More and more organizations are looking to improve their competitiveness by leveraging Engineering Simulation* (analysis, simulation, systems engineering in the engineering applications domain) for improved design decision support, simulation-driven design, system-driven design, smart generative design and robust performance evaluation of their full portfolio of products and processes. The demand for software tools for Engineering Simulation is exploding to support the demand for increased competitiveness and to deal with the rapidly growing complexity of products, processes, and systems. At the same time, we are struggling to keep up with the expertise required to meet the current demand. The actual growth in usage and benefit of Engineering Simulation is directly related to the available expertise to effectively use the software tools. This has resulted in an inability to meet the rapidly growing demand for a higher reliance on more realistic virtual Engineering Simulations.

Business drivers are forcing a “simulation revolution” to overcome the expertise based limitations which are restricting the expansion of Engineering Simulation applications.

  • Increase Innovation
  • Increase Performance
  • Improve Quality/Risk Management
  • Reduce Time
  • Reduce Cost

The ASSESS 2017 Congress is being organized by the ASSESS Initiative to help shape the industry and product strategies for the next decade related to Engineering Simulation to enable the required “Engineering Simulation Revolution”.  Those who participate in ASSESS 2017 will help shape the industry and product strategies for the next decade and beyond.

The ASSESS 2017 Congress will be held at the Bolger Center in Potomac, MD. Registration for the ASSESS 2017 Congress is by invitation only and is limited to 115 attendees. Registration for the ASSESS 2017 Congress will close either when  all available seats are taken but no later than October 24, 2017.   Registrations will not be accepted after October 24, 2017.

Bolger Conference Center Hotel
9600 Newbridge Dr.
Potomac, MD 20854

*Engineering Simulation as used by the ASSESS Initiative refers to Analysis, Simulation and Systems Engineering technologies and associated usage in the engineering applications domain.






The demand for model-based software tools for analysis, systems engineering, and simulation is exploding; at the same time, we are struggling to keep up with our current demand to effectively use these tools.


ASSESS 2017 Congress Sponsors


Platinum Sponsors


Foundation Sponsors




Founding Sponsors



Attire for the duration of the ASSESS 2017 Congress is winter comfortable: jeans or khakis; flannels or long sleeve shirts; sneakers or boots.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

4 PM

Registration and Badge Pick-up Opens

6 -10 PM

Welcome Reception & Cocktails  
Please join us for music, food, drinks, and networking opportunities. You’ll have a chance to meet and talk with the other ASSESS participants. We ask that all participants attend this reception, if at all possible.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

7-8:30 AM

Join us for breakfast, prior to starting the day’s activities.

8:30 AM

Kickoff: Opening Remarks and Call to Order
Joe Walsh and Brad Holtz, will welcome you to the Congress, and set the stage for the day’s activities. 

9 AM

Keynote Presentation: Advancing Regulatory Science and In Silico Medicine at the FDA
Tina Morrison, Ph. D.,  Deputy Director, Division of Applied Mechanics, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

9:45 AM

Technology Briefings     
ASSESS has a broad focus of intersecting domains. We have much to benefit from a common understanding of what is possible today. These briefings are designed to get us up to speed on the ASSESS themes that we don’t normally focus on, but that have the potential to influence our thinking.


10:45 AM

Break, Network, & Transition to Plenary Session

11:00 AM

Plenary Session   
 Joe Walsh will present an overview and update of the ASSESS Initiative.  Chris Wilkes (Sigmetrix)  will provide a review of the Business working group Engineering Simulation Value Proposition Survey results.

11:30 AM

Lunch, Networking, & Open Discussion

12:30 AM

Plenary Session  
Joe Walsh, will present the goals and instructions for the working group breakout sessions.

12:45 PM Working Group Breakout 1
We will be breaking out into the initial set of working groups to discuss selected issues.
3:15 PM

Break, Network, & Transition to Working Group Breakout 2

3:30 PM

Working Group Breakout 2 
We will be breaking out into a second set of working groups to discuss selected issues.

6:00 PM

Break, Network, & Transition to bus loading

6:15 PM

Buses start loading (across from Stained Glass Hall)

6:30 PM

Buses leave the Bolger Center for an offsite dinner event     
Bus Loading starts around 6:15 across from Stained Glass Hall

7:00 PM

Offsite Dinner Event at La Ferme Restaurant
Join us for a night of good food and good company

10:15 PM

Buses start loading

10:30 PM

Buses leave the Evening Event for the Bolger Center      
Bus Loading starts around 10:15 PM

We will return to the Bolger Center around 11:00 PM

Friday, November 3, 2017 

7-8:30 AM

Join us for breakfast, prior to starting the day’s activities.

8:30 AM

Kickoff: Opening Remarks for the Day
 Joe Walsh will set the stage for the remainder of the day.

9 AM

Keynote Presentation: The Future of Modeling and Simulation at Cummins
Robert Tickel, Director, Structural and Dynamic Analysis, Cummins Inc.

9:45 AM

Plenary Session – Working Group reports
We’ll hear the reports from each of the previous day’s working groups, then open the floor to discussions. 

12:00 PM

Lunch, Networking, & Open Discussion


Plenary Session – Open Discussion
General discussion of the ASSESS Initiative

2:30 PM

Close of ASSESS 2017

3-4:30 PM

ASSESS Initiative Advisory Committee Meeting




ASSESS Initaitive


Joe Walsh


ASSESS Initiative LLC

intrinsim LLC

Joe Walsh founded intrinSIM in late 2009 with the intention of enabling rapid next generation application development for engineering software and co-founded the ASSESS Initiative in mid-2016 to significantly increase the usage and benefit of Engineering Simulation. Mr. Walsh brings nearly 40 years of experience, expertise, relationships and collaborations in the CAE, CAD, interoperability and component software industries. Prior to founding intrinSIM, He was the VP Business Development for Simmetrix where he was responsible for sales, marketing and business relationships. Before joining Simmetrix he was VP of Worldwide Sales for IronCAD LLC, VP of North American Sales for DS/Spatial and Spatial Corp., partner and founder of New Renaissance, President/CEO and co-founder of FEGS Inc. the North American subsidiary of FEGS, Ltd. of Cambridge UK, President/CEO of PAFEC Inc. the North American subsidiary of PAFEC Ltd. of Nottingham UK, Director of Engineering Applications for Clevenger Corporation and 8+ years in engineering analysis positions specializing in CAD/CAE integration, CAE automation, and design optimization. Joe Walsh holds an Architectural Engineering degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering.


Brad Holtz

President & CEO

Cyon Research

Brad Holtz is a well-recognized analyst and trusted voice in engineering software today with incisive views on CAD and related applications based on a keen understanding of new technologies and years of careful observation of their impact on design, engineering, architecture, and manufacturing. Holtz’s insights have made him a highly-valued adviser to the financial world and to industry executives. In addition to the investment and legal communities, his customers have included: Adobe, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, Boeing, Dewberry, EDS, Gensler, Hewlett-Packard, Intergraph, Kaiser Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Mobil Oil, Océ-USA, PTC, SolidWorks, Tekla, UGS, and Xerox, among others.  As CEO of Cyon Research Corporation, Holtz was the driving force in developing COFES: The Congress on The Future of Engineering Software. COFES has become the leading event of its kind.  Previous to his role at Cyon Research, Holtz founded WBH Associates, offering strategic planning and market analysis. Brad holds a B.A. in biology from Washington University (St.Louis) and a B.Arch. from the University of Maryland.

Keynote Speakers


Tina Morrison, Ph.D.

Deputy Director,

Division of Applied Mechanics,

Office of Science and 

Engineering Laboratories,

Center for Devices and

Radiological Health,

U.S. Food and Drug


Tina Morrison is the chair of the new FDA-wide working group on Modeling and Simulation, sponsored by the Office of the Chief Scientist, which launched in 2017.  She has been serving as the Regulatory Advisor of Computational Modeling for the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) since 2012.  In that capacity, she leads the Regulatory Review of Computational Modeling working group, which has developed guidance documents on the use of modeling and simulation in the regulatory evaluation of medical devices [1].  She dedicates much of her energy towards advancing regulatory science through modeling and simulation because she believes the future of medical device design and evaluation, and thus enhanced patient care, lies with computation and enhanced visualization [2].  She serves as Chair of the ASME V&V Standards Committee on Verification and Validation of Computational Modeling, the Subcommittee V&V40 on Computational Modeling of Medical Devices, where she is leading the development of a strategy to assess the credibility of computational models [3].  She is also working with a team at CDRH to implement this strategy into the review of premarket submissions that leverage computational modeling [4].  For seven years, she was a scientific reviewer on a variety of medical device premarket submissions in Cardiovascular Devices.  She is the Deputy Director of the Division of Applied Mechanics in FDA’s Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories.  She is a mechanical engineer who received her PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University in 2006.


Robert Tickel

Director of Structural & Dynamic Analysis

Coporate R&T

Cummins, Inc.


Bob Tickel is the Director of Structural & Dynamic Analysis within the Corporate R&T division of Cummins Inc. His group is primarily responsible for providing design guidance for key structural components and systems for future products as well as evaluating, developing and documenting new tools and methods. Bob also serves as the World-Wide Applied Mechanics Functional Excellence Leader at Cummins. In this capacity, he works to ensure that capable and standard tools and processes are utilized across all businesses and regions at Cummins. Additionally in this role he is responsible to ensure training is available and to assess competency for his function globally. He has nearly 30 years of experience at Cummins working in new product introduction, mechanical and performance development as well as in Applied Mechanics and Structural & Dynamic Analysis. He is passionate about utilizing modeling and simulation to impact product designs that exceed customer expectations for structural performance. He is a mechanical engineer who received his M.S. in Engineering from Purdue in 1994 and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1988.


Invited Speakers


Chris Wilkes

President & CEO


Chris has an extensive background in developing marketing, operations and product strategies that enhance corporate reputation, increase shareholder value and accelerate growth. Holding previous Presidential and Vice Presidential positions at Incentra, Sterling Software, SANZ and AT&T, he was responsible for driving top and bottom-line company growth through fiscally accountable and operationally efficient leadership. In 2011 and 2012, Chris served as the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing where he successfully led the company to successive double-digit revenue growth years. Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Texas Tech University, followed by an MBA from Texas A&M University.

Technology Briefing Leaders


Juan Betts

Managing Director

Front End Analytics LLC


Understanding Model Appropriateness

Dr. Juan F. Betts is Managing Director at Front End Analytics LLC a dynamic company providing services and software revolutionizing how companies do product development active in the engineering simulation, simulation democratization and predictive analytics space with customers large and small.  Prior to founding Front End Analytics, Dr. Betts was a Product Management Director at PTC. There, Dr. Betts led product teams to design and drive product roadmap functionality for the Mathcad Product Line.   Prior to PTC, Dr. Betts was a Senior Manager at a United Technologies Corporation JV. There, Dr. Betts established the company’s technical strategy for 600+ engineers leading an 11-person team composed of the most senior technical experts across all engineering disciplines including leading the structures group composed of a 60+-person engineering team. Dr. Betts also spent several years as a Global Vertical Business Unit Manager at LMS International (now part of SIEMENS PLM) where he led world-wide teams engaging Product Divisions, R&D, Marketing & Sales to align the company’s strategic posture in the Aerospace Sector. Dr. Betts holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from The College of William & Mary. 


Wolfgang Gentzsch




Understanding Simulation and the cloud

Wolfgang Gentzsch is president and co-founder of the UberCloud Online Marketplace for engineers and scientists to discover, try, and buy computing on demand, in the cloud. Wolfgang was the chairman of the International ISC Cloud Conference series from 2010 to 2015. Previously, he was an Advisor to the EU projects EUDAT and DEISA, directed the German D-Grid Initiative and the North Carolina Statewide Grid, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Open Grid Forum and of the US President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology, PCAST.  Wolfgang was a professor of computer science and mathematics at several universities in the US and Germany, and held leading positions at the North Carolina Grid and Data Center in Durham, Sun Microsystems in California, the DLR German Aerospace Center in Gottingen, and the Max-Planck-Institute for Plasmaphysics in Munich. In the 90s, he founded HPC software companies Genias and Gridware (which was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2000).


Fouad El Khaldi

General Manager

Industry Strategy & Innovation

ESI Group

Understanding the Role of Simulation in Hybrid Twins

Fouad El Khaldi is in charge of Industry Strategy & Innovation to support ESI Group’s Portfolio investments orientation to develop Industry Solutions for Virtual Product Engineering.  Fouad has authored or co-authored numerous technical papers on the subject of CAE innovation and applications in virtual manufacturing process and prototyping and holds several patents in this field. He is also active in several industry associations including being a member of the Board Director of Systematic – France with special focus on Numerical Simulation, Virtual Prototyping and Virtual Product Engineering. Fouad El Khaldi holds Civil Engineering Degree from AUB in Beirut, Lebanon, and a Ph.D. degree in Numerical Simulation from INSA in Lyon, France.


Keith Meintjes, Ph.D.

Executive Consultant


Understanding Generative Design

Dr. Meintjes joined CIMdata when they acquired CPDA, where he was Research Director for CAE and managed CPDA’s Design/Simulation Council. Previously, he spent nearly 30 years at General Motors.  At GM Dr. Meintjes was responsible for the engineering requirements for GM’s Global CAE IT infrastructure and was named Senior Technical Fellow. At GM Powertrain he held strategic, planning, and management positions, to embed simulation tools in the powertrain product development process. Earlier, at the GM Research Laboratories, Dr. Meintjes developed thermodynamic and CFD simulation models for engine performance and combustion, and was instrumental in GM’s acquisition of a Cray supercomputer.  Dr. Meintjes holds BSc and MSc degrees in Mechanical Engineering, with a specialty in Aeronautics, from the University of the Witwatersrand, and an MA and Ph.D. from Princeton University Faculty Award. 


Matteo Nicolich

Product Manager Volta


Understanding Engineering Intelligence

Matteo Nicolich joined ESTECO in 2009, as service engineer. Since 2013 he has been the Product Manager of ESTECO enterprise technologies and head of the global professional services team. Matteo has a mechanical engineering and aeronautics background with deep experience in optimization, analytic decision making and CAE process automation. He actively collaborates with multiple working groups as part of NAFEMS, INCOSE and ProSTEP iViP associations to create the connections between simulation and product design process and foster the adoption of simulation driven design practices.


Peter Chien

Chief Scientist


Understanding Uncertainty Quantification

Peter Chien is Chief Scientist of SmartUQ. In addition to his role at SmartUQ, Peter is a professor in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research has been primarily focused on uncertainty quantification, design of experiments, and big data analytics. He has served on the editorial boards of Annals of Statistics and SIAM/ASA Journal of Uncertainty Quantification. He has also received a National Science Foundation Career Award and an IBM Faculty Award. 


Dr. Sudarsan Rachuri

Technology Manager

Advanced Manufacturing Office


Understanding “Smart Manufacturing”

Dr. Sudarsan Rachuri is a Technology Manager in the Advanced Manufacturing Office, EERE, and DOE. He is the Federal Program Manager for the CESMII. Prior to joining DOE, he was the program manager at NIST, a research professor at George Washington University and worked in the CAD/CAE software industry. Dr. Rachuri is serving as Editor-in-Chief of ASTM International’s new journal, Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing Systems ( and is also a founding member of the ASTM subcommittee that develops standards in sustainable manufacturing (E60.13). He also serves on ASTM International’s Smart Manufacturing Advisory Committee. Rachuri is ae founding member  Chair of the standards committee on ASME V&V 50 Verification and Validation of Computational Modeling for Advanced Manufacturing. Sudarsan was a member of ANSI Virtual Technical Advisory Group (VTAG) Industry 4.0/Smart Manufacturing in relation to ISO Technical management Board Strategic Advisory Group (ISO/TMB SAG) and is currently a member of US VTAG for Systems Evaluation Group 7 – Smart Manufacturing.  Dr. Rachuri is an ASME Fellow and received the 2016 ASTM International President’s Leadership Award


Dr. Andreas Vlahinos


Advanced Engineering


Understanding the role of Product Performance Information (PPI) on enabling enhanced MBD

Dr. Vlahinos received his Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been a professor of structural engineering at the University of Colorado, teaching courses in Structural Mechanics and in Computer Aided Structural Engineering. Dr. Vlahinos was the recipient of the Professor of the Year Award multiple times. He has over 100 publications in areas of structural stability, structural dynamics, and design optimization. Additionally, he has received the R&D 100 award. Dr. Vlahinos has been instrumental in rapid product development through the implementation of Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) and Computer Aided Concurrent Engineering for several Government agencies such as NASA, NREL and DOE and industry partners such as IBM, Coors, Lockheed Martin, Alcoa, Allison Engine Comp., Solar Turbines, Ball, Futech, American Standard, Kohler, Varian, Stewart & Stevenson, Harris Corp., General Dynamics OTS, TDM, PTC, MDI, Ford Motor Company , Rockwell Collins, BIC, BAE, XEROX, ULA, Woodward Inc., Gichner Shelter Systems, NAVISTAR DEFENSE, TOYOTA, and others. Finally, he is regularly invited as a keynote speaker on a variety of subjects (Innovation, Rapid new product development, DFSS ) in international conferences. PhD, Engineering Science & Mechanics, Georgia Institute of Technology (1984), Certificate, Structures Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (1981) MS, Engineering Science & Mechanics, Georgia Institute of Technology (1980) Diploma, Civil Engineering Structures Option, National Technical University of Athens Greece (1979)