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December 07, 2009
MAD Progress
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on EDACafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Russ Henke - Contributing Editor

by Russ Henke - Contributing Editor
Posted anew every four weeks or so, the EDA WEEKLY delivers to its readers information concerning the latest happenings in the EDA industry, covering vendors, products, finances and new developments. Frequently, feature articles on selected public or private EDA companies are presented. Brought to you by EDACafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!


In the cool early morning hours of a Tuesday in mid-November 2009, I met with Ms. Suzanne Graham and Dr. Erich Buergel of Mentor Graphics Corporation (MGC) at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose CA. The purpose of this particular meeting was to assist in the preparation of this article on the progress of the MGC Mechanical Analysis Division (MAD) for IBSystems’ EDA Weekly on EDAcafe.com for December 7, 2009

Suzanne is the Senior PR Manager at MGC in Wilsonville, OR. Suzanne reports to Ryerson Schwark, Director of MGC Public Relations. She has been at MGC since 1996. Prior to MGC, Suzanne was Associate Director at Oregon’s Institute for Science, Engineering and Public Policy (ISEPP).

Erich is the new General Manager of the MGC Mechanical Analysis Division (MAD), formed after the acquisition of Flomerics plc by MGC in August 2008. Joining MAD in August 2009, Erich is based in the UK at Hampton Court, Surrey, KT8 9HH.

Erich Buergel reports to Henry Potts, VP & GM of the MGC Systems Design Division (SDD). Mr. Potts is headquartered in Longmont, CO.

The San Jose CA location of the November meeting with Suzanne and Erich was familiar territory to me, since I was once based precisely there as GM of MGC’s PCB Division in the early nineties. Formerly a mere 10 mile commute from my original California home in Fremont, 1001 Ridder Park Drive in San Jose is a more formidable 55 miles from my current Henke Associates’ office in Albany CA.

As it happens, the present MGC System Design Division is now the Longmont CO-based successor of the MGC PCB Division that was once headquartered in San Jose CA.

Suzanne and Erich were in San Jose as part of a week-long series of press meetings across the USA established to introduce MAD in general and Dr. Buergel in particular. The two travelers had already been to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and New Mexico before ending their tour in California. Since we at IBSystems had chosen the topic for this EDA Weekly article some weeks before we found out that the MGC press tour would include San Jose on its itinerary, I decided to use the MGC press tour calendar to meet these two key MGC individuals in person.

(Director of SDD Systems Worldwide Market Development John Isaac was also a part of the week-long MGC press tour, but he missed the sessions in New Mexico & California on other business. John has been with MGC for most of the last 20 years and did a prior stint at IBM after earning his BSEE at Rensselaer).

Dr. Buergel’s Background:

Erich Buergel was born and grew up in the Würzburg area of Germany. Würzburg is situated near the northern tip of Bavaria, approximately 75 miles southeast of Frankfurt.

After finishing high school, Erich fulfilled his army service obligation and toiled for a year working in underground mines in two countries. In 1977 he entered the Technical University of Clausthal located in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany, 60 miles south of Hannover. (TU Clausthal was founded in 1775). Erich earned a Mining Engineering Degree there in 1982 (equivalent to a Master’s Degree in the USA). Below is the TU Clausthal Institute of Mining.

Then from 1983 to 1987 Erich completed a PhD in Applied Mechanics/Fluid Mechanics at TU Clausthal, providing a technical background that would serve him well throughout his career to date, and most certainly in his new General Manager position at MGC MAD.

Upon receiving his doctorate, Erich was hired by the Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) office in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he spent the next 13 years (till 2002), eventually helping build SDRC software & services revenues from that office alone from $40 million/year in 1987 to $67 million/year in 2001. (Coincidentally, I was the COO of the Ohio-headquartered SDRC (1972-1982), when we first sent our Wayne McClelland to Wiesbaden in 1980 to establish that Wiesbaden office, the third European office we had started with expatriates (others were London 1976 & Paris 1977)).

While at SDRC, Erich also managed to earn a BBA Degree from the Graduate School of Business Administration in Zürich, Switzerland during 1994-1995.

Erich chose to leave SDRC in 2002 (after EDS acquired SDRC). He next held several independent consulting and other positions inside Germany from 2002 to 2006:

  2002 – 2004      PEOPLEPOWER.Net, Coach and Trainer within that partner network

2004 – 2006      STEINHILBER SCHWEHR (StS) AG, Rottweil/Germany

In 2006, Erich joined MSC.Software Corporation Europe and spent the next four years there, ending up as VP/Automotive Industry for MSC Europe. (Again, there is a mild parallel here between Erich and me; I served on the MSC Board of Directors from 1995-96 while Dr. Richard MacNeal was still Chairman & CEO, and then I became a consultant to the new MSC CEO Mr. Tom Curry from 1996-97. (The latter was my first independent consulting gig after leaving the MGC in March 1996. Working as a liaison with MSC Europe was part of my MSC assignment for Tom)).

Erich’s time at SDRC and MSC are particularly significant to his new position at MGC. For it was during those SDRC and MSC assignments that Erich skillfully leveraged his engineering mechanics education and successfully refined his approach to effective customer implementation of software and services in “concurrent or simultaneous engineering” initially fostered by SDRC in the 70’s and 80’s. This concurrent approach is pivotal to Erich’s ongoing customer-oriented philosophy at MAD, as we’ll see in the sequel.

As implied earlier, the Mechanical Analysis Division (MAD) of MGC today consists essentially of the intact firm of Flomerics, Inc., originally founded in 1988 in Europe by Messrs. David Tatchell and Harvey Rosten. After MGC completed the acquisition of Flomerics in 2008, MGC began to supply only the corporate service functions of finance, legal, HR, PR, etc., leaving the rest of the Flomerics’ worldwide organization in place.

The two founders of Flomerics had worked together in the seventies pioneering the commercial availability of what are now widely known as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technologies. Seeing a possible market opportunity, they decided to form a company in ’88 to develop software to simulate the thermal behavior of electronic systems before actual hardware prototypes are built. Mr. Tatchell became CEO and served in that capacity till 2006. Mr. Rosten drove the initial software development effort, but sadly he passed away prematurely in 1997 of a brain tumor.

Since then, several other CFD software vendors have also emerged around the world, but as recently as 2008, Flomerics’ first thermal analysis software product FloTHERM (released in 1989) enjoyed the leading worldwide market share with a 2008 client list that included virtually all the major electronics companies around the world.

Flomerics' second product, FloVENT, was released in early 1990. This product simulates airflow in buildings and is used to optimize heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

In 1995 Flomerics went public with a listing on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market.

In 2005 Flomerics acquired the Hungarian-based thermal test equipment company, MicReD. The addition of this technology to Flomerics' portfolio represented an important step in providing a complete, integrated solution to customers in the electronics industry.

In 2006 Flomerics acquired the German-based company Nika GmbH together with a new breed of CFD software (now called FloEFD) that could be fully embedded in the mainstream mechanical design environment (e.g. Dassault Systemes & PTC) and enables mechanical design engineers to analyze and optimize complex fluid flow and heat transfer processes across a wide range of products and industries. Some seven key technologies distinguish the EFD product family from traditional CFD software, arguably making it quicker and easier to use, more robust, and more accurate. Today, the FloEFD product family is tightly embedded with leading 3D mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) software such as SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER and CATIA V5.

The Nika GmbH acquisition also gave Flomerics access to a Russian software development team in Moscow, and this team remains available to this day to MGC MAD, along with the original Flomerics development teams in Nottingham and London.

In early 2008, Flomerics celebrated its 20th anniversary as an independent company, placing it into an elite group of companies that had survived for two decades. According to Mr. Tatchell, this landmark was a testimony to the company's high-integrity, people-oriented culture and its core concept of delivering engineering simulation software for use by designers and engineers rather than just full-time analysts and specialists. In early 2008, Flomerics had just completed a record-breaking fiscal year wherein it had achieved a new high in revenue and had seen its worldwide customer base grow to over 2,500 sites and over 7,000 individuals.

Speaking in late January 2008, Flomerics’ Marketing Director Mark Reynell said, "Over the past 20 years the market has clearly validated our approach of embedding powerful simulation software into the heart of our customers' design processes. The key is to make simulation software easy to use for the people with the responsibility for developing innovative products and processes that drive their own companies' successes. We are now targeting a much broader range of the engineering market while remaining true to the vision of our founders by providing CFD software with a simple interface and automated capabilities that enable it to be used as part of the mainstream product development process. We will continue to move forward over the next 20 years by targeting ever broader sections of the market with simulation software that accelerates product design,”

At this juncture, Flomerics operated two main offices, one in England called FLOMERICS LIMITED, 81 Bridge Road, Hampton Court, Surrey KT8 9HH; and the second in the USA called Flomerics Inc. US Headquarters, 4 Mount Royal Ave., Suite 450, Marlborough, MA 01752, along with many regional offices worldwide.

In early 2009, Flomerics had some 220 employees worldwide and its top five executives were as follows:

Dr. Gary Christopher Carter 
Chief Executive Officer
Age: 49 

Mr. Keith Butcher
Group Finance Director
Age: 46 

Mr. Mike Reynell
Director of Marketing and Director of Flomerics Limited
Age: 50 

Mr. Paul Ramshaw
Regional Director of Asia Pacific and Director of Flomerics Limited
Age: 47 

Ms. Barbara Evans
Director of Software Development and Director of Flomerics Limited
Age: 56

Gary Christopher Carter had been Chief Executive Officer of Flomerics Group Plc since September 9, 2005. Following industry experience with the Aero-engine division of Rolls-Royce, Dr. Carter moved into the world of engineering simulation software where he spent seventeen years working with Aveva, PDA Engineering and MSC.Software. Dr. Carter had also served as Chief Operating Officer of Flomerics Group Plc since January 10, 2005. He joined Flomerics in January 2005. Prior to that, Dr. Carter was Managing Director and Vice President of European Sales of ANSYS, Inc. He held various development, support, sales and marketing roles at ANSYS. He had been an Executive Director of Flomerics Group Plc since January 21, 2005. Mr. Carter further served as a Director of ANSYS Europe Limited and ANSYS France, and as a Director of ASN Systems Limited and CFX Limited. He studied Mathematics at Leeds University followed by a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics.

MGC and Flomerics:

According to Erich Buergel, Flomerics itself had in the past, on its own, developed interfaces to certain MGC software products as ways to assist Flomerics’ customers.

Mentor Graphics became interested in closer ties to Flomerics, and by the end of March 2008 MGC had acquired 26% of Flomerics in two transactions. First, MGC bought a 20% stake in Flomerics from Pricap Venture Partners AG. Then a week later investment group Bluehone sold its 6% stake in Flomerics to MGC on March 18, 2008 at a 67% premium over market price at the time of the sale. There were definite suggestions at the time that MGC was eventually looking to acquire all of Flomerics.

Alas, the path to full MGC acquisition was not so smooth. MGC’s first offer to acquire the rest of Flomerics occurred in April or early May 2008, but the unsolicited MGC cash offer was rejected by Flomerics’ board of directors as being too low. For its part, MGC maintained that the offer valued Flomerics at $49.7 million, which represented a premium of 19% to the closing price per Flomerics share on May 8, 2008. Flomerics stated at the time that it intended to explore other alternatives, including potential interest expressed by other parties such as Autodesk. Flomerics shares surged the day after rejecting the MGC buyout offer.

MGC apparently made several more bids to buy out Flomerics, but at the same price as originally proffered, and Flomerics rejected each of these offers. In early June 2008, Autodesk indeed confirmed its interest in Flomerics.

MGC was distracted later in June 2008 when an unsolicited offer from rival Cadence to acquire all of MGC itself for some $ 1.6 billion became public information.

A Major Distraction, more so for Cadence than MGC, as it turned out:

Indeed, CADENCE (San Jose, CA) had been in fact pursuing MGC in the spring of 2008. CADENCE, SYNOPSYS, and MGC were during Q2 2008 the Big 3 EDA vendors, in that order revenue size-wise. Founded in 1981, MGC had reported revenues in 2007 of about $850 million. CADENCE was founded in 1988 and sported revenues of more than $1,600 million in 2007.

Rumor had it that CADENCE several months earlier had privately approached MGC on a “friendly basis” regarding an all-cash acquisition, but CADENCE was privately rebuffed. Then on June 17, 2008, CADENCE revealed publicly that its offer to MGC was for $16 per share, a 30% premium over MGC’s closing price on June 16, 2008. Industry sources then reported that CADENCE had just switched strategies and had begun pursuing a hostile takeover of MGC.

MGC immediately issued a public statement again rejecting the CADENCE offer on two grounds - that it was too low and that the merger would have trouble passing federal antitrust review. "For these and other reasons, our board unanimously rejected the proposal," wrote MGC CEO Dr. Walden Rhines at the time. (Dr. Rhines had joined MGC in 1993 from TI).

For its part, CADENCE downplayed the possible antitrust issue. CADENCE also claimed that the merger “would lower software costs and benefit electronics makers because CADENCE and MGC could “share” sales and administrative staffs”. Further, then-current CADENCE CEO Mike Fister argued at the time that the software products of CADENCE and MGC were “complementary”. (Mr. Fister had joined CADENCE in 2004 from Intel).

But by August 15, 2008, Cadence finally grew tired of the effort and officially called off its $16 per share ($1.6 billion) hostile bid to acquire MGC.

Shareholders immediately expressed their opinions of this news. Shares of Cadence surged 7% during the August 15, 2008 trading session to close at $7.64 a share, while shares of MGC tanked, falling 26% to close at $10.33.

Once MGC had publicly rebuffed Cadence’s original $16 a share offer in June 2008, industry insiders said that thereafter Cadence had trouble obtaining reasonable funding terms for the more than $1.1 billion that would have been needed to do the deal, a task made more troublesome after Cadence drastically lowered its 2008 year-end guidance in late July 2008. "Although we achieved our second-quarter (2008) numbers, it was more difficult than we planned,” CEO Mike Fister said at the time.

Ultimately, the failed attempt of Cadence to take over MGC during the summer of 2008 was directly connected to the fresh news that broke on October 15, 2008, that the CEO of Cadence Mike Fister and four of his top executives had “resigned” from Cadence. Shares of Cadence, which had already lost three quarters of their value over the previous 12 months, immediately went down another 12% to $4.68 upon the news release of October 15, 2008 (Cadence closed at $4.51 per share on Friday October 17, 2008, leaving a dismal market cap of $1.17 billion).

Combined with the deteriorating revenues, earnings, and stock price endured by Cadence in previous quarters, the failed takeover of MGC meant that top management changes at Cadence were arguably inevitable. It is said at the time by EDA insiders that Mike Fister was already out interviewing other companies for a new position in the months prior to October 15, 2008. In addition to the aborted MGC bid, Cadence's inability to sell itself to a private equity firm in 2007 and an expensive Cadence share buyback were also causes for Mr. Fister's resignation

It can fairly be said that Cadence had also made some poor product decisions during Mr. Fister’s four-year reign. It did not focus on expansion into key areas such as system level design nor into FPGA markets. Cadence also cut back its involvement in EDAC and halted its appearances at the industry’s main trade show, the Design Automation Conference DAC). Finally, EDA industry analyst Gary Smith claimed that Mr. Fister had shifted the Cadence away from industry-standard two- or three-year product & service license contracts toward five-year agreements, enabling Cadence to book more revenue up front. The shift to longer contracts "insulated their actual earnings for three years. At the end of three years, the bubble popped," Smith asserted.

(Of course, Bush 43’s second economic recession that began in December 2007, didn’t help Cadence either. Indeed, even MGC’s market cap had deteriorated to only $761 million as of October 17, 2008, and rival Synopsys’ market cap had declined some, although it was still a very healthy $2.63 billion on October 17, 2008).

Back to MGC and Flomerics, circa mid-2008:

In late June 2008, both Autodesk and Flomerics suddenly announced that Autodesk would not pursue its interest in Flomerics, leaving the field clear once again for MGC.

By early July 2008, reports began to appear in the press that MGC had increased its full acquisition offer to Flomerics, valuing the latter at $60 million.

Finally, on October 9, 2008, the announcement came out publicly that the MGC acquisition was at last consummated. MGC had apparently agreed to pay about $2.43 per share, or about $60 million, for Flomerics Group PLC (MGC’s original offer was ~$2.07 per share). The $60 million purchase price represented a 37% premium over the closing price on May 8, 2008, the day before MGC made its initial offer for the rest of Flomerics' shares. (By the way, Flomerics had announced in April 2008 record full-year revenues of $31.8 million. Adjusted pretax losses were $2.54 million).

Gary Carter, former CEO of Flomerics, was immediately named General Manager of the new MGC division, reporting to Henry Potts of MGC SDD. At the time, MGC said in a statement that the complete acquisition of Flomerics not only complemented MGC’s then-current offerings in printed circuit board systems design with advanced electronic cooling thermal analysis capabilities typically used by mechanical engineers, but also it broadened MGC’s product offerings into the engineering fluid dynamics (EFD) market for mechanical computer aided design analysis.

"As a supplier of design automation software, we must consider the entire product development process and provide analysis and collaboration tools wherever we can help our customers be more competitive. As the provider of the world’s most advanced computational fluid dynamics products, Flomerics products fall squarely into this strategy. Additionally, we see significant potential with the EFD products that address multiple analysis applications in many industries," said Potts. (These statements by MGC were music to my ears at the time, since that was precisely the strategy that the MGC PCB Division was following in the early nineties. By 1993, we had already introduced our own thermal analysis software (Autotherm), as well as connections to MCAD software such as Dassault Systems CATIA and with other MCAD vendors via a partnership with ITI. We also initiated strategic partnerships for PCB BoardStation and for MCM Station with Cooper-Chyan for their Batch Gridless Router, Quad Design for their circuit crosstalk analysis, TI, SDRC, and others. We also sought and landed over $6 million in R&D funding from DARPA, the first contract of its kind ever closed by MGC).

Also at the time of the Flomerics acquisition by MGC, Gary Carter added that with MGC's global strength and greater financial resources, "The success and potential of Flomerics' technology, technical expertise, and customer relationships can be better cultivated and significantly enhanced."

MAD GM Gary Carter subsequently resigned from MGC in early 2009 and left the company. The search for a replacement was led by Henry Potts of SDD and ultimately led to the hiring of Dr. Buergel in August of 2009 as the new GM of MAD.

Back to the Present:

In answer to a question during our November 2009 meeting, Dr. Buergel stated that Flomerics previous revenue performance had continued apace after being absorbed into MGC as the Mechanical Analysis Division. Part of the strategy was and remains to keep the previous Flomerics sales and support force intact and separate from the existing MGC EDA sales force, since MAD serves a different market than EDA and the Flomerics team had and must maintain the CFD and MCAD experience, contacts, and industry knowledge. Indeed, the original regional sales offices of Flomerics have been kept separate by MAD from the existing MGC EDA sales offices, although some physical facilities consolidation will likely occur over time.

Dr. Buergel enthusiastically emphasizes the concurrent engineering sales approach that he had absorbed from his SDRC and MGC days, and he wants to continue to emphasize it in MAD. He leapt to the whiteboard during the November 2009 meeting to sketch out a 3-axis Cartesian coordinate system. On the x-axis he placed a dot representing a customer’s “software product knowledge” before MAD gets involved. On the y-axis he placed a dot signifying a customer’s initial “process” knowledge. On the z-axis he placed a dot signifying a customer’s “people awareness”.

On the white board, Burgel then connected the three dots on the x, y and z axes with straight lines. Together with the origin, a sketch of a tetrahedron was created, the volume of which was meant to represent a customer’s initial capabilities prior to a sale. He then stated that in the past, traditional vendors sold software to customers with the single goal of increasing only software knowledge. Even if this goal were accomplished once the customer successfully installed and operated the software, and the dot on the x-axis moved out in the positive direction, the overall volume of the tetrahedron was only increased marginally. However, if the vendor’s approach to working with the customer could advance all three dots, by simultaneously helping the customer increase software product knowledge on the x axis, as well as process and people knowledge on the y and z axes, the tetrahedron’s volume would increase dramatically, providing significantly larger increases in customer productivity. This, Buergel asserted, is the philosophy he will continue to champion at MAD.

Market Share:

Dr. Buergel said that as of mid-2009, MGC held a 36% share of the worldwide PCB market. (The MGC PCB Division first achieved market leadership status vs. competition in 1992). The nearest PCB competitor today is Cadence, with a 21% worldwide market share circa mid-2009. Moreover, with MAD in place, MGC owns a whopping 78% of the worldwide PCB thermal analysis market with FloTHERM. Zuken is second at 20%.

In North America, MGC owns 44% of the PCB market, and in Europe 51%.

Dr. Buergel next launched into a discussion of the details of the Mechanical Analysis Division and the markets MAD is currently pursuing. To illustrate his comments, he continued to use projected slides, some of which are reproduced in the sequel.

Dr. Buergel first presented the main software product thrusts of MAD, which are in fact the same three products that Flomerics was selling pre-acquisition (FloTHERM, FloVENT, and FloEFD). However, MAD is recently emphasizing very strongly the concurrent engineering approach as a paradigm shift in the design of electronic products by combining EDA with MCAD and CFD analysis.

Next the slide below was shown that depicted how a PCB Electrical Designer can use MGC PCB software tools to design a printed circuit board, and then execute an immediate thermal analysis of that board itself in operation, producing the colored temperature profiles and identifying potential hot spots. As various PCB’s are similarly designed and analyzed, they may be inserted into a larger product enclosure, and the mechanical designer can then explore the overall thermal behavior of the assembly using MAD software tools.

An actual HP example of Thermal Design of Electronic Equipment is depicted on the following slide, along with a brief testimonial from the HP Thermal Analyst.

Next, some typical applications were shown where FloVENT could be leveraged, such as in data centers, auto & airplane interior, clean rooms, contamination modeling, building heating and A/C, comfort modeling and external building airflow.

For FloVENT, a case history was discussed which matched software predicted HVAC results to actual test results after a building was constructed, showing excellent correlation, along with the engineer’s testimonial.

Next, Dr. Burgel used the “old brick wall separation” analogy between typical mechanical designers and CFD-trained analysts that exists when MCAD software and CFD software are not tightly integrated. He then compared and contrasted this classical scenario with the newer situation wherein the CFD software code has been embedded, allowing designers to carry out many more iterations. See the slide below.

The clear benefits of using Concurrent Design Engineering and CFD analysis were graphically displayed on the next slide, wherein successful designs using Concurrent CFD can be produced in 25% to 35% of the elapsed time needed for Conventional CFD (i.e. “over the brick wall”). The latter often leads to a sub optimal design, missed market windows and multiple hardware prototypes and re-spins.

A Graco Spray Gun development was then presented as a case history, wherein a Graco product design engineer was able to use MGC MAD’s concurrent CFD via FloEFD to design an optimized Spray Gun in 1/3 the time of old techniques.

FloEFD Live Demo by the new General Manager:

During our November meeting, to demonstrate how user-friendly the MAD FloEFD software product is, Dr. Buergel next turned to his laptop computer and brought up the FloEFD version embedded in Dassault Systems’ Solidworks. The laptop had been interconnected to a slide projector for ease of viewing. While the example chosen was a simple pipe valve, Dr. Buergel personally performed the demo, setting up the geometry as a solid model, establishing boundary conditions and fluid pressure differentials, generating a Cartesian mesh automatically, running the iterative CFD analyses, and displaying the initial CFD results in colorful animated fluid flow vectors.

When unacceptable turbulence in the fluid flow was readily evident from the animation, Dr. Buergel input a simple design change to the pipe valve geometry, re-ran the analysis, and the resulting improvement from the design modification was obvious from the improved flow animation. All this was done in a matter of ten minutes by a general manager who confessed to only an hour’s user training. The ease-of-use demonstration session was absolutely genuine and live, as Dr. Buergel made an unexpected error during the process, and he was able to correct the model in real time using the guidance supplied by the software itself.

Another More Complex Success Story:

“Azonix used FloEFD to reduce the number of thermal prototypes required from up to 12 to 1 on its new Terra embedded computer”.

Go to this URL:


Market Size and Customer Logo’s:

Dr. Buergel stated his firm belief that there are 10 to 15 times as many potential users of CAD-embedded CFD in the marketplace, than there are general-purpose CFD analyst users. He estimates the population of general purpose CFD users as numbering in the hundred thousands, and accordingly, the number of potential CAD-embedded CFD users are in the millions.

Nearing the conclusion of his slide pitch, Dr. Buergel showed an obligatory customer logo’s slide, depicting the extent of MGC MAD customer satisfaction.

Unanswered Questions:

Midway in our initial meeting in San Jose, it had became clear that the time set aside by Erich and Suzanne would be inadequate during the meeting to get to all the interview questions that this writer had assembled in advance. Dr. Buergel offered to answer follow up questions subsequent to the meeting that the writer would submit through Suzanne. Within two days after the November meeting, this writer had shortened his “unanswered questions list” and had the list sent to Suzanne. Unfortunately, Suzanne anticipated that Dr. Buergel would not be able to get to all the questions until after the deadline for this article. This turn of events suggests an opportunity for a follow up interview and new article down the road, perhaps sometime in 2010, to not only get to those unanswered questions, but also to again gauge the level of MGC MAD progress at that later time.

Dr. Buergel did get a couple answers in just before the writer’s deadline. Here are the questions and Dr. Buergel’s answers:

Henke: What key goals would you like to achieve in the next year? Next three years?

Buergel: Profitable Growth above market average

Henke: Do you have a written business plan for MAD? Do you believe in detailed business planning?

Buergel: Yes. I believe in the “5Ps” = Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance


Dr. Buergel wrapped up the November 2009 session by repeating these conclusions:


Further Reading:

1. Six part Series for Engineering Fluid Dynamics:


2. Also, go to the following URL:


and request this whitepaper (MIDDLE OF WEB PAGE, LEFT SIDE):

CFD for Mechanical Design Engineers - “A Paradigm Shift for Better Design”

This paper provides CIMdata’s perspective on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis; the motivations for its use, its value and future, and the importance for making CFD available to all engineers earlier in the product design/development lifecycle. It also describes Mentor Graphics’ FloEFD CFD analysis solution that is designed to provide product designers and engineers with direct access to CFD techniques directly in their design (CAD) environment. The following sections address:

  * CFD Market Drivers—a brief review of the challenges that affect, and impacts from the early use of CFD within an overall Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) strategy
  * Value of Earlier Use of CFD—a brief discussion of the benefits associated with early use of CFD
  * Mentor Graphics’ Approach and CFD Solution—how FloEFD enables early use of CFD by designers
  * Summary and Concluding Comments—a brief summary of the paper along with concluding remarks


The MGC press tour mentioned in this article continued in November 2009 with a session in Portland, and then in December 2009, with sessions in London, Munich, Paris, Frankfurt, Beijing and Tokyo.



With apologies in advance for any inadvertent omissions, the writer would like to acknowledge the direct or indirect support of the following individuals or sources in the preparation of this EDA Weekly article: Kathy Brost, Erich Buergel, Kim Coxe, Suzanne Graham, John Isaac, Nazita Save, Larry Toda, and David Wiens of Mentor Graphics; CIMdata; EE Times (John Walko, et al); NAFEMS; Reuters UK; Earth Times Online; Pointwise, Inc.; former SDRC colleagues Ed Carl & Wayne McClelland; and last but not least Sanjay Gangal, Adam Heller, David Heller, Jon Heller, and Sumit Singhal of IBSystems, Inc.


Since 1996, Dr. Russ Henke has been president of HENKE ASSOCIATES, a San Francisco Bay Area high-tech business & management consulting firm. The number of client companies for Henke Associates now numbers more than forty. During his corporate career, Henke operated sequentially on "both sides" of MCAE/MCAD and EDA, as a user and as a vendor. He's a veteran corporate executive from Cincinnati Milacron, SDRC, Schlumberger Applicon, Gould Electronics, ATP, and Mentor Graphics. Henke is a Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and served on the SME International Board of Directors. He is also a member of the IEEE and a Life Fellow of ASME International. In April 2006, Dr. Henke received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from The CAD Society, presented by CAD Society president Jeff Rowe at COFES2006 in Scottsdale, AZ. In February 2007, Henke became affiliated with Cyon Research's select group of experts on business and technology issues as a Senior Analyst. This Cyon Research connection aids and supplements Henke's ongoing, independent consulting practice (HENKE ASSOCIATES).

Since May 2003 Russ Henke has (along with Jack Horgan) now published a total of eighty-four (84) independent articles on MCAD, PLM, EDA and Electronics IP on IBSystems' MCADCafé and EDACafé. Further information on HENKE ASSOCIATES, & the full Planning Tool Kit Special Promotion, etc., is available at http://www.henkeassociates.net. March 31, 2010 will mark the 14th Anniversary of the founding of HENKE ASSOCIATES.

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-- Russ Henke, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.