Keynote speakers

The Past, Present and Future of Computational Electromagnetics

Professor David Alister Lowther

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

McGill University

Montreal, QC, Canada

David Lowther received a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Electrical Engineering from Kingís College, London in 1970 and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Brighton Polytechnic in 1973. He was a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Imperial College, London until 1979 working with C.J.Carpenter on the simulation and measurement of electromagnetic fields. In 1979, he moved to the Department of Electrical Engineering at McGill University to work with Prof. P. Silvester on the numerical simulation and analysis of low frequency electromagnetic devices. He was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 1986. He was Chair of the Department from 1998 to 2006.

In 1978, together with P.Silvester and E.Freeman, he founded of Infolytica Corporation, the first company with the specific goal of generating solutions to industrial level electromagnetic field problems on a personal computer. The company grew to about 35 employees before it was acquired by Mentor Graphics in 2017 and the software is now an integral part of the Siemens Simcenter simulation system.

He was a founding member of the International Compumag Society and is currently its president. The Society provides a communications mechanism for researchers in computational electromagnetics from around the world and, as such, is involved in the R&D efforts in computational electromagnetics globally. He first attended Compumag in 1976 and, in 2015, he hosted the conference at McGill University, Montreal, and it was attended by over 500 researchers.

His research interests have centered on the simulation of low frequency electromagnetic devices and the computer implementation of the design process for such devices. This has involved both conventional numerical analysis systems and multi-objective optimization techniques as well as using AI and Machine Learning to accelerate the simulation processes. More recently the work has expanded to include multi-physics simulations, surrogate modeling, involving robustness related to manufacturing issues in the design process, and additive manufacturing of electromechanical devices and systems.

Over his career, David Lowther has published over 400 papers in refereed journals and conferences as well as two books, and has supervised or co-supervised over 80 graduate students at the Masterís and Ph.D. levels and been a Visiting Professor at four institutions in Canada, the UK and Europe.

He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a member of the Strategy and Innovation group within the Simulation and Test Solutions division of Siemens Digital Industries Software.

Future Trends in Optimal Design of Electromagnetic Devices

Professor Paolo Di Barba

Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering

University of Pavia

Pavia, Italy

Paolo Di Barba (DSc, PhD) is a full professor of electrical engineering at the University of Pavia, Italy, where he leads a group of young scientists active in the area of computational electromagnetics. Moreover, he has a position of visiting professor at the Lodz University of Technology (Poland), International Faculty of Engineering.

His scientific interests are focused on the analysis and synthesis of electric and magnetic fields, with special emphasis on evolutionary algorithms for inverse problems and optimisation. In this area, in the nineties he has been one of the pioneering researchers who contributed to apply the theory of Pareto-like optimality in computational electromagnetics.

At the time being, the core activity is focused on advanced numerical methods for field analysis and field synthesis. The former include finite-element method (FEM) for multiphysics non-linear analysis and, more recently, virtual-element method which extends the capabilities of FEM to polygonal and polyhedral elements. In turn, the latter include multiobjective evolutionary computing for solving non-linear inverse problems and, more recently, optimization methods for high-dimensionality objective spaces. Presently, neural meta-modelling of fields based on convolutional networks is an emerging area in his research projects. Applications cover the automated optimal design of induction heating devices for electromagnetic processing of materials, permanent-magnet motors for electric vehicles, wearable antennas for wireless body area networks.

As far as publications are concerned, he is author or co-author of more than 200 papers, presented to international conferences or published in international journals. In particular, he is co-editor of the book "Optimal Shape Design Exploiting Metamaterials and 3D Printing" (The Institution of Engineering and Technology, in press), a co-author of the monograph "MEMS Field Models and Optimal Design" (Springer, 2019), the author of the monograph entitled "Multiobjective Shape Design in Electricity and Magnetism" (Springer, 2010), and a co-author of the textbook "Field Models in Electricity and Magnetism" (Springer, 2008).

For his scientific achievements, in 2021 the President of Poland conferred him the title of Professor, the highest academic award.

He is active also in the area of know-how transfer to the industrial world. In this respect, he was a scientific consultant of former Infolytica Corporation (Montreal, Canada), now a part of Siemens, for the development of a code devoted to the automated optimal design of electromagnetic devices, based on the finite-element method for the field analysis. Moreover, he is a scientific consultant of the ABB Corporate Research Centre (Baden, Switzerland) in the area of thermal and dielectric design of power transformers.