MODSIM World Recap

The 15th MODSIM World Conference, MODSIM World 2023, concluded on Tuesday, May 23 following two days of keynote events, a rich technical program, and multiple networking and community building events.

The conference kicked off on Monday, May 22 with keynotes from Congressman Bobby Scott and Irin Hall, Director of Engineering, Newport News Shipbuilding. Congressman Scott shared insights on legislation that he has sponsored during his time as the Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Caucus Co-Chair as well as how modeling and simulation is being used to address various problems in the Hampton Roads area. Following Congressman Scott, Ms. Hall spoke to our theme of “Make It Happen” and how that can only occur when we not only accept failure, but embrace it by providing the time and budget for it, allowing people to tackle the big ideas.

After hearing from the keynotes, the first special event took place. The NATO focused event brought in leaders from Joint Force Development and industry to discuss how they are focusing development in the two critical areas of Modeling and Simulation and Wargaming in order to ensure that concepts are transformed to capabilities for NATO. The day then broke out into the technical track paper presentation sessions. These sessions covered a wide range of topics, from advanced simulation techniques and methodologies to real-world applications in defense, industry, training, and education.

In the afternoon, the conference reconvened in the plenary room for the ever-popular Simulation Century Event, which focused on technologies and methods for implementing the right human/machine balance in the accelerating age of generative AI. The day concluded with an opening reception, which provided the attendees the opportunity to mingle, network, and experience the displays on the show floor.

The second and final day began with the Government Keynote, delivered by Mr. Fred Engle, Director, Military Training, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness. He emphasized that the biggest challenge they are facing is artificiality in training and challenged the community to help by providing more realistic training for their simulators. After hearing from Mr. Engle, the Digital Twins special event occurred. This event included speakers with a wide variety of expertise in the domain forming a panel to define digital twins and how they are being used to solve problems. The panelists also spoke to the evolution of the digital twin market and how digital twins fit into the broader discussion of the Metaverse.

Following the panel, the excellent technical track sessions continued. During this time, there was also a STEM event where approximately 75 local high school students were able to walk through the show floor and speak with the displaying organizations about their M&S tools. At the conclusion of the show floor tour, the students spent 30 minutes with the conference committee team and scholarship winners discussing the educational and career opportunities in the Modeling and Simulation space.

The conference concluded with an SBIR special event panel including Army and Navy representation as well as speakers from industry discussing where the pitfalls are and how to optimize a business’ chances of moving beyond Phase II towards real commercialization.