This is Part 9 in the ChEnected series "We Are ChE: Entering a Golden Age". It is authored by Incoming 2013 AIChE president Phil Westmoreland.
Chemical engineers saw the value of computers for their work early, as described in the previous post. For ChEs today, computing power has taken two directions, toward powerful simulations on one hand and powerful use of data on the other. In this post, I’m writing about simulation and how supercomputing is making valuable predictions possible.
Simulation and predictions
“Simulation” for ChEs usually means either predicting properties, such as enthalpies or crystal shapes, or predicting system behavior, such as with a process design model.