SIMULIA Talks: Interview with Grace Lau about COVID-19

Below is an excerpt from a recent interview with Grace Lau, an Industry Process Consultant with SIMULIA, as she discusses how SIMULIA gives back during these uncertain times with the pandemic, COVID-19. Grace describes how we’ve utilized the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for good, to gather ideas from researchers, designers and engineers regarding advancements on effective 3D printed equipment for the healthcare community. Grace goes on to describe how SIMULIA’s best in class simulation software reveals how face shields protect humankind from disease, and explains research findings and specifics on the most effective face shield designs.


Q: What is your name and title? 

Grace Lau:

My name is Grace Lau and I work for Dassault Systèmes and my title is Industry Process Consultant Specialist for fluid simulation.

Q: Can you tell us in your own words what’s going on in the world right now?

Grace Lau:

The beginning of this year, 2020, there’s been a corona virus going around the world. It first started in China but right now it’s spreading all over the world. And since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19 there have been shortages of Personal Protective Equipment for medical workers in hospitals.

Q: What sort of things are you finding that companies are doing to try to make this situation better?

Grace Lau:

Since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been shortages of Personal Protective Equipment in hospitals. So, there are many companies and teams around the world who want to help. They want to fabricate a face shield to provide to their local hospitals, because a face shield is very easy to fabricate using 3-D printing techniques or with laser cutting techniques.

Q: Are there complications in actually doing it the right way?

Grace Lau:

Yeah, so, on the market right now, there are many designs. Different designs are being shared on internet to help the local 3-D printing companies or the units to fabricate. But, for sure, there’s some designs that are better than the others. Some designs provide more protection to the person who is wearing the shield.

Q: And Grace, how did you and your team get on the front lines of doing that work?

Grace Lau:

We wanted to help the community to help them to provide their general guidance for them to design their shields. And with simulation, we deferred a person who is sneezing on the other person wearing a shield. And simulation is very useful here because we can see how the particles travel in the air. And we can also see how the surface gets contaminated.

So, with simulation, we can answer the question, which design of the mask provides more protection than the others? And we can also answer the question, when we wear the mask alone without a mask underneath are we still well protected? Do we still have a chance to inhale the sneezed particles.

Q: Do you think that simulation can help play a role in that whatever happens in the future of healthcare?

Grace Lau:

Simulation can definitely play a role in healthcare because with simulation, we can easily see how the sneezing particles are traveling in the air. So, we can have a better understanding of how the virus is going to spread in the air and then we can come up with solutions to see how we can protect the people, such as using a mask or a face shield. And we can definitely model it using simulation to protect the people better.

Watch the full interview, below:


SIMULIA offers an advanced simulation product portfolio, including AbaqusIsightfe-safeToscaSimpoe-MoldSIMPACKCST Studio SuiteXFlowPowerFLOW and more. The SIMULIA Learning Community is the place to find the latest resources for SIMULIA software and to collaborate with other users. The key that unlocks the door of innovative thinking and knowledge building, the SIMULIA Learning Community provides you with the tools you need to expand your knowledge, whenever and wherever.

Katie Corey

Katie manages SIMULIA's social media, blog and online communities. As a writer and technical communicator, she is interested in and passionate about creating an impactful user experience. Katie is a native Rhode Islander and loves telling others about all it has to offer. As a self-proclaimed nerd, she enjoys a variety of hobbies including history, astronomy, science/technology, science fiction, geocaching, true crime, fashion and anything associated with nature and the outdoors. She is also mom to four amazing furbabies (2 cats and 2 dogs).

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