Simulation-based engineering science (SBES) is increasingly important in accelerating research and development in engineering because of the analytical power and cost effectiveness of computer simulation. Advanced simulation tools based on solving basic equations in physics, such as the Navier-Stokes equation for modeling fluid dynamics, are routinely used to tackle complex engineering problems and to search for optimal solutions in many engineering practices, ranging from microelectromechanical devices to Mars rovers. Representing the application of computational thinking in engineering, SBES is an interdisciplinary subject indispensable to the nation's continued leadership in science and technology.
SBES, however, has virtually no place in the current engineering or science curricula at the secondary level. Nor is there an agenda to introduce it, to the best of our knowledge. Despite the fact that modern simulation tools can run on an ordinary computer and be used without having to know how the computational engine actually works, it is still commonly thought that SBES mandates advanced mathematics and science, uses abstruse jargon, requires monster supercomputers, works only through the esoteric command line, and cannot be possibly taught or used at secondary level. As a result, most pre-college students are not exposed to this modern engineering methodology and are deprived of an opportunity to develop interest in it earlier in their education. The consequence of this deficiency may have contributed to the erosion of the nation's leadership in SBES and engineering science in general.
In 2009, Dr. Charles Xie wrote a proposal "Enhancing Engineering Education with Computational Thinking" to the National Science Foundation to address this problem. The proposal was awarded, which allowed Energy2D to be developed. To date, Energy2D has been used by tens of thousands of students worldwide, ranging from middle schools to top-notch universities.
Attribution & Acknowledgement
Energy2D was created from scratch and is being actively developed by Dr. Charles Xie, a physicist working at the Concord Consortium based in Concord, Massachusetts, USA. The National Science Foundation of the United States provides funding to make this possible through two grants (#1124281 and #0918449). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are, however, those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
The layout and style of this website were designed by Ethan McElroy.