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USC M.C. Gill Composites Center Ph.D. Students won the 2016 MSC Simulating Reality International Contest

October 21, 2016 —


The Simulating Reality International Contest is an annual global competition hosted by the MSC Software Corporation, one of the leading professional provider of finite element method simulation tools to manufacturers and research facilities in the aerospace, automotive, general machinery, medical and transportation industries among others. Each year, university labs and industry R&D departments submit their project statements, research paper and presentations describing their finite element analysis (FEA) related research. Finalists are selected to present their research projects for peer review evaluation. The best presentation receive award certification, cash reward, and a GoPro Hero Session motion camera as prizes.

At the most recent 2016 Simulating Reality International Contest, 1st place in the University Category was awarded to University of Southern California. The two Trojans proudly brought this special honor home are Bo Jin (Ph.D. candidate, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering) and Xiaochen Li (Ph.D. candidate, Chemical Engineering and Material Science), both advised by Professor Steven Nutt, Director of Gill Composites Center at USC.

This year, the ten university finalists are from the following countries: U.S.A. (three universities: University of Missouri, University of Texas, and University of Southern California), United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Egypt, and Belgium. Among these universities, USC’s presentation “Structural Analysis of Carbon Fiber/Epoxy Hat-Stiffened Composite Panels for Aerospace Applications” won the 1st price in the university category.


Besides receiving award certifications and the GoPro motion camera, the two Trojans at USC Gill Composites Center will be interviewed for their research story and will be recognized in this year’s MSC Journal of Simulating Reality. The research work of all the finalists this year are exhibited in the "Simulating Reality" International Contest Gallery (http://www.mscsoftware.com/simulating-reality-contest-winners-2016), which demonstrates a collection of the most interesting videos and images that illustrate real-world FEA and CAE applications using MSC FEA technology worldwide.

Bo Jin (left) is a 5th year Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. He worked as structural engineer at MSC NASTRAN (NASA Structural Analysis) Product Development from 2012 to 2015, where his algorithms have been applied to improve the accuracy and efficiency of both linear and nonlinear finite element analysis. During his Ph.D. at USC, Bo worked closely with Nextgen Aeronautics on designing aerospace structures. In 2015, Bo was a visiting Ph.D. student at IMDEA Materials Institute in Madrid, Spain, where he played a key role in the innovative efforts to design and re-use aerospace-grade composite materials. His work has significantly advanced the sustainability of the aerospace industry, and has led to real-world applications that have fundamentally guided current practices of composites structural design.


Xiaochen Li (right) is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. She is currently conducting research projects as a visiting Ph.D. student at IMDEA Materials Institute in Madrid, Spain since September 2016. During her Ph.D. study at USC, Xiaochen worked closely with Kaneka Corporation, where they developed novel composite material systems with high heat resistance for aerospace applications. 

Congratulations to USC Gill Composites Center, and, Fight On!