Who We Are
We are experienced simulation engineers that have successfully analyzed and validated hundreds and hundreds of finite element analysis (FEA) projects. With decades of experience in FEA and CFD, we know how to optimize your design to deliver every last bit of performance and to ensure that it will meet your service requirements whether in Aerospace, Marine, Energy, Automotive, Medical or in Consumer Products.
Our mission is to be honest brokers of information in our consulting services and the software we represent.
Since 1995, Predictive Engineering has continually expanded its client base. Our clients include the total spectrum from large Fortune 500 companies to start-ups looking to launch the next generation of satellites. We are also proud of work in the renewable energy fields from wind to solar. Over the years, one of our core strengths is in the vibration analysis of composite structures, aerospace electronic components and large industrial machinery. What has set us apart from the competition is our experience in the successful completion of more than 800 FEA, CFD and LS-DYNA projects.
View our portfolio of:
+ FEA, CFD and LS-DYNA consulting projects
Testimonial Reviews from our Consulting Clients
Read what a handful of our satisfied customers have to say:
TITAN Metal Fabricators
TITAN Metal Fabricators has had the pleasure of working with Predictive Engineering for more than 5 years. Predictive’s team team has successfully completed multiple projects with an assortment of Design and Analysis problems, such as odd-geometry vessels and heat exchangers, large temperature gradient effects, and fatigue loading. Predictive has always been responsive to our needs, very knowledgeable in many Engineering topics, and their reports are clear, concise, and professional. I look forward to working with Predictive Engineering on future projects and I would recommend them to anyone in need of an FEA expert for ASME Section VIII, Division 2 analysis work.
Matt Cochrane, PE, Engineering Manager
LifePort Inc. A Sikorsky Aerospace Services Company
Predictive Engineering has been instrumental in assisting LifePort build its engineering capabilities with LS Dyna based analyses. The primary benefit of these efforts is an improved understanding of the internal system loads that are developed during an impulse event. The product design cycle is expected to be improved component sizing iterations, design efficiency and confidence of the product during certification efforts.
LifePort has chosen Predictive Engineering to work on consecutive projects due to its satisfaction and confidence in the services provided. These efforts have been collaborative, prompt and to the level of quality that was expected. In situations where difficulties arose, they took the necessary actions to ensure our satisfaction remained intact.
We would highly recommend Predictive Engineering as a resource to expand your engineering needs and look forward to future endeavors with them.
Craig Hallquist, Manager of Research & Development
For our last critical project, the schedule was very tight and we needed to conduct extensive finite element analyses to ensure success and to validate our weight and cost numbers. This effort was made possible largely by George's technical on-site support creating models that were pushing the boundaries of today's software and hardware capabilities for FEA. The cross pollination of knowledge with George as part of the team helped rapidly develop complete understanding of load lines and load paths which enabled us to quickly "design to avoid load" rather than "design for load." George is a great person to work with and helped us raise the bar within our company. The project was a resounding success that will benefit Messier-Dowty for years to come.
Roland Hinton, Chief Engineer of Analysis
Pacific Rim Engineered Products
Over many years Pacific Rim Engineered Products (PREP) has earned a reputation as a premium supplier for robust and well performing equipment for the oil and gas industry (on-shore and off-shore).
In 2008, two new challenging projects came up on the horizon to again prove to one of our customers about who we are and what type of custom solutions we are capable of providing.
The projects contained two major segments for an off-shore drilling package – namely a 1000 Ton TopDrive and its respective Drawwork. Both products faced tough restrictions such as: maximum allowable weight, maximum allowable overall dimensions, minimum required performance data, certification requirements by DNV (Det Norske Veritas), and last but not least, a tight project timeline combined with a budget that was considered as a challenge on it's own.
What a blessing to get Dr. George Laird, Predictive Engineering into our project team. It has not been the first time to PREP to have George "on board" but these last two projects have beaten everything else in complexity and quickness of execution. George, I owe you a big thank you for your highly valuable input to both of these important and challenging projects.
If we were to grade your service to us it would clearly be in the "5-Star" range. To name a few reasons, it would be the unconventional and highly professional manner you approached the various FEA challenges, the way we could rely on your timely delivery of professional results, or the way you interconnected with the entire project team. Occasionally it was not easy to some of us to understand why you did not want to go down a certain path until you educated us and demonstrated that FEA is sometimes more than just pretty pictures.
It has been a pleasure to the entire project team working together with you and Predictive Engineering. The two products successfully delivered to our end-customer could not have been created under these challenging parameters without your input. You never have been just a "supplier" to us. You always have been – and will be - a fully integrated and very well respected member of our project teams. The next projects with new and unique FEA challenges are already waiting around the corner where we are looking forward to get you "on board" again.
My honest recommendation to you, the reader of this testimonial: If you are looking for an exceptionally valuable member of your project team that will provide you a "worry-free life" in your FEA world there is only one straight answer: Dr. George Laird with Predictive Engineering. Any questions, feel free to ask.
Erich Pfnuer, Project Manager
Sound Ocean Systems, Inc.
George Laird, Predictive Engineering, is my go to "guy" in the FEA arena. We have been colleagues through interesting and demanding programs since 2003 and he has always provided the engineering services required to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment. My business is totally marine related which adds extreme dynamic loading issues that in land based applications would never have to be considered. George's understanding of these requirements coupled with the desire to fully identify things that have not been previously been considered provides an asset to my programs that is truly beyond what is provided by most companies. Simply put… Predictive Engineering is the best FEA company I have ever worked with.
James A.R. McFarlane, Vice President
Assembly & Test Worldwide
Every once in a while, you run across another professional whose standards match your own. Predictive Engineering for us (ATW) has been that kind of great experience. We were able to take our idea from concept, to a working model, then to a working product (patent pending) effectively with full confidence in what we were engineering. I wholeheartedly recommend Predictive Engineering as the "go to team" when it comes to engineering support as it relates to high-end dynamic modeling.
Robert L. Ussery, Chief Engineering Technologist
Bioject Medical Technologies
We came to George Laird and Predictive Engineering with a problem. The FEA analyses that we had done to date for our project just did not reflect what we were seeing in physical testing. We were hoping for a fresh perspective. We got that and much more. George put forth a tremendous amount of work into our analysis and was able to get the same results that we saw in testing. We worked together on the project which helped make sure that the analysis did reflect how our device operates, and allowed us to try several iterations quickly. This also educated me quite a bit on the inner workings of FEA. He was also able to explain in detail the reason our original analyses were off. Once the reason was uncovered, it made perfect sense from a mechanical standpoint. From there, it was an easy leap to test the new design and have confidence in the results. George went well above and beyond the scope of the job and remained in budget and on time. Without his efforts, we likely would still be facing the same issue with FEA results not matching the actual test results. He has proven to me that he is someone that is dedicated to getting the job done right, and that he will not stop until it is right. In addition, his candor and straightforward approach in attacking a problem is refreshing. I highly recommend his consultant services. He has proven himself to be an asset to Bioject.
Ted Sedler, Mechanical Engineer
I just want to say what a pleasure it is to work with a true professional and a person who is a master at his craft. Since there is nothing new in the world of heat transfer and the laws of thermal dynamics, most problems can be solved with a calculator and a number two pencil. But that will generally only get you into the right ball park. To know what game is being played on the field we call on our man George Laird, PhD!
You give us a detailed view of what's happening inside the box; your simulations make the numbers come alive. You have made communicating to the customer and our management team easy by presenting your easy to follow layer-by-layer analysis.
You have exceeded all expectations by working through the night with me as we diligently pressed for solutions by dawn. There are very few consultants with your level of dedication.
Roland Jasmin, Senior Project Manager
Dear Dr. Laird: It is my pleasure to congratulate you on the very successful completion of the following work: Statement of Work for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Perform a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of the photovoltaic (PV) adhesive mounting methods for concrete tile roofs.
Your work on this project exceeded all requirements and expectations. The results were documented in thorough and precise calculations and presented in an easy to read format. Not only were the results presented once, they were presented twice, based on the Client's arbitrary request for a related modification to their original design criteria.
As our subcontractor, due to your outstanding work our position with SMUD has been enhanced and future work from them is expected.
Thank you for your significant contributions for this Client. The results from your evaluation will be used for the reliable fabrication of high quality solar panel mounting systems.
Shabad S. Khalsa, P.E.
SunEarth Inc. is a leading manufacturer of solar thermal & photovoltaic (PV) components based in southern California. During the design phase a new line of PV mounting hardware it became apparent that we would need structural ratings on the extruded aluminum rails to pass local building codes. Because PV arrays may be installed with a variety of modules in various configurations, it was necessary that our ratings be flexible enough to apply to any installation. Predictive Engineering was able to work with us to create representative sections of the array under a worst case loading scenario and then perform the necessary structural analysis. The result was a compact & flexible engineering report used by our customers to verify the ability of site designed arrays to withstand local wind load ratings. By working with Predictive Engineering we were able to extend our engineering capabilities and add a value service to our customers that would not have otherwise been possible.
Josh Plaisted, Mechanical Engineer
Key Technology, Inc.
Dr. George Laird has been providing outstanding FEA analysis and support for our Nastran users at Key Technology, Inc for many years, so he was our obvious choice to help us solve a critical air flow problem using CFdesign software. Keeping the bottom camera windows clean on sorting machines, that we design and manufacture for the food processing industry, has always been a challenge, and is becoming increasing more critical with newer and higher performance viewing and scanning technologies. George brought his computers and CFdesign software to our site, and we spent several days working through about 10 geometry iterations to determine the optimum design for a new air shroud concept to protect the windows. The design was a delicate balance of a number of functional requirements that would be difficult to arrive at without a good analysis tool and Georges expertise and consultation. We built and tested a prototype shroud of this design and found that it not only matched perfectly with the final analysis model, but met or exceeded all of our design criteria. No further tweaking of the design was required, and George completed the overall task in approximately 1/3rd the estimated hours and cost. Solving this long standing problem will greatly benefit our company, and our customers.
Success is always great, and working with George is both fun and educational. I certainly look forward to the next opportunity to work with George.
Phil Hoffman, Mechanical Principal Engineer
Our company designs medical ultrasound systems for use in therapeutic (tissue heating) applications. The design of our ultrasound applicators requires an extensive understanding of the complex interplay between high frequency vibrational behavior of piezo-ceramic elements, their acoustic matching layers, and their heat generation, heat transfer and structural behavior, both to maximize their efficiency and to avoid thermal stress or other mechanical failures.In addition, to appropriately "dose" the patient, we must be able predict the tissue heating behavior resulting from the acoustic energy delivery and cooling by blood flow in the body. To understand and predict these behaviors we have depended on simulations and analysis performed using Femap with a variety of solvers, all under the able guidance and analysis of Dr. George Laird. In addition to providing key insights into the thermal, vibrational and thermal stress aspects of our designs, George Laird (the enthusiastic teacher) has been very effective in training us in Femap and in unraveling some of the "black art" of FEA. George's combination of theoretical mechanics expertise and practical problem solving have helped us zero in quickly and solve key issues. His unselfish sharing of his extensive knowledge reflect not only his commitment to directly helping his clients, but his willingness to enable them to help themselves. We feel very fortunate in having him on our team.
Michael Sekins, Ph.D.
Borden Chemical, Inc.
Borden Chemical is the world's largest producer of formaldehyde. Many of our formaldehyde plants use the mixed oxide process that uses large heat exchangers to hold the catalyst. These heat exchanger can be exposed to significant cyclic stresses from starting and stopping the process. While generally these heat exchangers historically have very long service lives, we have experienced some cracking and tube failures. We were concerned that there might some fundamental design flaw. Through FEA, Predictive Engineering was quickly able to put our fears to rest - our reactors will be around for many more years to come!
Steve Loper, PMP, Project Engineering Manager
Container Technologies Industries, LLC
Container Technologies designs, certifies, and manufactures containers for shipping and storage of hazardous and low-level nuclear waste. The performance requirements for containers of this type are extreme and are regulated by the US DOT. Container Technologies recently won an important new contract for the design, certification, and manufacture of large new type of container...on a very aggressive timeline. Traditional live, physical testing (in pursuit of certification to DOT standards) would have been prohibitive due to the size of the container and nature of the testing requirements coupled with the accelerated timeline. Utilizing LS-DYNA, George and I collaborated through eight iterations. The result was improved performance and manufacturability (over our initial designs) while meeting or exceeding DOT requirements. During this project George went the "extra mile" making our priorities and timeline his priorities and timeline - all while maintaining a budget. I plan to use Predictive Engineering in the future and would be happy to serve as a professional reference.
John McCracken, Director of Engineering
PSC Scanning, Inc.
We contacted Predictive Engineering when we had a critical analysis on a tight schedule, and we did not have the time or resources to dedicate to the learning curve. George Laird brought us instant expertise, and was contributing to the team from the very first meeting. George used a phased method to the analysis, beginning with simplified models and application of fundamental first principles, through increasingly complex iterations, and ending with a full scale transient dynamic FEA simulation. The learning began almost as soon as we defined the problem. With George we achieved much more than we planned, far exceeding our goals.
John Allen, Senior Staff Engineer
For the past 25 years we have done our own in house design and testing of our products, however we recently ran into a chassis control challenge that we were unable to resolve internally or with the help of engineers we had used in the past. Out of frustration we resorted to the trusty old yellow pages, but weren't having much luck finding a firm that understood our unique situation. They were all willing to do a lot of analysis, but none were willing to offer any course of action. One of the firms we contacted suggested Predictive Engineering as they were well known for their cost effective FEA services. I knew we were on to something when I spoke to George for the first time. He asked a lot of questions and actually listened to our answers! End result, in about 3 months and on schedule George solved the problem we had been struggling with for nearly 5 years. And better yet, his simple design solution is easier to manufacture!
Scott Hart, Volvo Division Leader
Wah Chang, An Allegheny Technologies Company
This is to let you know how pleased I have been with your analysis and response to helping us determine the cause of cracking on our extrusion press and the tooling component.
In the first case the cracking was not predicted to grow and monitoring has confirmed the crack is not growing.
In the second case a design change in the tooling component eliminated the cracking.
Thank you for your efforts,
B.A. (Mac) McClanahan, Chief Extrusion Process Engineer
I first met George in 1998 when he delivered a two-day FEA presentation to a group of design engineers within our department. We found his interactive discussion informative and pertinent to our interests and requirements; he obviously had a good grasp of our situation. Subsequently we have utilized George as a consultant for linear FEA support and for specific structural design issues. George can be best described as theoretical yet practical, experienced, insightful, available, and willing to contribute. He brings a fresh, critical perspective to the table, and I hold his opinion in high professional regard.
Dr. Bill Stewart, Mechanical Design Engineer
Leviton Voice and Data
Predictive Engineering has consistently provided us with professional service and excellent results. We would not be enjoying the success we have had with our products without their guidance.
Michael Itano, Mechanical Engineer
CASE Forensics Corporation
We have used Predictive Engineering on a variety of unusual and challenging projects. Without exception, Predictive Engineering has come through with solid information and analysis to help us find solutions. Predictive Engineering utilizes a surprising array of techniques to analyze our unique case work. George is able to combine the strengths of his analysis and real world experience with excellent client coordination and customer service.
Alan C. Topinka, PE, CFEI, PI, Principal Engineer
Williams Controls, Inc.
Dr. Laird has been providing FEA consulting services for Williams Controls for the past several years. I have found that he is very knowledgeable and responsive to our needs. In one particular instance, in response to our customers questions, he went the extra mile to research an obscure software issue pertaining to the analysis results. He not only satisfied the customers concern, but also confirmed to the customer that we had the right man on the job.
Jerry Kordonowy, Senior Project Engineer
Systems Planning and Analysis
In a recent large pressure vessel design and subsequent testing, the finite element strain calculations produced by Predictive Engineering were validated against experimental measurements using SPAs fiber Bragg grating (FBG) strain sensors. At 44 discrete locations (a total of 95 strain measurements), the experimental measurements agreed with Predictive's FEM analysis to within 10%, with most of the results matching even closer. At the only location with higher than expected differences, it was discovered that the structure was fabricated different than the design drawings. Subsequent remodeling by Predictive Engineering quickly corrected the discrepancy. These tests demonstrated the high accuracy of Predictive Engineering's FEM analysis, and the use of large scale FBG sensor networks for affordable validation of complex FEM analysis.
Jason S. Kiddy, Ph.D.
Dr. George Laird, of Predictive Engineering, Inc provided insightful and knowledgeable expertise in the finite element analysis of a complex coupling of two large, adjacent process vessels constructed to ASME Code requirements, and additional fabrication of an expensive, exotic material.
Circumstances arising from a tight fabrication schedule and minimum equipment installation space, combined with limitations of existing piping and vessel analysis software, necessitated the use of this advanced analysis tool to establish more realistic and accurate operating stresses in the various components.
Dr. Laird worked closely with the project team to identify problem areas and labored through a variety of possible solutions to arrive at practical, yet cost effective solutions to accommodate and/or limit calculated stresses to meet the various code allowable limits. The final design was professionally documented, included excellent graphic model depictions, along with all input/output design criteria, assumptions, stress charts, and appropriate code references.
Although the design process repeatedly encountered challenges and roadblocks, Georges patience, enthusiasm, and positive demeanor throughout has left me with nothing but the highest regard for him, both professionally and personally. Should the future find me in a situation with a similar design challenge, I would not hesitate to enlist Georges services again.
Alan N. Puckhaber, Project Manager
We have used Predictive Engineering for their consulting expertise since 1998.
Predictive Engineering has a very broad service offering. We have used them to provide training, trouble-shoot software analysis problems, optimize our routine analysis, and provide turn-key high level analysis solutions. George is extremely knowledgeable with conventional and "leading edge" analysis techniques, and well versed in most all major analysis software packages.
What I appreciate most is George's ability to guide us toward and/or provide practical solutions regardless of the complexity of the problem.
George is a valuable and integral member of our analysis team.
Chris Carpenter, PE
George Laird of Predictive Engineering provides a stress analysis service at a good value. His practical approach goes to just the right degree of depth to get us the info we need. The high-speed rotating equipment designed at Precision Interconnect presents unique design and safety challenges. Many of our sensitive electro-mechanical systems must function under loads up to 700 g's. George's work helped us achieve our performance and safety goals. He met our schedule and was a pleasure to work with. Besides, I hear he throws kick-ass parties for his customers!
Jeff Muschiatti, Senior Design Engineer
My relationship with George Laird began about 5 years ago while in the middle of a vibratory shaker development project that wasnt going well. With his help he quickly and cost effectively identified the problem that we were having and verified that our next effort was on the right track. Through out that development project and others he helped solve some very difficult vibration and structural issues with the shaker designs in addition to training myself and several others here at Key Technology in the various aspects of FEA. Whether it is finding a mistake in one of my models to performing contract engineering he is always there if we need him.
His dependability, real world knowledge and ability to find the root of a problem quickly have earned him the respect of many here at Key. In addition his ability and willingness to teach has helped me grow and expand my abilities. I consider him a wonderful colleague, asset, and most of all a friend who comes highly recommended for structural and vibration analysis, mechanical design optimization, design simplification, and Nastran support.
Pete Jones, Senior Engineering Technician
George Laird, of Predictive Engineering, has provided our company with exceptional technical support for many projects over the last 5 years. He has provided efficient and accurate FEA analysis for our structure product line.
Several times we have gone to George not only for an analysis but also to provide a solution to an existing problem in the field. He has always come through with concise real world solutions helping us save time and money.
I especially appreciate how George is available and willing to help. On one occasion he visited our customers site to see first hand the proposed mounting and operation of a new product we were developing. His subsequent analysis work helped us to obtain a patent on the new device.
Steve Porter, Design Engineer
United Foundries, Inc.
United Foundries produces dual metal cast iron work rolls for the steel, rubber and plastic industries. Diameters range from 45 inches down to 16 inches. We used to measure our thermal cycles in weeks, nearly 4 seven day weeks for a complete heat treatment. Heating rates, because of large section sizes, were very conservative and very slow. We would spend nearly two and a half weeks just getting rolls to specific temperatures. After thermal optimization, we now complete cycles in 2 to 3- five day weeks. There have been no adverse affects. At today's gas rates you can imagine the savings. The added bonus is the additional production possible.
Ray Schleiden, Chief Metallurgist & Technical Director
Detroit Stoker Company
Predictive Engineering as expertly provided the knowledge and skills to assist us with redefining our products for competition in the world market. This does not come easy for a mature, +100 year old company. George Lairds technical knowledge of FEA modeling and mechanical design skills not only provides detailed analysis, but suggestions for improvements. Through Predictive Engineering we are now capable of seeing the benefits of FEA analysis. It is always a pleasure to work with George.
Robert Morrow, Engineering Manager
George Laird has partnered with Kinetics to help us solve some of our customer's tough engineering problems. Kinetics prides itself as being an industry leader and problem solver. We are lucky to have George on our team.
Walt Weyler, Operations Manager
Credence Systems Corporation
I have known George Laird for nearly five years. I received my initial training in both FEA as well as CFD analysis from George and continue to learn thanks to his excellent technical support. Always ready to tackle a difficult problem - with his enthusiasm and his exceptional engineering knowledge - you can always count on him to provide a useful solution.
Venkat Gaurav, Senior Mechanical Engineer
United Machine and Foundry
Predictive Engineering has provided a technical expertise our small company doesn't have internally. Utilizing Predictive's services has opened new market opportunities for our company; opportunities unavailable to us in the past. To that end, Predictive is helping us break out of the ''price sensitive'' markets (due to increased foreign competition) and break into value added ones.
In the future, we plan to use Predictive Engineering's unique skills and abilities to help grow our business.
Thomas Renk, Vice President
Predictive Engineering has really helped us close the gap between the design and performance of our products.
We make combustion air control equipment for recovery boilers. Prior to working with Predictive Engineering, we had to rely on physical testing of our equipment which had severe limitations. With George's help, we have been able to test many more design iterations which has led to much better products and a better understanding of the underlying principles.
We have become dependent on CFD modeling as part of our product development and purchased CFdesign software from IMAGINiT Technologies with his advice. George has been very helpful and supportive as we have learned the art of CFD modeling.
Dan Higgins, Mechanical Engineering Systems Manager
Key Knife, Inc.
Without the help from George Laird, our project would have taken us much longer than the final nine months from start to finish. George was not only the FEA expert on our team, but also gave us engineering insight into the detailed engineering level of our design.The really cool thing is that we took the FEA data and compared it to our strain gauge data and it matched up. This is some of the stuff engineers dream of.
George Laird, as far as I am concerned, is the best FEA engineer I have worked with. I would recommend him to anyone. In fact, our new product is one of the most successful products that we have ever developed and is still going strong after its market release in May of 2001.
Brad Stager, Manager of Product Development