SimScale was founded in 2012 by David Heiny, Vincenz Dölle, Johannes Probst, Alex Fischer, and Anatol Dammer. The five SimScale founders initially considered building a simulation consultancy together back in their university days, and it was through iterating and evolving this idea that the foundations of SimScale arose. In 2011, cloud computing and SaaS were not as mainstream as they are today, yet the five saw the potential it could bring to (virtually) every industry. With this thinking, they then had the idea to create a cloud-based simulation platform, which would allow every engineer in the world to use simulation software via their web browsers, no matter where they were located.
This vision alone is the underpinning of how our company operates today, and is the overarching motive for everything we strive to achieve for users and customers alike. Eight years later the SimScale founders are still heavily involved in the company, albeit in vastly different roles to when they started, as the team has grown from a small group of five university students into an international and state-of-the-art cloud-based simulation software company.
In this article, we will share details about our five SimScale founders, what their past and current responsibilities are, and what they are passionate about in and out of the office.
David holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Munich, and a Master’s degree in Computational Science and Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, in the USA.
As the current CEO of SimScale, David is engaged in the overarching company strategy, as well as leading and empowering our dedicated teams towards paths for the future of our international company. David still remains in touch with SimScale’s loyal customers and contributes to perfecting our customers’ journey; ensuring our software is aiding designers worldwide to improve their products. For David, seeing our customers developing fascinating and innovative products that solve global problems is what drives him on a daily basis.
In his free time, David enjoys spending time with his family, and does everything in his power to meet the ever-changing demands of his two young daughters; from teaching them about nature to playing instruments.
Vincenz holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich. During his studies, he had the opportunity to gain new insights whilst studying abroad at Georgia Institute of Technology in the USA as well as ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Having co-founded SimScale in 2012 while chiefly being responsible for all legal aspects, in addition to setting up human resources, finance, and operations, Vincenz has played a major role in recruiting the team as well as developing the SimScale Workbench UI and website.
Currently, Vincenz is the COO at SimScale, with responsibilities ranging from general administration and operations. He calls himself the “Chief Business Janitor and Firefighter”, and enjoys building up teams, automating workflows, learning new methodologies outside of his comfort zone, and getting things done, whilst still having a keen eye on finding even the smallest operational things to improve upon. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and his daughter, following basketball, listening to a diverse range of music (everything but Schlager!), and even playing the concert guitar from time to time.
As co-founder and team lead of the meshing and frontend teams, Johannes is responsible for the evaluation and integration of 3rd-party scientific software with a special focus on CFD simulation and meshing software. He is involved in project management, hiring new staff, as well as the technical co-supervision of various initiatives in CAD, meshing, and simulation.
Before founding SimScale as the CFD expert and main integrator of OpenFOAM and our meshers, ‘Hannes’, as he is known throughout the company, majored in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on renewable energies from the Technical University of Munich. Johannes’ passion is leading simulation software development in the cloud age.
Having become an evangelist for the adoption of new paradigms in scientific software, he believes that there are many crucial technologies yet waiting to be taken over by the scientific software mainstream. Johannes is proud to see how SimScale has become an environment where simulation experts work together with great computer scientists to create the simulation solutions of tomorrow.
In his free time, Hannes enjoys the outdoors on two wheels with either his bicycle or his motorcycle. In order to put his knowledge about aerodynamics into practice, he recently started paragliding in the Alps.
Alexander has a Mechanical Engineering background, graduating from the Technical University of Munich where the focus of his studies was on Engineering Fundamentals and Computational Engineering.
Co-founding SimScale at the end of his studies, he first owned the technical development of SimScale’s finite-element-based capabilities including solid mechanics, thermal mechanical, and particle analyses before serving as a product owner for different pre-processing and simulation development teams.
He currently owns SimScale’s thermal management product strategy and roadmap, working closely with customers from a variety of industries including consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and data centers. He is a computational mechanics enthusiast with unique interests ranging from mathematical details to the variety of computation solution methods, and up to post-processing art that leaves reality blushed with shame.
When offline, Alex (as we all call him) enjoys going to different kinds of concerts and has incredible music knowledge that he shares amongst SimScalers—if there is a song playing, you can just ask him, and he will name that tune faster than Shazam!
Anatol studied Informatics and Computer Science at the Technical University Munich, National University of Singapore, and Georgia Tech, with a focus on Networking and Security.
In the early days of SimScale, Anatol was responsible for building the company’s infrastructure and cloud architecture. More specifically, he was in charge of how to run simulations, data storage, and so on. Anatol is passionate about a wide array of topics ranging from technical and non-technical, building solid infrastructure to enable successful growth, and growing excellent teams. He is currently focused on Product Management, building upon SimScale’s solid foundations.
When prompted with the question “What would you like people to know about you?”, his answer was: “I’m a rare Munich-native at SimScale!”—which is correct; less than five of our employees were born and bred in our HQ city, and Anatol is the only Munich-native out of all of our SimScale founders! As one of our few indigenous Bavarians, Anatol’s natural habitat is the nearby Alps. He also enjoys traveling to foreign places along with photography, ideally combined.
A big ‘Thank you!’ to the SimScale founders for sharing their SimScale origin stories!
Stay tuned for more insights into our life here at SimScale and see what the team has been up to on our @lifeatsimscale Instagram feed. Want to start your own SimScale story? Make sure to keep an eye on our careers page for possible job openings!