Joshua Dijksman 

Associate Professor
University of Amsterdam

Fellowship project title: DEMpub – making particulate fluids simulations transparent to the public   

The goal: This project aims to improve training methods that introduce new users to the computational science behind simulating the physical behavior of powders and grains. 

The why: Powders and grains are everywhere in nature and industry. Their mechanical behaviour is very unusual: these materials can flow like a liquid and be rigid like a solid. Think of the behaviour of sand in an hourglass. The modelling of this behaviour is challenging and relies on computer simulations. The most widely used approached is that of “Discrete Element” methods or DEM, in which the physics of every powder particle or grain is taken into account. Over the last 50 years, DEM has become very useful as both computer software and hardware have progressed. Still, DEM is hard to learn and develop as there is no standardization and many different software implementations exist. To consistently train DEM experts, we develop a MOOC that is freely accessible for all interested learners. By introducing DEM users in a structured way, the MOOC enhances standardization and usefulness of DEM software in the community. 


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University of Amsterdam