Virtual engineering is a powerful concept, defined as a technology that integrates geometric models and related engineering tools such as analysis and simulation, optimization and decision-making tools, etc. within a computer generated environment that facilitates multidisciplinary and collaborative product realization . Virtual engineering applications can be constructed from scratch with high-level programming languages. However, since the end-user of the virtual engineering application is most likely not a programming expert, high-level support is needed to provide the user with the capability to construct his own application in an intuitive manner and with minimal coding. In this paper, we present a framework of the virtual engineering environment and its implementation, identify the general requirements for a virtual engineering application, and summarize the architecture. A virtual engineering application on computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based interactive design is used to motivate the research as well as to evaluate the performance of the system. The sample application is related to the coal transport system of a coal-fired power plant. Finally, the topics for future research are given.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/doug_mccorkle/2/