Multi-Scale Analysis Module

Rationale

This module is part of a series of modules defining  competencies that an engineering analyst or simulation engineer would be expected to possess in order to carry out safe and effective analyses in the various module areas. In this regard the modules may be considered to be defining standards of competency in this area. The competencies and modules as they stand would define necessary requirements, but not sufficient requirements, for safe and effective analysis and simulation. In particular, industry specific competencies and non-technical competencies have not yet been included, as discussed below.

Download Multi-Scale Analysis (MSA)_Statements of Competence

In general most modules will have specified pre-requisites and any pre-requisite modules should be examined for relevant competencies. It should also be recognised that most engineering analyses and simulations will involve competencies from quite a few modules.

Not all modules will be relevant to all analysts (e.g. buckling may not be an issue for the components being designed and manufactured by a particular company) and not all competencies in modules will be relevant to all analysts and organisations (e.g. welding may not be a process used and hence competencies relating to fatigue of welds may not be relevant).

As well as defining a general standard level of competence, the statements with their links to specific references, should also provide a good basis for informal learning in a work-based environment (a refresher for some and a basis for a move into new areas, preferably under the guidance of a mentor, for others). That is not to say that the competencies could not also be used for the development of short courses, text books or other learning material. For such structured purposes, the competencies would no doubt benefit from a re-sequencing in some areas. The competencies could also be used as the basis for interview questions and the production of self-test quizzes and even formal examinations. In this case each competency would benefit from the development of associated threshold statements, defining a base level of achievement as well as a comprehensive  level.

This module aims to provide a non-industry-specific coverage of multi-scale analysis which couples modelling results across the length and time scales from atomistic analysis to continuum analysis.  In developing competencies using this module, the following points should be note:

1. Multi-scale analysis is probably one of the most challenging areas of modelling. Its importance is growing and is now finding applications in a number of sectors.  It is recognized that effective analysis requires an understanding of modelling techniques used across the length and time scales, for example techniques used for atomistic/molecular dynamics to continuum mechanics.  The module focuses on the techniques used to couple calculations across these scales. You will also find within the references provided a number of applications both in industry and the academic research community where multi-scale analysis has been required and what techniques have been used to couple calculations across the scales.

2. In-depth technical descriptions of competences for continuum mechanics is covered in the other modules within the Competence Framework, for example FEA, CFD, etc. Depending on the application domain for multi-scale analysis these are pre-requisites to this module.

3. At this time there is no module of competencies for atomistic/molecular dynamics modelling. This module provides a high level overview of the competencies required for undertaking atomistic/molecular dynamics which the user will find useful – particularly if the multi-scale analysis requires coupling between atomistic and continuum scales.  As detailed in (1) above the focus is on the techniques used to couple across the length/time scales, error analysis, and the computational challenges in undertaking multi-scale analysis.

4. Although the module does discuss non-technical competences related to multi-scale analysis, it should be noted that non-technical competences relating to project management, finance, ethics, interpersonal skills, human resource management etc are not included at this time. New modules in these and other areas may be added to the competence framework in the future.

5. All competence statements and references can be modified, deleted or replaced as necessary. In this way, the module can be tailored to particular sector or company needs. For example some applications may require multi-scale analysis for solids and others for fluids or even both (e.g. multi-physics/scale analysis). The governing equations at each scale may be different but the aim of the module is to demonstrate the different techniques that provide one-way and two-way coupling between the different scales of interest.

6. While the module extends significantly beyond an introduction to the subject, it also addresses research topics and areas not in general use across industry sectors.

Clearly effective analysis will require a range of industry-specific competences and these have yet to be developed. It is anticipated that in the future, various competence frameworks will be developed to address the needs of particular sectors. These generic modules will provide the basis for this.  This will involve the development of new modules as well as a “flavouring” of the current generic modules to provide specific industry focus.