Altair holds first South African Technology Conference

The first South African Altair Technology Conference took place at River Meadow Manor in Irene, Gauteng on 28 March 2017. This one-day event brought engineers and designers together from several industries to discuss the latest technology trends and developments around simulation-driven design and manufacturing in South Africa. With over 50 participants and nine presentations from Altair and its customers the event was very successful and leads the way to future South African events hosted by Altair.

Nicholas Minnaar of Altair, Mitchell Kama of Kama Industries and Christian Botha of Auto Industrial

In his keynote presentation Chris Maxwell from Bloodhound SSC answered the question “Why Design a Car to Travel at 1690 km/h?” The Bloodhound SSC will attempt to surpass the world land speed record at Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape of South Africa in 2018. In his presentation Maxwell shared how the engineering community will benefit from the technology and experience gained from this iconic engineering adventure. It will inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and fellow engineers to strive for more innovation in their projects. Altair’s HyperWorks suite of computer-aided engineering tools has been used in the development of the jet and rocket powered car.

Gideon Potgieter from Resolution Circle showcased the company’s process for developing an idea through to the final design. A special focus of his presentation was the challenges start-ups and large corporations alike face when getting an entirely new idea off the ground.

Gordon Mayhew-Ridgers of Vodacom and Gronum Smith of Altair

Clive Hands, lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NMMU in Port Elizabeth and Project Manager of the NMMU Eco-Car project gave delegates insights into why the NMMU team decided to participate in the EcoCar competition, and how the students benefit from a project of this nature as well as from learning to work with simulation solutions such as Altair’s HyperWorks suite.

Other speakers throughout the day covered topics such as Augmented Reality and how the technology that was originally mainly used in the gaming industry is now starting to be implemented to develop innovative products. Last but not least, modern manufacturing methods, such as additive manufacturing, also had their place in the conference’s programme by showing how to design for additive manufacturing and how to use this technology to make better products.

Doron Helfman of Altair, Clive Hands of the NMMU in Port Elizabeth, Fiona Richardson of Altair and Chris Maxwell from Bloodhound SSC

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of our first event here in South Africa and definitely see the need for more conferences of this nature. Altair is ready for the future and we hope to provide more such events, where like-minded people can gather to discuss ideas and trends in the industry for the South African market,” said Gronum Smith, Country Manager of Altair Engineering.