John A. Swanson, Founder of ANSYS, to Speak at W&J

Created: April 10, 2014
Last Updated: December 10, 2019

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WASHINGTON, Pa. (Sept. 30, 2013)—John A. Swanson, Ph.D., a member of the National Academy of Engineering and founder of ANSYS, will discuss “The Future of Small Scale PV Solar Energy” at a public lecture on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) in the Howard J. Burnett Center’s Yost Auditorium.

Swanson’s lecture is the first of five presentations that will take place this academic year as part of the W&J Energy Lecture Series, presented by W&J’s Center for Energy Policy and Management (CEPM).

He will discuss in detail the value and practicalities of solar energy and how we can maximize its use in residential and commercial settings through the use of the right technology and policy.

Prior to founding ANSYS, Swanson was employed at Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory. While there, Swanson realized that companies could save time and money if they used finite-element software to do the complex calculations that engineers were then doing manually. He created ANSYS to develop, support, and market the software he created for use in the aerospace, automotive, biomedical, manufacturing and electronics industries. He is now an internationally recognized authority and innovator in the application of finite-element methods to engineering.

A dedicated supporter of W&J, Swanson served on the board of trustees for 12 years and provided the naming gift for the John A. Swanson Science Center.  Also, he is a recipient of the American Association of Engineering Societies’ John Fritz Medal, widely considered as the highest award in the engineering profession.

Swanson’s lecture will be accompanied by a short presentation from Washington & Jefferson College senior Evan Rosenberg ’14 about W&J’s experimental solar energy project. Led by Michael McCracken ’04, assistant physics professor at W&J, students collect data from 18 solar panels at the Swanson Solar Laboratory, which sits atop the Facility Services building on campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is suggested. Please register here.

Upcoming lectures include:
Oct. 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm “Should We Rethink Nuclear?”
Nov. 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm “Obtaining a Social License to Operate in the Unconventional Shale Domain”
Feb. 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm “Thirst for Power: The Nexus of Energy & Water”
March 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm “A Vision for Coal”

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