This is the end

I had great plans to revive Life Upfront… but, 2016 didn’t turn out as I’d expected. In fact, it was the worst year of my life.

Much of 2015 saw me traveling between Rhode Island and Florida. My father was in and out of the hospital, and passed away on March 26, 2016. The loss is still shaking me to the core.

While taking on Estate Executor responsibilities, I also made a career move to join Siemens PLM. I’m back to my CFD roots with the STAR-CCM+ product line, but excited to be part of a team that can offer far more. Finally, I have 3 young kids that need my attention. They also deserve a healthier dad.

I’ve decided to sunset Life Upfront. I will be focusing all of my energy into serving my family, customers, mind, spirit, and body.

Thanks to all my readers and listeners. Your comments and discussions have meant a lot to me over the years.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many good, unbiased editorial sources for the CAE world. To be fair, even Life Upfront exhibited bias on many occasions. Maybe there’s no way around it. I will continue to sporadically micro-blog on Linkedin, but my long form days are over. Beyond that, here is a list of resources I recommend. If you know of others, please post them in the comments.

Another Fine Mesh
This is a rare publication from the commercial world. It’s a company (Pointwise) blog, but the “This Week in CFD” posts are amazingly and refreshingly unbiased. The social media marketing manager from most companies would be fired for posting news from direct competitors… Kudos to John Chawner and team for striking the right balance. My podcast interview with John here.

Talking CFD
If you are in the CFD world, do yourself a favor and subscribe to Robin Knowles’ Talking CFD podcast. You will get an intimate, behind the scenes look at some of the coolest people and products in our space. Robin is a CFD consultant by day, which means he’s free take a deep dive into any company or technology. Robin interviews me for his podcast here.

Monica Schnitger
Monica’s blog is THE source for CAx/PLM financial news. She brings fairly dry earnings reports and press releases to life with engaging, thoughtful explanations and interpretations. My podcast interview with Monica here.

Kenneth Wong
Kenneth is a longtime correspondent for Digital Engineering (formerly Desktop Engineering). While there is always a danger of pay for play (in all industries) with such publications, Kenneth always has great insight and interesting perspectives. I respect his writing.

Lifecycle Insights
Chad Jackson does some excellent reporting across the full breadth of the CAx/PLM world. I suspect his dance card is getting full on the Industry Research side of his business, though. Read some of his stuff and let him know you’d like to read more. Every writer needs that boost every once in a while!

FEA for All
Cyprien Rusu is doing some great, foundational FEA education on his blog. I first met Cyprien when he was part of Midas NFX, a Korean multi-physics CAE software company. He’s now out on his own offering CAE training and expertise. My podcast interview with Cyprien here.



  1. Jeff, I’ve enjoyed reading everything you’ve written over the years. You’ve made the CAE blogosphere better simply for having tried. There’s too little genuine conversation online in our business. I wish you the best of luck with STAR-CCM+ and with health and family.

    And thanks for your kind words about Another Fine Mesh. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t folks who want me fired. (But maybe for other reasons.)

    1. Thanks, John! Great getting to know you a little. Look forward to finally meeting in person some day. Also, thanks for exposing me to pretty much my only knowledge of modern art, Dan Flavin.

  2. Bob Deragisch · ·

    Hate to ‘see you go’, but you are making the right choices. I am sure we’ll hear from you when you have the time. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Bog! Look for me attempting to follow Mark Twain’s advice on Linkedin. (If I’d had more time, I’d have written you a shorter letter.)

  3. Gerri Graves · ·

    Job well done, Jeff! Life moves along and we must move with it…making the best decisions we can at the time. Looking forward to all good things for you in 2017!

    1. Thanks, Gerri. Happy New Year!

  4. Monica Schnitger · ·

    I’m sorry 2016 was so tough — here’s to a far better 2017. But, Jeff, please consider writing even sporadically; your perspective and voice add a lot to the conversation.

    Now go play with those kids!

    1. Much appreciated, Monica! You probably know that the writing bug infects permanently. One of these days, I’m sure to have a flare up.

  5. Chris Riordan · ·

    Time with family is precious and fleeting. But if you ever get out Seattle way don’t be so healthy that I can’t buy you a beer. I’d love to do so and catch up.

    1. Thanks, Chris! I’ll take you up on that (and opt for Whiskey).

  6. Mark Chester · ·

    We’ll all miss the energised articles Jeff, but your health and family happiness come first! I keep joining companies you leave it seems, so no doubt paths will cross again.
    Have a good one 🙂

  7. Thanks for everything Jeff. I have to say that I am a bit sad about this… I liked your articles and your open style of writting. I kept coming regularly to the blog to see the new updates, but I saw that there was none and I guessed that there should be something else going on.
    That’s only a suggestion, but why you don’t just write something that goes through your head from time to time on this blog?… no need to have something sophisticated or professional, just “normal” Jeff would be nice to read too I think.
    Finaly, thanks for mentioning my blog, I really appreciate! (It has been a very difficult year from me as well… >< )
    Good luck to you Jeff!

  8. Sometimes you just have to pause and take stock of life. Good choices on your part. If I can help, remember that Mom is only a phone call away. I love you.

  9. I’m sorry for your pain in 2016, Jeff, and continue to thank you for the great guidance, references and insights over the years. You have a unique voice, singular perspective, and a genuine affection for how CAE could and should work. I respect your priorities — it’s something I’ve wrestled with as well over the past year. All the best to you in 2017, my friend.

  10. Frank Ding · ·

    Very much enjoy your blog! Look forward to your posting on LinkedIn!

    1. Thanks, Frank! See you there.

  11. Ryan Stamm · ·

    Jeff, hate to see this excellent contribution to our market end… I know you well enough to know that you can’t hold it in… I’ll look forward to your comments on LinkedIn.

    Best to you, Heidi, the girls and Henry!