Altair Buys OmniQuest

OmniQuest was founded by the late Professor Gary Vanderplaats, who was known in the field of structural optimization.

OmniQuest was founded by the late Professor Gary Vanderplaats, who was known in the field of structural optimization.

Altair has acquired OmniQuest, a Novi, MI-based optimization software company. OmniQuest's flagship product, Genesis, is an advanced structural analysis and optimization software that uses the finite element method to solve problems with many variables and constraints.

“OmniQuest was founded by the late Professor Gary Vanderplaats, a giant in the field of structural optimization who developed many unique and powerful optimization algorithms used in the commercial market today. OmniQuest's products are used by several major customers, and we are excited to make them available to all our customers going forward,” says James R. Scapa, founder and chief executive officer, Altair. “The acquisition of this excellent technology and team will further enhance Altair's optimization leadership in the market driving lightweight and structurally efficient designs across the globe.”

In addition to the automotive sector, the acquisition brings deep experience in Formula 1, the highest class of international racing, where Genesis has a strong position and is used for composite design applications. It is particularly used for applications that require agile engineering processes and specialized tools to produce engineered vehicles with short turnaround times.

Genesis's analysis capabilities include static, normal modes, direct and modal frequency analysis, random response, heat transfer, system buckling calculations, acoustics and fatigue analysis. Its structural optimization types include sizing, shape, topology, topometry, topography and freeform optimization.

Genesis also supports equivalent static load method (ESLM) for highly nonlinear structural behaviors, interfacing with third-party finite-element analysis (FEA) solvers.

OmniQuest founder, Professor Vanderplaats, was a founding father of practical structural and multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO). His contributions to vision, theory and practical applications of MDO and structural optimization are significant and his early contributions include the modified method of feasible directions algorithm, which became popular in the structural optimization field by his own code CONMIN (constrained minimization).

This code is embedded in many programs today. In the late 1980s he left behind his academic career as a tenured professor at University of California Santa Barbara to found Vanderplaats Research & Development (later renamed OmniQuest) and served as chief executive officer and chairman until his passing.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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