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Engineering/Design: Skills & Insight – Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) – Using Physics In Design With Dr Colin Dowding From University of East Anglia

15th November 2023 @ 16:15 - 17:00

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In this Engineering/Design session, Dr Colin Dowding, a leading academic from University of East Anglia, will run an interactive skills and insight workshop for students on Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) – Using Physics in Design.

Modern design demands efficient use of sustainable and (often) complex materials to resist numerous loads. The optimal solution is rarely intuitive and, without the benefit of modern computing solutions, would require the design team to utilise expensive, time consuming and potentially dangerous iterative routes to a satisfactory solution. Modern computer aided engineering (CAE) solutions allow the designer to observe the structural response of design choices quickly and accurately with one caveat… they must replicate reality accurately within the software environment.

Failure to do this leads to unrepresentative predictions which can be highly dangerous, costly, or both. Successful utilisation of CAE simulation tools opens the door to the true power of the computer: speed. Why manually iterate and hone a design’s mass when you can get the computer to do it more quickly, repeatably, and accurately? This is the world of generative design.

Dr Colin Dowding from the University of East Anglia’s School of Engineering will use a widely available and accessible CAE package (Fusion 360 by Autodesk) – free to all schools/FE institutions) to demonstrate the power of finite element modelling, its hazards and its potential in a live online event in which you can ‘click along’ or simply observe as you wish.


Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Dr Colin Dowding


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Engineering/Design and related disciplines.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the topic in advance, with respect to challenges they may face or questions they have. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Engineering/Design at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:


Register here



15th November 2023
16:15 - 17:00
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