SIMULIA is proud to work with a variety of women in the engineering field, both as employees and clients. Our new Women in Engineering series will highlight some of these outstanding contributors to the field of simulation. Today we are proud to introduce Dr. Jinfeng Cao, an Associate Professor as well as a 2021 SIMULIA Champion. You can learn more about some of the other SIMULIA Champions in the SIMULIA Community. If you are not a member of the SIMULIA Community, it is quick and easy to join and start connecting with other simulation experts and enthusiasts.
Dr. Jinfeng Cao is an Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering at Qingdao University of Technology in Qingdao, China. She is originally from Qingdao, so she was happy to return to her hometown and contribute to its development. Dr. Cao uses Abaqus software to carry out simulations of engineering structures, mechanical structures and automotive spare parts. Dr. Cao has been using Abaqus since 2002, when she was studying for her Master’s Degree at the China University of Mining and Technology in Beijing. At that time, she attended an annual SIMULIA conference at Tsinghua University and was fascinated by the presentations, which led to her studying and working with the software from her postgraduate to doctorate.
“Of course, with increasing quality of the products, I became more attracted by the charm of SIMULIA and the efficiency of the team,” she says. “I think that they are a very great company with excellent software products.”
As an early user of Abaqus and other Dassault Systèmes software, Dr. Cao wrote several books on these solutions, and once she became a professor she continued to work with the software and introduce it to her undergraduate and postgraduate students.
“I love this role, as it is my job to teach knowledge, help start careers and answer questions,” she says. “Simulation plays a critical role in product design and optimization. I provide guidelines and help simulation technicians, so I love my current job and role very much.”
In addition to teaching, Dr. Cao has worked with businesses to foster their growth, including leading several projects that improved business competitiveness. These projects included areas such as integrated design and simulation as well as data-driven, computer vision technology-based and image processing technology-based fast design, including 3DEXPERIENCE. The clients were able to create models while drafting drawings to achieve excellent productivity.
Dr. Cao’s advice for new engineers includes learning about the industry’s current state and future trends, and understanding basic knowledge and skills. She advises building a robust foundation and then choosing an ideal platform to work with.
“I think that basic knowledge provides us the roots while good platform adds the wings,” she says. “With roots and wings, we can fly further and do more things.”
She also suggests that new users of simulation software first choose the area of simulation they want to work with: mechanics, fluids, endurance, etc. They can then select the right product and explore it deeply. New users should also not allow themselves to be overcome by difficulty, but to consult help documents and communities to find what they need.
In her own work, Dr. Cao uses SIMULIA software to address challenges such as new product optimization and endurance and fatigue analysis.
“Driven by such curiosity and the needs of customers, I feel joyful and excited in daily hard work,” she says. “This is a traction force that continuously moves me forward than stops me, just as Dassault Systèmes products are constantly updating and iterating. With so great driving forces, my love for simulation work never vanishes.”
Dr. Cao has been working with tire-related projects since her PhD. In 2003, the concept of integrated design and simulation first appeared, and she developed an automated post-processing software system for a customer that shortened development cycle from 7 to 10 days to 5 minutes. She created an automated tire design and simulation process, including an automated tire vulcanization temperature control system, which saved the customer a great deal of energy and contributed value beyond their expectations.
Working in the engineering industry is full of challenges, particularly, at times, for women. In China, women are seen as being the primary caretakers of the family, particularly care and education of the children. Dr. Cao works to find a balance between being a teacher, a wife and a mother, but happily meets those challenges.
“We need to face such challenges in our life and bravely embrace it, if we can properly balance it,” she says. “The key is our attitude and mindset of dealing with challenge, and any challenge won’t be problematic so long as we are happy and healthy.”
In the future, Dr. Cao wants to continue combining teaching with applying her research results to solve real-world problems and help customers address their challenges. She also hopes to learn more about other SIMULIA products, particularly XFlow, fe-safe and Isight.
SIMULIA offers an advanced simulation product portfolio, including Abaqus, Isight, fe-safe, Tosca, Simpoe-Mold, SIMPACK, CST Studio Suite, XFlow, PowerFLOW and more. The SIMULIA Community is the place to find the latest resources for SIMULIA software and to collaborate with other users. The key that unlocks the door of innovative thinking and knowledge building, the SIMULIA Community provides you with the tools you need to expand your knowledge, whenever and wherever.