Skip to main content

Swanson Laboratory for Advanced Engineering Simulation

in this section

The Swanson Lab offers 16 workstations and 2 servers for performing engineering simulations and design using commercial software. The lab provides students with access to an extensive suite of software including ANSYS, Autodesk Inventor, CES, COMSOL, MATLAB and SOLIDWORKS.

The Swanson lab is managed by the Swanson Engineering Simulation Program which was established through a generous gift from Dr. John Swanson, the founder of ANSYS Inc. and an alumnus of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The Swanson program, led by Rajesh Bhaskaran, has facilitated the integration of commercial finite-element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools into over a dozen mechanical and aerospace engineering courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Instruction in these tools is geared towards teaching students how to use these them intelligently and how to understand and interpret the results. It helps students improve their computing skills while also strengthening their grasp of the fundamentals.

Online tutorials developed for incorporating ANSYS® FEA and CFD tools into Cornell courses are available for free at simcafe.org.  Dr. Bhaskaran is launching a massive open online course (MOOC) entitled "A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations” at edx.org in June 2016. Fundamental concepts and tool use will be taught in an integrated fashion using the power of online learning. This course should be of interest to a broad audience from high school students interested in engineering to practicing engineers. It should also be of interest to instructors who are interested in using simulation tools in their courses.