Altair’s ongoing Design the Difference film documentary series explores extraordinary client achievements, the high stakes of design and the incredible impact it has in shaping the world around us.

In our first Design the Difference film documentary SURFACE TO AIR, go behind the scenes with Artemis Racing and Altair to experience what it takes to be a favored contender for the 2017 America’s Cup, the oldest and most coveted global sailing competition.

Surface to Air Film Previews





Altair Engineering is no stranger to America’s Cup Racing

Altair began its involvement with America’s Cup racing in 1995 as a technical supplier to the PACT95 team. A year after winning Industry’s Week Technology of the Year Award for its topology optimization software, OptiStruct®, Altair consulted and applied this technology to optimize the strength and weight ratios of the hull and appendages for PACT95’s Young America entry.

At this time in America’s Cup racing, the hull structure was the only part of the boat’s design that is secret from competitors. Applying OptiStruct to optimize the best placement for the ring plates and bulkheads yielded a novel inner hull structure design resembling a spider web of trusses. The optimized Young America hull structure provided a clear speed advantage, prompting Team Dennis Conner to use USA-36 Young America in the Americas Cup finals instead of their USA-34 Stars & Stripes.

Although the yacht was defeated by New Zealand in the finals, its technical superiority prompted three American syndicates to approach Altair for help in designing entries for the 2000 race. Altair chose to collaborate with the AmericaOne team spurring a deep technical appreciation, passion and continued involvement in yacht racing throughout Altair’s operations worldwide.



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Altair transforms design and decision making by applying simulation, machine learning and optimization throughout product lifecycles. Our broad portfolio of simulation technology and patented units-based software licensing model enable Simulation-Driven Innovation™ for our customers. With more than 2,000 employees, Altair is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, USA and operates 82 offices throughout 25 countries. Altair serves more than 5,000 customers across broad industry segments. To learn more, please visit