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   Another important project has           FIGURE 4. A screenshot of the app created    using apps, such as creating a more
been carried out with scientists at        for Xerox based on the underlying model for  collaborative and ef cient product
Xerox led by Dr. Peter Paul, where         inductive loop sensing.                      development cycle.
they contributed to the development
of novel inductive loop sensing               "With simulation apps, you can            ð FROM STUDENTS TO
systems that can be used in vehicle        easily customize the user interface and      ENTREPRENEURS
transportation projects. Along with        include parameters that are of interest
monitoring and managing traf c             to different companies, which is a very      Simulation tools are also an engaging
control, the remote sensing technology     useful feature,” Furlani stated.             way to help students enhance their
                                                                                        engineering skills. Because apps are
 “With simulation                             Such customization and exibility          designed to hide the complexity of the
                                           is complemented by the new ease of           underlying model, they can serve as
   apps, you can                           communicating to and throughout              a helpful guide to students who are
   easily customize                        organizations. The need for an               newer to simulation or the COMSOL
   the user interface                      end user to use COMSOL Multiphysics          software. As they become more
   and include                             is essentially eliminated through the        acquainted with the different features
   parameters that                         installation of COMSOL Server, which         and functionality, students can begin to
   are of interest                         provides access to apps. By bringing         delve deeper and learn how to utilize
   to different                            simulation capabilities into the hands of    new tools.
   companies, which                        more people within the organization,
   is a very useful                        design changes can be addressed more            Aside from serving as a helpful
   feature.”                               ef ciently with ensured accuracy. The        introduction to the software, students
                                           teams at Vader Systems and Xerox             have the opportunity to engage with
    —EDWARD FURLANI, PROFESSOR             (whose app is shown in Figure 4) have        the business side of creating apps.
     IN THE ENGINEERING SCHOOL,            already experienced the bene ts of           Designing an app, Furlani notes, is not
     UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO                                                              a one-step process. "There is also the
                                                                                        work that goes into maintaining it,"
could also prompt new techniques for                                                    he said. "It is important that you stand
collecting traf c data.                                                                 by and provide support to customers,
                                                                                        offering them help and engaging with
   Maximizing the performance of the                                                    them as they need it."
systems requires an understanding of
the electromagnetic coupling between                                                       In this sense, the art and science of
the sensing coils that are embedded in                                                  building apps develops business skills as
the pavement and ferrous and metallic                                                   students learn how to address questions
components of the vehicle, such as                                                      and requests from customers in a timely
wheels and axles. Here the team used                                                    manner. And by building apps on their
COMSOL Multiphysics to perform                                                          own, students are adjusting to a new
simulation studies to see how the coil                                                  wave of simulation-led design, one that
inductance changes as a function of                                                     opens the door to greater freedom,
the position and motion of aluminum
wheels and tires that contain steel belts                                                exibility, and entrepreneurship. v
(see Figure 3).
                                           FIGURE 5. Members of Furlani's group (from left to right): Dante Iozzo, Mike Tong, Xiaozheng Xue,
   While working on these and other        Aditi Verma, Edward P. Furlani, Ioannis Karampelas, Viktor Sukhotskiy, Gouray Garg, and Kai Liu.
projects, the need to involve more
people in the design work ow for each
of the projects became evident very
quickly. With the underlying models
established, the team sought to create
an interactive tool that could include
more people while meeting their
individual needs. The answer came,
once again, in the form of building
custom applications.

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