Episode 1: Survey for the needs of potential users

With our first episode we wanted to get feedback from potential users from the experimental mechanics and computational engineering fields about our project idea. Therefore, we interviewed three of our colleagues: Tanja Pelzmann, Antonio Castro Moreno, and Yahya Abderrafai to get their opinion about the issues we explored in our first blogpost and to evaluate our solution..

You can listen to the episode here:


From project to idea

Context and background

Patrick and I, Ilyass, met in March 2015 through Twitter. We started exchanging about Peridynamics, a novel theory for modelling of materials in mechanics. I was, and still am, extremely interested in that theory as it appeared to be a theory upon which a model could be built to perform simulation of some complex experiments I was working on. We started working around this theory, I went to Patrick’s lab in Germany as an invited researcher, and Patrick is now a fellow in the laboratory I am part of at Polytechnique Montreal.

In our every day work, I mostly do experimental work, I set up experiments involving several materials being pulled and broken apart while measuring displacements and loads; Patrick, on the other hand, mostly focuses on programming and implementing models to perform the best possible simulations of the experiments I setup in the laboratory. It is through this workflow that we started realizing that other publications about similar experiments did not contain enough information to completely model the experiment or reproduce it. The complete raw experimental data is usually not available, and, when it is possible to get the raw data, it is quite hard to work with since there is no standardized format to present that data. The experiments we do in the laboratory also started to appear less and less valuable, the only thing that appeared to be really valuable are the publications which could be written out of the experimental data.