Monday, May 18, 2015

Looking back on the CST European User Conference 2015

Andreas Bitz of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
delivering the keynote speech.
This year we hosted our annual European User Conference (EUC) in Darmstadt, CST’s home town. Darmstadt officially carries the title “Wissenschaftsstadt” – “science city” – and it’s especially well-known for its links to particle research and the European space industry, both of which had a strong presence at EUC this year. This is always a big and important event for us that we carefully arrange. This also means that there will a strong personal presence in particular support and development. Therefore it is also one of the best opportunities for our customers and CST engineers and developers to talk personally about challenges and requirements for current and future projects. We were therefore glad that so many accepted our invitation.

Before the actual event, we hosted a series of training workshops at our HQ , but the event proper started with the keynote speech from Andreas Bitz from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), who explained how MRI is used at the DKFZ and how simulation is used to design equipment for 7 tesla MRI, the next generation. We also presented the latest features in CST STUDIO SUITE 2015, while Alan Prior from SIMULIA, Dassault Systemes gave a very interesting talk on multiphysics simulation.

However, the largest part of the EUC is always the technical sessions. This year, we had fifteen sessions in three parallel tracks for a total of 45 presentations from customers and CST engineers. The sessions were arranged differently this year, with topics grouped according to industry, but several interesting trends still emerged.

As ever, antennas and components – especially filters – were hot topics. On the antenna side of things, integration and placement are more important than ever, as engineers have to fit more RF systems on a single platform. In the particle accelerator sessions, higher-order cavities and component impedance calculations were big talking points, with two presentations on each. EMC/EMI were also popular topics, especially for engineers working in the automotive and rail industries.

One other thing that was noticeable was a strong presence from medical and MRI customers this year. The build-up to 7 tesla means that MRI frequencies are increasing, and wave effects such as interference and reflection have a significant effect on image quality. Simulation is therefore a vital design tool for high-field MRI. As in previous years, our EDA session highlighted the increasing complexity of high-speed multilayer structures. Finally, although it may sound dry, the sessions on materials and metamaterials were well-attended and saw a lot of lively debate as customers and CST staff discussed techniques for accurately modeling a wide range of material types.

The last presentation was, as always, led by our R&D Manager Peter Thoma, who gave attendees a glimpse of CST STUDIO SUITE 2016 and beyond. Look out for more information on next year’s release in the upcoming months!

Group photo
EUC has a social side too, and it’s always important visitors have a chance to discuss things not just with us but with their fellow attendees. This year, we had our gala dinner in the Centralstation in the heart of Darmstadt. This was one of the first power stations in the world, and lit up the streets of the town as early as 1888. Although it no longer generates electricity, its beautiful main hall still stands, and made a fine venue for an evening of food, music and comedy.

The next EUC will take place in Strasbourg at the end of April 2016. Details of future dates and presentations from past conferences can always be found here.

Martin Timm
Director of Global Marketing, CST

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