The History of Education in Computational Thermodynamics – the KTH Experience

Computational thermodynamics is a rapidly developing field at the forefront of materials design. But did you know that the field is already over 40 years old? This year at the TMS Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, John Ågren, one of the original developers of Thermo-Calc, gave a presentation on the history of computational thermodynamics at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the earliest schools to teach computational thermodynamics. In his fun and fascinating presentation, he discusses how the education of computational thermodynamics started, which issues arose and how they were solved.

A Nord 10 16-bit mini computer
A Nord-10 mini computer similar to the once used by the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) department at KTH in the 1970s.

It all started in the late 1970s when the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) department at KTH got a minicomputer which was used in both research and education. But in the early days they came across some unexpected issues. It appeared that most students disliked computers and couldn’t do much coding themselves, which resulted in teachers spending a lot of time debugging codes. Besides that, there were also technical issues. About 30 students were working on the same computer at the same time, which made the response times very long. These difficulties made it hard for the students to understand the point of the computational exercises. As an attempt to solve these problems, teachers prepared codes for the students and handed out some written material about the underlying physics. Despite this, most time was spent on making correct inputs, which made the students not likely to understand the role of computers in materials science.

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Thermo-Calc Software CEO Speaks at The World Manufacturing Forum Technical Day

Slide of the presenters at the ASM World Manufacturing Forum Technical day
Presenters at the Harnessing Materials Information for Manufacturing symposium are shown on a slide above the stage.

ASM International hosted a symposium at this year’s The World Manufacturing Forum Technical Day called Harnessing Materials Information for Manufacturing. Topics for the session included designing new materials, materials information and design processes and integration with manufacturing. 

Thermo-Calc Software CEO, Anders Engström, was invited to give a joint keynote address with the CEO of QuesTek Innovations, Aziz Asphahani, on applying computational materials engineering to the materials design process. Other invited speakers include Dave Cebon, CTO & Co-Founder, Granta Design Ltd. (now part of ANSYS, Inc.); Ajei Gopal, CEO, ANSYS, Inc.; and Ray Fryan, Vice President, Technology & Quality, TimkenSteel Corporation. The talks were followed by a panel discussion.

The full day event addressed issues such as up-training your workforce, integrating new technologies into your workflow and increasing efficiency, all with the goal of staying competitive for the next ten years. The day focused on new solutions utilising Industry 4.0 technologies and on sharing best practices between industry.

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Vice President of Tesla / SpaceX Joins Distinguished Panel to Celebrate the Year of Materials

What is the biggest crisis humanity will face in the next 50 years? A lack of water? A lack of arable land? Perhaps the answer lies within the field of materials engineering with a lack of new materials? The last option may seem a surprising choice, but if you’ve dedicated your life to the study of materials science, you understand the critical role materials play in all facets of sustaining human life. This very question of materials and sustainability was explored last month at the Jubilee Seminar: Material is evolution – Materials, society, industry and sustainability held in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 15, 2019 in celebration of the Year of Materials.

A panel of speakers standing at the front of the room
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Thermo-Calc Invited to Participate in European Materials Modelling Council

European-Materials-Modelling-Council-International-Workshop-2019-EMMC

Thermo-Calc Software have been invited to take part in the European Materials Modelling Council (EMMC) International Workshop 2019 this February in Vienna, Austria. The invitation-only workshop will bring together approximately 150 experts in materials modelling to discuss the progress in the industrial deployment of materials modelling software and, according to the EMMC website, “contribute in setting a common direction among stakeholders in all areas of Materials Modelling.” Continue reading

Next Generation TiAl Alloys Advanced by New European Consortium

The launch of a three-year research project across three countries and involving over 10 leading experts will significantly advance the design of titanium aluminide (TiAl) alloys used in the manufacture of lightweight aircraft turbine engine components.

The ADVANCE project—Sophisticated experiments and optimisation to advance an existing CALPHAD database for next generation TiAl alloys—consists of an extensive and ambitious experimental program to generate detailed and accurate phase equilibrium data for a series of homogenous Ti-Al-X alloys of high purity, aiming to resolve existing experimental controversies and to determine missing data points of relevance, and ultimately support modelling activities consisting of assessing and re-optimising individual subsystems and the development of cutting-edge CALPHAD databases for TiAl alloys.

Representatives of the Consortium to advance TiAl alloys

Representatives of the ADVANCE consortium, left to right: Hai-Lin Chen (TCSAB), Roman Sowa (MTU), Annett Seide (MTU), Svea Mayer (MUL), Martin Schloffer (MTU), Martin Palm (MPIE), Anders Engström (TCSAB), Florian Pyczak (HZG), Marcus Rackel (HZG), Roland Schmier (MTU). Missing from the photo: Frank Stein (MPIE), Yang Yang (TCSAB)

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Thermo-Calc Presentation Highlighted at EUROMAT 2017

Join Thermo-Calc Software at the premier conference on materials science in Europe, EUROMAT 2017, where we will be giving three presentations, one of which has been selected as a highlighted presentation. Additionally, John Ågren, who recently joined the company as a scientific adviser, will be giving a plenary talk at the conference, Computational modeling and Materials Design.

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Educate the Educators: Summer School for Integrated Computational Materials Education

Current and future educators working in undergraduate thermodynamics, kinetics, mechanics of materials and solid-state physics are encouraged to apply for the 6th Summer School for Integrated Computational Materials Education, which will take place at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, June 5-16, 2017. Continue reading

Presentation on High Entropy Alloys Database Development

High entropy alloys (HEAs), along with Multi-principal element alloys (MPEs) and Complexly concentrated alloys (CCAs), offer an exciting, emerging branch of materials research. Unlike conventional alloys, which are usually based on one principal element that, to a large extent, determines the properties of the alloy, these types of alloys consider a wide variety of elements, opening a new field for vast compositions and microstructures, making research into HEAs, MPEs and CCAs tremendously compelling.

Elements in the TCHEA databaseConsidered to be only 12 years old, these complex alloys were introduced in 2004 in two papers that were published a mere two months apart. The definition of HEAs, MPEs and CCAs varies, but in the broadest sense, HEAs are considered to be alloys consisting of five or more principal elements with 5 to 35 atomic percentage for each and based on a simple solid solution, while MPEs and CCAs are considered to be alloys with two or more principle elements. Continue reading