Here at MSC Software we were saddened by the news recently of the passing of Dr Garret N. Vanderplaats at the age of 77 on 17 November 2021 and we invite you to help us memorialize him by sharing your memories here on LinkedIn. Dr Vanderplaats was a long-term friend and collaborator with MSC Software and a recognized pioneer in developing optimization algorithms and in bringing them into industrial use through commercial software development. Gary was the principal architect of MSC Nastran’s Design Optimization (SOL 200) solution and a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics. He was a mentor to many of our engineers through his long and successful career.
Dr Vanderplaats began his career as a research scientist at NASA, before teaching at the University of California in Santa Barbara and founding his own company, Vanderplaats Research and Development. this company developed MDO and structural optimization methods and was later renamed as OmniQuest. Gary was loved and cherished by many, including his wife Virginia Vera “Ginny” and his sons, Scott and Greg. Living in Colorado, Gary was also an outdoor enthusiast and the inventor and patent owner of a collapsible fishing net. More details on his service can be found on this page where you can post your memories of Gary.
“Every day, somewhere in the world, there is an engineer, a researcher or young student using gradient based optimizers to improve the performance of mechanical systems. Vanderplaats’ original work on gradient based optimizers for engineers would eventually lead to a feature rich set of optimization technologies that many machine learning algorithms are unable to currently rival.”
– Christian Aparicio
Founder of the MSC Nastran SOL 200 Web App and MSCOne partner
Image above: MSC Nastran’s Design Optimization is used to optimize BIW for shape, weight and road noise, Courtesy Volvo – MSC Users Conference 2011)