8 Mar 2018 Edinburgh09:30 - 16:00

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You are invited to join us at COMSOL Day Edinburgh for a day of multiphysics modeling training, talks by invited speakers, and the opportunity to exchange ideas with other simulation specialists in the COMSOL community.

View the schedule for minicourse topics and presentation details. Register for free today.



This introductory demonstration will show you the fundamental workflow of the COMSOL Multiphysics® modeling environment. We will cover all of the key modeling steps, including geometry creation, setting up physics, meshing, solving, and postprocessing.

Coffee Break
Invited Speakers
James Windmill, University of Strathclyde

Insect Ears as Inspiration for Acoustic Systems

Taking inspiration from insect ears to develop acoustic devices is not new. Ongoing research that takes inspiration from the highly directional, subwavelength ear of an Ormia fly to produce miniature directional microphones is a well-known example. Since the 1990s, researchers have tried to implement Ormia-based MEMS devices, typically using standard silicon or similar microfabrication techniques. Much of this time has been spent trying to circumvent the fact that Ormia flies evolved to hear one specific frequency, that of a calling cricket, and thus is not a broadband system as you would require for an audio microphone. Further, building a silicon system inspired by the mechanics of insect cuticle leads to various compromises.

This presentation will discuss ongoing research at Strathclyde on the design, modeling, and microfabrication of acoustic devices inspired by an Ormia system. The talk will also describe work by the Strathclyde team on other biological acoustic systems, in parallel with ongoing development of further bioinspired and other acoustic devices. This will include our work on producing wide-bandwidth ultrasonic devices, passive mechanical frequency analyzers, and acoustic metamaterials.

Mark-Paul Buckingham, Xi Engineering Consultants Ltd.

Engineering Multiple-Award-Winning Headphones Using COMSOL Multiphysics®

Xi Engineering assisted Warwick Audio to optimize the response of their SONOMA Model One electrostatic headphones. The headphones were launched in 2017 and have since won multiple industry awards, including the Product of the Year award from Tone Audio.

This presentation will cover the interactive design of electrostatic headphones using the COMSOL® software. Mark-Paul will discuss how to build a fully coupled MEMS-acoustic interaction model of electrostatic headphones in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. The dynamics of an electrostatic speaker is a true multiphysics phenomenon that involves the nonlinear relationship of structural mechanics, electrostatics, electrical conduction, and acoustics. Many interrelated design elements affect the device's frequency response and the user's listening experience.

You will also learn about how Xi Engineering Consultants used simulation apps and COMSOL Server™ to create a more streamlined and interactive design process. Adopting this approach significantly accelerated the development of the project whilst saving costs on prototyping. If you want to hear the sublime sound achieved by this innovative collaboration, there will be a pair of Sonoma Model One headphones on demonstration during the day.

Coffee Break

Learn how to convert a model into a custom app using the Application Builder, which is included in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. You can upload your apps to a COMSOL Server™ installation to access and run the apps from anywhere within your organization.

Break for Lunch
Minicourse Parallel Session:
Equation-Based Modeling

Partial differential equations (PDEs) constitute the mathematical foundation to describe the laws of physics. This minicourse will introduce you to the techniques for constructing your own linear or nonlinear PDE systems in COMSOL Multiphysics® and will also include how to add ordinary differential equations (ODEs) and algebraic equations to your models to include advanced functionality in your simulations, such as PID control.

Subsurface Flow

Learn how to simulate typical hydrology problems using the Subsurface Flow Module with COMSOL Multiphysics®. Multiphysics capabilities including two-phase and variably saturated flows, solute transport, and poroelasticity will be introduced. The capabilities of this module are further complemented by the Geomechanics Module and we will highlight the key features before a live demo.

Coffee Break
Minicourse Parallel Session:
High-Frequency Electromagnetics

In order to solve the wide spectrum of electromagnetics applications, COMSOL Multiphysics® offers a suite of electromagnetics modules. A review of the different modeling approaches for solving high-frequency electromagnetics within COMSOL Multiphysics® will be given along with examples of when to consider the RF Module, Wave Optics Module, and Ray Optics Module.

Acoustics and Vibrations

This minicourse will provide an introduction to the capabilities of COMSOL Multiphysics® for modeling acoustic waves and structural vibrations, as well as the interaction between the two. It will include an overview of the software’s functionality, as well as a live demo. Some tips and tricks for improving model accuracy and runtime, as well as some advanced postprocessing techniques, will also be presented.

Coffee Break
Minicourse Parallel Session:
Low-Frequency Electromagnetics

When the wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation is considerably greater than the length scale of your object, the wave propagation through your object can be neglected and a quasi-steady-state problem can be solved. This minicourse will explore the capabilities of COMSOL Multiphysics® for modeling electromagnetics applications in the static and low-frequency regimes using the AC/DC Module. This course will include a review of how current-carrying coils can be modeled to compute the magnetic field and induced currents.


When presenting your results, the quality of your postprocessing will determine the impact of your presentation. This minicourse will explore the many tools in the Results node designed to make your data look its best. These include mirroring, revolving symmetric data, cut planes, cut lines, exporting data, joining or comparing multiple data sets, as well as animations.


COMSOL Day Details


Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor
5-21 Grosvenor St
Edinburgh EH12 5EF

COMSOL Speakers

Andrew Young
Andrew Young is a technical manager at COMSOL, specializing in heat transfer and fluid flow. He studied mathematics at the University of Strathclyde, where he also earned his EngD in medical devices. His research involved the CFD analysis of patient-specific cardiovascular modeling.
Ben Baker
Ben Baker joined COMSOL in 2016 as an Academic Sales Engineer. He received his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Brighton in 2014.
Richard Chippendale
Richard Chippendale is an applications engineer at COMSOL. He completed his PhD at the University of Southampton, investigating the interaction of lightning strikes with carbon fiber composites. He then spent four years as a research fellow, focusing on high-voltage cable simulations for both the onshore and offshore sector.
Wen Zhang
Wen Zhang is currently the managing director of the COMSOL UK office. She received her PhD in semiconductor and optoelectronic devices from the University of Southampton.
James Windmill
University of Strathclyde
Prof. James Windmill has a degree and PhD in electronics engineering. After his PhD, his postdoctoral work concentrated on exploring the nanoscale mechanics of insect auditory systems using engineering techniques. In 2008, he joined the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow as a lecturer in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. In 2017, he was promoted to full professor at Strathclyde. As a senior member of Strathclyde’s Centre for Ultrasonic Engineering, his main research interest is combining his ongoing exploration of insect hearing with the conception, development, and application of new biologically inspired transducer and sensor systems.
Mark-Paul Buckingham
Xi Engineering Consultants Ltd.
Dr. Mark-Paul Buckingham is the managing director of Xi Engineering Consultants Ltd. He achieved first-class honors in mechanical engineering at the University of Edinburgh and also completed a PhD in mechanical engineering, specializing in measurement of vibration reduction. He then formed his first company, Reactec Ltd., a spinoff from the university. Reactec launched and created a product for the prevention of vibration-induced diseases, such as hand-arm vibration. In 2011, he split off the consulting branch of Reactec to form Xi Engineering Consultants. Xi Engineering specializes in accelerating R&D and solving complex engineering challenges. Xi Engineering helps clients optimize their products by combining advanced multiphysics modeling and exacting measurement.

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