January 2011 Contents
Success Story: HEEDS Improves BD's Design Process and Inspires Innovative Technologies
Optimization Viewpoints: The Limits of Intuition
Join the North American HEEDS User Group (NAHUG)
Just Released! Nonparametric Shape Optimization Software
New Faces at Red Cedar
Adoption of HEEDS Improves BD's design process and inspires innovative technologies
Before HEEDS Professional was adopted as the in-house optimization tool at BD, the Corporate CAE group performed BD logodiscrete analyses to evaluate new design concepts or variations of existing concepts to ensure the desired part functionality. 


Each discrete study required the design engineer to provide the CAD geometry for the iteration and the CAE analyst to manually set up each simulation.

This iterative process significantly limited the number of designs the group could evaluate before the best design had to be selected to meet the product development timeline.  More importantly, the product development space was not explored in the most effective fashion to determine the optimal design that would meet the product requirements. 

Arun Nair"Since the adoption of HEEDS as the optimization code by Corporate CAE, we have had several successes in identifying design solutions using HEEDS in combination with Finite Element Analysis (FEA). These design solutions were sought out but at times not found when using traditional methods like prototyping in combination with discrete FEA studies," says Arun Nair, Project Engineer at BD.  


The Corporate CAE group began using HEEDS with finite element analyses (FEA) in 2008. Since that time, the group has taken a more active role in the product development process, using HEEDS with FEA models early in the process to evaluate and optimize potential design concepts.  

"Using HEEDS, we are able to discover much better designs than we could when we used a manual FEA approach.  Also, we are able to rule out concepts that are not feasible, because we are confident that HEEDS has thoroughly explored the design space for each concept," says Nair. 

Read the entire success story
The Limits of Intuition
Optimization Viewpoints Blog

by Ron Averill

The human brain is capable
of making quick and effortless judgments about people, objects or ideas that it has not Forked roadpreviously encountered.

This sort of unreasoned insight is often called intuition. In his article, "The Powers and Perils of Intuition" (Scientific American MIND, June 2007, pp 24-31), David Myers describes two types of influence that shape our intuition.

The first is the development of mental shortcuts, or heuristics, which allow us to make snap judgments, often correctly. For example, our intuition tells us that blurry objects are farther away than clear ones. This is often a helpful assumption, except that on foggy mornings, a car in front of you may be much closer than intuition tells you it is.

The second influence on intuition is "learned associations" or life experiences that guide our actions. This explains why we may be suspicious of a stranger who resembles someone who once threatened us, even if we do not consciously make the association. Similarly, an experienced engineer can often quickly solve a problem that resembles one he worked on many years ago, even if the details of that project are mostly forgotten.

We spend our entire lives developing intuitive expertise that is based on our experiences. So should we trust our intuition, or should we lean more on deliberate, rational thought?

When it comes to engineering design, the answer is both. We certainly want to take advantage of all the related experience we have gained during our careers. But just as our experiences shape our intuition, they can also limit our ability to be innovative.

Read the entire post

Register Now! January HEEDS User Group Meeting

NAHUG logoThe North American HEEDS User Group (NAHUG) is a growing community of HEEDS users and others interested in discussing applications of HEEDS to solve unique and challenging optimization problems.

The group gathers quarterly by Webinar, and discussions include HEEDS success stories, development updates, and presentations by featured partners.

Register now for the next NAHUG meeting on January 26, 2011 at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time). There is no cost to attend, so bring your colleagues!

To register:

  1. Visit the following link:


  2. Next to NAHUG - January 2011, click the Register button.
If you would like general information about the meeting, please contact us.

Just Released!

Nonparametric optimization software

We are pleased to announce the release of HEEDS
NP, a new software package for nonparametric
shape optimization.

Learn more about HEEDS NP

New Faces at Red Cedar Technology

We're growing for 2011! And, we're very pleased to announce the following talented additions to our team:

James E. Vincke, Chief Financial Officer

Jim VinckeJim was recently appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Red Cedar Technology. Jim has a broad background as CFO for seven early-stage companies over the past 30 years. He has led one company from start-up through an IPO and has extensive experience with early stage capital fund raising, mergers and acquisition, cash flow, budgeting, financial modeling, and profit and loss management.

Jim spent twenty two years at Mechanical Dynamics, Inc. (MDI), a virtual prototyping software company in Ann Arbor, MI. Jim was the company's first full-time employee, after the three founding members, and was the company's CFO during its IPO. He developed and managed the company's accounting, budgeting, human resources, sales administration, contract management, cash flow, and financial modeling functions. Jim was instrumental in the analysis, negotiation, and incorporation of seven acquisitions. In addition, he served primary roles in several capital fund raisings.

Since leaving MDI, Jim has worked with a number of start-up companies, either as a consultant or as an employee. His first engagement was with Mobius Microsytems. As the CFO at Mobius, he helped raise nearly $2M in seed money from angel and equity investors and another $8.1M from West Coast VCs.

Jim holds BSME, MSME, and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan.

T.J. Flemings, Senior Lead Engineer
TJ Flemings 

Prior to joining Red Cedar Technology, T.J. was a sales engineer for ETA, Inc. in Troy, MI, and a senior product engineer for General Motors in the United States and Opel in Germany. 

He has sold engineering software and services, conducted structural and occupant crashworthiness analyses,  developed new analysis methods, and improved engineering business processes.

Originally from New York, T.J. has  Bachelor's degree  in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and speaks fluent German.

Jason Dunn, Senior Software Engineer

Jason DunnPrior to joining Red Cedar Technology, Jason worked for MSC.Software Corporation for 13 years. During his time there, his work included development of the interface to MD.Nastran's optimization features, finite element mesh generation, geometry modeling, FEA results processing, user interface design and development, and most recently, process automation and management. Jason's work also included contributions to the coupling of kinematics and FEA simulations.

Jason earned his Master's degree in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University, where his research focused on improving the efficiency of multi-disciplinary design optimization. He lives in Dexter, MI with his wife and five children.

Matthew McCann
, Project Engineer

Matthew has spent over 10 years in the automotive safety engineering, finite element modeling, and product and system analysis fields. Prior to joining the Red Cedar Technology team, he held various engineering positions within TRW Automotive Safety Systems and was an FEA engineer for Humanetics Innovative Safety Solutions (formerly Denton ATD Inc.).

Matthew's experience has included impact biomechanics, automotive restraint development and testing, FE dummy model creation, value engineering, human body modeling, and blast testing simulation.

We hope you have found this issue informative and interesting. If you have questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us.

The Red Cedar Technology Team

Phone: 1.517.664.1137
Fax: 1.517.664.1175
Email: newsletter@redcedartech.com

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