Mohamed Akrem Mouffouk studied Technical Science and Aeronautical Engineering and is now actively involved in the SimScale community. He is currently doing an internship at FRIENDSHIP SYSTEMS AG in Potsdam, Germany, which involves simulation and optimization projects focusing on Formula 1 aerodynamic parts. Akrem has a passion for this topic and participated in the SimScale’s F1 Aerodynamics Course with Nic Perrin last year. He was also one of the winners of the F1 SimStar contest that followed.
Having Akrem close to the company, we decided to ask him a few questions so we can learn more about his experience with SimScale and the projects he’s working on.
First of all, Akrem, I would really like to know, where does your passion for aerodynamics come from? How did you discover it?
When I was a child, unlike the large part of my generation who wanted to become doctors, pilots, or actors, I was dreaming about designing and building cars. Whenever I was sketching a race car, a tricky question was coming into my mind: why are the wings and all the extra elements being used in the design of race cars? These things were fascinating to me.
I remember on my 10th birthday, I got a book about race car engineering and, in this, there were four pages about aerodynamics. When I read them, I was overwhelmed by the complexity, yet fascinated by the fluidity and the natural feel of the wind on the car’s body. And then I thought: this is what I’m looking for, this is what I’m going to do. That was the time I decided to be an aerodynamicist.
What projects are you currently working on?
My projects are numerous, especially in automotive and motorsport aerodynamics. I had the opportunity to work on many private projects with well-known F1 professionals. One of them is Mr. José Gallego Segura (Senior Design Engineer at Manor F1), with whom I collaborated to optimize his own F1 design car—the SEGURACING F1-R01.
What do you think is the role of simulation today in the world and across industries?
Nowadays, engineering simulation is a key factor in developing and optimizing new products. Simulation can allow us to test and understand the behavior of our products, even before building a physical prototype, and this is really beneficial both technically and financially. The fact that you don’t need to build a real physical prototype and test it in a special facility will make the process easier. It also makes it possible for the engineer to do more tests and develop more creative ideas, as you only need a computer for it.
Financially, building a test model and running it in a test facility can cost too much (materials, working time, and facility cost). It also takes more time, and for this reason, in the last years, we’ve been hearing of more and more companies starting to use simulation in developing their products. Some companies even decided to use only simulation instead of experimental tests.
How did you find out about SimScale?
Usually, I follow the news and the updates about CFD; it was two years ago when I found out about SimScale for the first time on LinkedIn, and I was really impressed by the Public Projects Library available on the website, and also of the idea of running the code on cloud without the need of installing the software on my machine.
Did you enjoy participating in the F1SimStar contest? What did you like about it? What didn’t you like?
In fact, the F1SimStar contest was a really great experience for me; I really enjoyed it. First, the course with Mr. Nicolas Perrin was awesome. I learned a lot of new things about F1 aerodynamics, and the Q&A session was so helpful, giving me the opportunity to ask questions and get detailed answers from him. It was also nice to have the possibility to access the models and run simulations for different race situations on the SimScale platform. It was a great experience. You can see this in the success of the whole event.
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What do you usually simulate? Which are the most commonly used features/simulation types?
As I’m interested in aerodynamics, usually my projects are external aerodynamics projects, so simulation of the airflow over cars or airplanes. Besides this, from time to time, I work on internal flow projects as well.
Depending on what I need to investigate, when setting up the simulation, I usually choose steady-state simulation but, in some projects, I prefer to use transient simulations.
Do you use automatic meshing or you create your own mesh?
With modern software solutions like SimScale, I trust the software in generating the mesh, and usually for external flows, I use automatic mesh because it saves a lot of time and generates a robust and clean mesh.
What are two unique advantages of the SimScale simulation platform?
The first really interesting thing about SimScale is the code itself—it’s robust and accurate and the user interface is so easy to work with, and can be used easily even for non-experts in CFD. I have found that working in the cloud instead of installing the software on my own machine was helpful and less complicated and can make the work very flexible.
Not just technically, but also the people working at SimScale are really friendly and they help when I have questions or requests.
What are two simulations in the SimScale Public Projects Library that you liked the most?
Hard to answer this question because all the projects are really nice and cover different fields. They helped me understand the physics phenomena in different applications—automotive, aerospace, marine & shipbuilding, etc.
But if I had to choose two projects they would be:
Would you recommend using SimScale to your colleagues or friends?
Definitely yes! I have already recommended the platform to my friends. I have found that SimScale is a really powerful CFD software that can be used easily and will give you robust and accurate results. Even more interesting is that it’s a cloud-based software, which means it can be used everywhere—at home, the office, or any other place—and this makes the work really flexible, especially for students.
What are your future career plans?
My goal is to be a Formula 1 aerodynamicist, and my plan to achieve this is finding a way to work in motorsport aerodynamics to gain more experience.
How are you planning to use the SimScale platform in the future?
In the near future, I’m really interested to work more with SimScale and to discover more the capabilities of the code. I’m also very interested to further develop a few projects in the Public Projects.
If you’re interested in what other SimScale users are saying about their experience with the platform, read this interview with Ben Lewis, president of Custom Machines, or take a look at our reviews on Capterra.com.