4 Questions 4: Sebastian Dewhurst

Simulation LeaderSebastian (Seb) Dewhurst is Director of Business Development for EASA. His primary role is to help customers understand how and where EASA can help them, for example by helping them identify use-cases where EASA can help. Seb’s background is in fluid mechanics research, using both experimental and computational techniques.  He earned a doctorate from Oxford; his internship was with NASA.

EASA is the only low-code application development platform that enables organizations to automate, simplify and manage critical business processes which depend on modeling tools such as spreadsheets, Matlab, Python, FEA, CFD, Machine Learning  and other modeling tools.

Let’s learn a little more about Seb with four quick questions.

Q: Seb, what do you see as the biggest obstacles in the world of Engineering Simulation?

I think that the relatively high level of expertise required to become a practitioner in simulation is a significant limiter to the value that organizations might otherwise be able to realize.

Q: What are some of the ways EASA helps its customers to overcome these and similar challenges?

EASA is an “appification” technology. While it cannot help democratize all facets of democratization, it has proved especially applicable for companies that have “templatable” models which are used frequently, and would be more valuable if made safely available to a wider user-group.

In practice, we have found that many full 3D models such as FEA and CFD are NOT easily templatable – there are just too many parameters that would need to be exposed in an app. However, so called “O-D” models such as spreadsheets, Matlab models, Python scripts and the like – which do NOT try to describe a geometry in great detail – have proved very suitable to appification and therefore democratization.

Further, EASA has recently released a module called EASA Sheets, which offers essentially an SDM system for spreadsheets – automatically capturing to a database the data associated with every calculation done with a company’s spreadsheet calculators. This immediately makes data that was previously “invisible” available for analytics, compliance, audit trails, etc.

Q: Where are we headed… where do you see the simulation industry ten years down the road?

AI is going to be a big part of it. We are seeing some fascinating examples of ML models that give comparable results to conventional simulation tools – with a fraction of the computational power.

I think there will be more on making simulation technology more seamless – to the point where it becomes almost invisible to users. I see EASA and other technologies (both competing and non-competing) as playing a crucial role in this process.

Q: Enough about business. What keeps you busy outside of work? I hear that you’ve got a couple of interesting hobbies.

Well, I’m married with two college-age girls. I’m an active pilot and enjoy flying when I can find the time. Here are a couple of videos: (Low over the Mangroves and Beach Landing). I’m also an avid mountain biker. Here’s a link to a video I made about that.