President's Message - May 2018: Donkey Lessons and Houston Meeting

Donkey Lessons and Houston Meeting

This is Natasha, a donkey. She’s friendly, loves to have her ears rubbed, and enjoys playful tussles with her partner Boris. She’s bright and curious. True to her donkey nature, she questions authority. But Natasha’s not stubborn, she’s just being thoughtful and wants evidence that her following you will lead to a good outcome. If you can provide convincing evidence, then she will gladly follow. Otherwise, you’re dragging a 600-pound donkey.

Speaking of validated evidence, that’s a topic at our upcoming Houston meeting on June 23. Philip Haves of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will present, “How Good are They? Early Results from Empirical Validation of Simulation Software”. Ralph Muehleisen of Argonne National Laboratory will facilitate a discussion on the causes of differences between simulation predictions and measured performance. Register here.

I think this is vital research for our industry. As simulation becomes part of mainstream design practice, we face an increasing burden to provide valid results. That means we need a good understanding of how our simulations compare to reality. We also need methods to appropriately apply those simulation results. We know we will never eliminate uncertainty and variability, but we can figure out ways to deal with them. 

I hope you join the discussion in Houston. I think that we all want to understand the uncertainty and variability in our results. And we all want a good answer to that question, “How accurate is your model?”. 

Once we have a solid answer, I believe that we’ll find vast herds of eager donkeys happy to follow our lead.



Erik Kolderup
Board of Directors, President, IBPSA-USA
[email protected]