the technologies that drive additive manufacturing.  Jeff Crompton, Ph.D., a principal here at AltaSim is quoted in the article. He states:


“We plan to create a manufacturing application that will use advanced computational tools and high-performance computing to help U.S. manufacturers improve manufacturing methods by increasing the use of additive manufacturing. Current methods for developing additive manufacturing methods do not use computational analysis due to the complex physics associated with this manufacturing method.”


Below are two links to access for the full article:


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.


In the articles (linked above) you will notice mention of AweSim. AltaSim is a founding partner of the AweSim program (, which was launched in 2013 when the Ohio Third Frontier Commission voted to help fund the $6.4 million public/private partnership led by the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC). This collaborative program is geared towards helping the small to mid-sized manufacturer gain access to Simulation-Driven Design in an affordable manner. If you are a small to mid-sized manufacturer in Ohio looking to Accelerate, Innovate and Collaborate, we encourage you to get connected to AweSim. We humbly accept the SBIR Award, simply as another way to help more companies realize tomorrow’s technology today.

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Our Training enables students to be leaders in solving problems with COMSOL Multiphysics
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Training – Is it Cyclical?

Training – Defined (according…

Webinar: Simulation of Thermal-Structure Interaction – July 17th

Simulation of Thermal-Structure Interaction – July 17th

On Thursday,…

Our Training enables students to be leaders in solving problems with COMSOL Multiphysics
Solver Settings Class Wrap Up

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