The urge to become an engineer hits many people early on in life. Dr. Hicham Fihri-Fassi first felt the call as a young high school student. “I’ve always liked to innovate, and engineering enabled me to do just that,” he says.
Dr. Fassi has since taken those teenage ambitions and made an impressive career of them—today he serves as professor of mechanical engineering at Morocco’s University Hassan First, and is a member of the Faculty of Sciences and Technologies in Settat (FSTS).
True to his drive for innovation, he’s also responsible for establishing a new research and innovation center at the university, pulling together interested experts from various industrial companies to promote the use of mechanical simulation and other engineering tools, informing and educating his students in the process.
Dr. Fassi is also very focused on the wealth of architectural and archaeological sites in the surrounding area, and has become a strong advocate of preserving them. One of the tools he uses for this work is Abaqus FEA software from SIMULIA, the Dassault Systèmes brand for realistic simulation.
Dr. Fassi and fellow researchers at University Hassan First were faced with compatibility problems when replacing centuries old masonry with modern construction block and mortar while restoring heritage buildings.
Fortunately, realistic simulation helped the university identify internal compressive stresses between dissimilar materials.
Restoration workers were able to fine-tune repair materials in advance, match the physical properties of legacy materials and avoid potential damage to important architectural structures.