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"My Dream, My Adventure"

Graham Sanborn, Ph.D., Principal research engineer of Solver 2 team

There is Dr. Graham Sanborn who has American nationality and is working as a RecurDyn developer in FunctionBay, Inc. because of special relationship with Korea. He participates in developing technologies related to MFBD (Multi-Flexible Body Dynamics) which is a core function. He says that his life is a great adventure as Helen Keller's word; "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.", and RecurDyn is a medium to create his dream and his goal to him.



- (1995) Bachelor Degree in Computer Science, University of California
   at Santa Barbara, USA
- (2008) PhD in Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at
   Chicago, USA

Major Development Achievements
For RecurDyn

- (2011 ~ 2012) Developing plasticity material model for various FFlex
- (2011 ~ 2012) Expanding the hyperelastic (rubber) formulations to be
   usable with more RecurDyn element types, enhancing the
   hyperelastic formulations to increase computational speed
- (2011) Developed new element technology for FFlex elements to
   allow for plasticity material model
- (2011) Developed a new Solid5 pyramid element, a Mooney-Rivlin
   hyperelastic (rubber) material model, and various other features to
   improve the FFlex in RecurDyn V8R1
- (2010) Developed new FFlex stress/strain recovery code
- (2010) Enhanced various computational aspects of RecurDyn solver
   to improve speed and accuracy
- (2009) Investigated the absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF)
   for multibody dynamics, created enhancements to the ANCF to
   improve element accuracy


Please tell us about yourself and your background.
I am an engineer. I joined FunctionBay, Inc. here in Korea in 2009. I am a member of the Solver 2 team, which is the flexible body development team. I research and develop formulations and code primarily for FFlex in RecurDyn.

I am from the USA. I believe I have a rather unusual background in this field. I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and a PhD in mechanical engineering, so I have a very good understanding of both software engineering and mechanical engineering. I studied multibody dynamics for my PhD under Dr. Ahmed Shabana, who is rather famous in the world of MBD. He created the floating frame of reference formulation and of the absolute nodal coordinate formulation.

Why did you apply to FunctionBay, Inc. in Korea?
There are 3 factors that I believe are important to my reasons for wanting to work for FunctionBay. First, I am personally very interested in the field of multi-body dynamics. I am fascinated by machines, physics, and computers. MBD is the perfect blend of these three things. Developing simulation software for MBD is both challenging and rewarding. It allows me to develop both my love of mathematics and physics as well as my love of numerical algorithms and computer science, which allows me to feel that I am growing as a person.

Concerning the second reason for the choice of FunctionBay, I applied for a job at FunctionBay because the company was appealing to me. It is the leading company in the field of MBD. FunctionBay has a very strong vision for the future of computer aided engineering. It also has a very strong sense of direction as a company. FunctionBay is dedicated to its customers. And it is dedicated to its employees. This is very important to me. If I am going to give all of my energy to a company, I want to know that the company aims to be the best, desires to make the world a better place, and encourages me to become a better person. FunctionBay has this attitude. This was an extremely important factor when choosing to apply at FunctionBay.

My last reason for applying for a job here is very personal. Though my ancestors are from Europe, my family has a reasonably long history in East Asia, and especially in Korea. My great grandparents and their family lived here in Korea in the early 1900's for a long time. I believe my great grandfather lived here for more 25 years. In fact, my great grandfather was the 2nd president of Soongsil University. Most of his children, including my grandfather, were born in Korea. My grandfather lived in Korea until he was 16 years old. His first language was Korean, and he did not even start learning English until he was 4 years old. I suspect they would not have left Korea if World War 2 had not started. They loved Korea and its people and they were very unhappy that they had to leave. So for me, it was really a dream-come-true to be able to work here at FunctionBay in Korea.

What areas of RecurDyn that you are responsible for?
In my PhD research under Dr. Shabana, I focused on the development of new flexible body formulations for multibody dynamics. So I believe that it is natural that my main responsibility at FunctionBay is the development of finite element technology for FFlex.

Currently, I am researching and developing nonlinear materials, advanced element technologies, and numerical methods related to many aspects of finite elements. This involves a lot of research into element technologies and continuum mechanics, which I enjoy very much.

On these projects, I work closely with my team, which is the flexible body development team, and with the core solver development team. The flexible element technologies implemented in RecurDyn are interrelated with many other aspects of the solver. As a result, developing new element technologies requires a lot of team effort. We have many very talented developers on our team, and we work closely together on these projects. I believe that this is a very important aspect of FunctionBay-a strong team environment. We enjoy working together on these projects because it allows us all to expand our knowledge and share our ideas with each other. Our teamwork is very important to the success of our projects.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Finite elements are full of challenges. And working on such a large and powerful code base is also full of its own challenges.

The basic concept of finite elements is quite simple. But the basic, textbook formulation of finite elements is not very powerful. It is not very accurate for the amount of computational power required to compute it. A lot of researchers have devoted a lot of time to improving the ratio of accuracy to computational cost of the standard finite element formulation. Furthermore, finite elements were not originally designed for dynamics nor for systems of bodies. They were originally designed for static analyses. Therefore, the challenge for me is to improve upon that research by taking these advanced mathematical models designed for finite elements and adapting them to motion-based finite elements that we have in RecurDyn. I enjoy this challenge very much. It allows me to expand my knowledge and my mathematical ability, and it gives me a great sense of success.

Of course, another challenge is working in a foreign country. The culture in Korea is very different from the USA, and the working styles are very different. Learning to adapt to working in Korea has been a challenge. Since I was not raised here, it is easy to make cultural or interpersonal mistakes that make people uncomfortable. But the other developers on my team and in FunctionBay are very kind and helpful. They have worked very hard to help me adapt to life here. I am very grateful for that. There is a very famous American woman named Helen Keller who once said, "Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." My life here is a great adventure, and though it is challenging, it is also a great experience for me. I have made some wonderful friends, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be here.

What do you believe will be important in the future of computer aided engineering and what role do you think FunctionBay will have in the future?
I believe that there are many driving forces in CAE, but there are 2 in particular that I am interested in. The first is that tomorrow, customers will need more optimal solutions to their problems than they have today. I believe that this will always be true. It's one of the axioms of business. Therefore, they will need their CAE tools to grow in power to give more optimal solutions. This will require that CAE tools include more fields of physics in a single model. In order to get more optimal solutions, product design will have to include more factors early in the design process. And they will need to get higher fidelity results from their CAE tools as well.

The second driving force that I'm interested in is that customers need to solve specific problems. They do not need general tools that can solve any problem. They need tools that can solve their problems. But the trend with CAE tools is that they are growing more and more general, capable of solving any problem imaginable. And consequently, they are getting more and more complex to use. Therefore, CAE tools need to be easily customizable.

If they are customizable, then they can be focused so that they are easy to use by a customer to solve that customer's problems. The complexity caused by their generality can be removed through customization. It is also important that the CAE tools can be integrated into a company's development process. Each company has its own unique process for developing new products, and so CAE tools need to be easy to adapt to different development processes.

So where does FunctionBay fit into this? What role will FunctionBay have in the future of CAE? From my perspective, I think that FunctionBay is in a very important position. Because of FunctionBay's background in multibody dynamics, it is in an ideal position to meet these two needs. RecurDyn is motion CAE, and it is system-level design. I believe that these two aspects of RecurDyn are going to become more and more important. As companies need higher fidelity solutions, they will need to consider the motion of the machines in their designs from an early stage, and they will also need to consider more system level design as well. This will be required to get more optimal solutions. Because of RecurDyn'sfocus on system-level analyses, it is natural that RecurDyn will be used to combine more and more fields of physics into a coupled, complex analysis system.

Furthermore, due to the complexity of such design processes, we already place great emphasis on the need for the customizability of RecurDyn. We are actively developing many technologies to help make it as easy as possible to focus RecurDyn on a particular problem. At the same time, we are also developing powerful tools to allow it to be integrated with other CAE tools and integrated into a customer's design process. I think that FunctionBay will continue to be a leader in system-level analysis power and customer-focused customizability.

What do you want to contribute to the future of RecurDyn and FunctionBay?
In the short term, I want to help increase the computational power of RecurDyn and increase the range of problems it can solve. Specifically, I want to focus on increasing the performance of FFlex. I also want to be involved in adding high performance computing technologies into RecurDyn. I think that my background will be useful to FunctionBay in developing formulations and code to exploit these technologies.

In the long term, I would like to be in deeply involved in the development of RecurDyn into a central platform for performing computer aided engineering. This is one of our visions for the future of RecurDyn, and I would like to help contribute my skill and knowledge to this project.

Papers & Journals


- (2008) "Cupling between structural deformations and wheel-rail contact geometry in railroad vehecle
   dynamics", proceedings of the Instituiton of Mechnical Engineers, Part K:Jounal of Multi-body
   Dynamics.Vol.222 no.4, 2008 381-392
- (2009) "An alternative simple multibody system approach for modelling rail flexibility in railroad vehicle
   dynamics", Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part K: Journal of Multi-body
   Dynamics. Vol. 223, 2, 2009, pp. 107-120
- (2009) "On the Integration of Computer Aided Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Absolute
   Nodal Coordinate Formulation", Multibody System Dynamics. Vol. 22, 2009, pp. 181-197
- (2009) "A rational finite element method based on the absolute nodal coordinate formulation", Nonlinear
   Dynamics. Vol. 58, Issue 3, 2009, pp. 565-57
- (2011) "Curve-induced distortion of polynomial space curves, flat-mapped extension modeling, and
   their impact on ANCF thin-plate finite elements", Multibody System Dynamics. Volume 26, 2011,
   pp. 191-211.


- (2007) "A Low Computational Cost Nonlinear Formulation for Multibody Railroad Vehicle System",
   ASME IDETC/CIE2007, September 4-7, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Volume 5: 6th International
   Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control, Parts A, B, and C
- (2010) "A Comparison of Co-Rotational and ANCF Thin Plate Finite Elements for the Dynamic Simulation
   of Flexible Media Transport Systems", The 1st Joint International Conference on Multibody System
   Dynamics, May 25-27, 2010, Lappeenranta, Finland.
- (2010) "A Comparison of 4-Node Shell and ANCF Finite Elements for the Dynamic Simulation of Media
   Transport Systems", 2010 Spring Conference for Dynamics and Control Division (collection of papers),

Ph.D. Dissertation

 - (2008) "Development of High and Low Fidelity Models for Multibody Railroad Vehicle Simulations"
Interview List

Juhwan Choi, Ph.D,
Team manager
(Solver 2)

Graham Sanborn, Ph.D, Principal research engineer (Solver 2)

Jeonghan Lee, Ph.D., Duty general manager (Solution Group)

Sun Kim, Ph.D.,
Team manager
(GUI 1)

Joon-Shik Yoon, Ph.D,
Team manager
(Solver 1)

Han-Sik Ryu, PhD, CTO