OOF Named Technology of the Year
Industry Week magazine has named NIST as one of its 1999 Technology of the Year award winners for the development of OOF. OOF is an object-oriented finite-element system for the modeling of real material microstructures. It was created by Steve Langer, ITL (Math and Computational Sciences Division), Andy Roosen, MSEL (Ceramic Division), Ed Fuller, MSEL (Ceramics Division), and Craig Carter, MIT (formerly of MSEL). The announcement of Industry Week's 7th annual Technology and Innovation Awards appears in its December 6th issue.
Each December Industry Week profiles promising new technologies to "celebrate the link between technological creativity and economic progress", naming some 25 innovations as Technologies of the Year. Winners represent a wide range of technologies from both industry and national laboratories. This year's winners, which were dominated by information technologies, included Gigibit Ethernet Transceiver Chip (Broadcom Corp.), Roentgen High-Resolution Flat-Panel Display (IBM), AllWave Single-Mode Optical Fiber (Lucent), Super-Iron Battery (The Technion), and Pirius Hybrid Gas/Electric Vehicle (Toyota). Past winners have included Ultralight Steel Auto Body (American Iron and Steel Institute, 1998), Double-density flash memory (Intel, 1997), and Java (Sun, 1995). The 1999 winners can be found in the December 1999 issue.
OOF is designed to help materials scientists calculate macroscopic properties from images of real or simulated microstructures. It is composed of two cooperating parts: ppm2oof and oof. ppm2oof reads images in the ppm (Portable Pixel Map) format and assigns material properties to features in the image. oof conducts virtual experiments on the data structures created by ppm2oof to determine the macroscopic properties of the microstructure. Currently, the programs calculate stresses and strains, but work is underway to add thermal field calculations in a joint venture with General Electric sponsored by the Department of Energy.
In its description of OOF, Industry Week says, "The OOF advantage to corporate R&D could be significant. Because OOF replaces weeks of laboratory experiments with quick computational assays, it can help researchers run their labs more strategically."