ALBANY, N.Y., August 30, 2004 - In a keynote address at the AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization (MA&O) Conference today, James R. Scapa, President and CEO, Altair Engineering, discussed optimization trends in product design that are being embraced by the manufacturing community.

Scapa said that optimization technology and methods are playing an increasingly more important role in the commercial industry. In today's competitive environment, engineering and design departments are being pressured more than ever to make product improvements. Being able to structurally optimize a component for a desired performance outcome in the pre-design phase can mean more time for product innovation and shorter time to market. Moreover, there is a significant movement to not only design for product performance but also for robustness and reliability.

"Innovation can become a key to success and, in some cases, to survival," Scapa said. "While innovation enables change, optimization represents the vehicle that delivers it. Within manufacturing, optimization enables companies to make a competitive difference in their products and processes. More and more, manufacturers are implementing technology that can help them in the conceptual stages of design. And this is precisely the arena in which optimization plays."

Scapa explained, "Optimization software is used before a commitment to any particular design concept. In fact, these tools are used to define design concepts that satisfy the intended market strategy and functional product requirements. They can lead the development of holistic, efficient products based on the inherent deliverables of the product-and actually drive innovation."

"At Altair, we believe optimization and other conceptual design software technology in the process will drive aesthetics as well as the mechanical effectiveness of designs," Scapa said. "In order to achieve this vision, we are rapidly building the components of a highly functional and open framework focused on the unique and multidisciplinary needs of optimization and robust design. We are investing significantly in the context of our vision, and we hope to play a significant role in this exciting future."

The MA&O international conference, sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, brings together industry, government, and academia to present and discuss the latest in MA&O technology. This year the biennial MA&O international conference celebrates its 20 year anniversary. For more information regarding this conference and other AIAA events please visit .

Innovative applications of optimization methods and techniques in product design and development will also be the topic of discussion at Altair Engineering's 2nd Annual Optimization Technology Conference on September 23 in Troy, Mich. For more information and to register for this free conference, please visit .

Michael Kidder

Altair Engineering, Inc.

(248) 614-2400, ext. 269

Colleen Kmiecik

Marx Layne & Co.



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