Smithers Essentials: The Fundamentals of Tire Modeling


Whether you are a beginner in the industry, manager or expert, Smithers Essentials: Fundamentals of Tire Modeling can help expand the depth of your knowledge.  This customized training will:

  • Provide you with a background on the history of tire modeling and how to get started in the industry
  • Allow you one-on-one time to meet with our expert speakers, including  Dr. Gipser, to discuss your company's struggle points
  • Provide you with ways to save your company money 

What else will you learn from Smithers Rapra Fundamentals of Tire Modeling?

Get the answers to the important questions around tire modeling such as: 

  • Tire modeling – what is a tire model?  History, types of Tire Models, Required testing
  • OEM applications – What are the OEM’s doing with Tire models?
  • What is a tire model and why should you want one?

A review of the three classes of tire models: 

  • Performance based – rely on F&B w/o physical construct
  • Component Level – Structure based
  • Finite Element Models

Dig into the details on how models are generated and testing for various classes

Why do OEMs rely on Vehicle Models?

Why are tires needed?

Typical types of Simulations and OEM simulation objectives

What do OEMs expect from their Tire Vendors?


Day 1: September 26

8:00 am – Registration, Networking Breakfast

9:00 am – Past, Present, and Future of Tire Modeling

  • James Popio - Smithers Rapra

10:30 am – Tire Modeling: A Tire Testing Perspective

  • Dean Tener - Smithers Rapra

12:00 pm – Networking Lunch

1:30 pm – Engineering Tools and Software for Tire Modeling

  • Mike Stackpole - Stackpole Engineering Services, Inc

2:30 pm – Coffee & Afternoon Dessert

3:00 pm – Tire Model Needs for Autonomous Vehicles

  • Karthik Krishnan - ADAMS, MSC Software

4:00 pm – How FTire or Other Models are Used in the Industry

  • Chris Coker - Altair

5:00 pm – Closing Remarks

5:15 – 6:15 pm – Evening Drinks Reception

7:00 pm – Optional Dinner at Local Restaurant

Day 2: September 27

8:00 am – Networking and Breakfast

9:00 am – The Status of FTire Some 20 Years Since First Release: An Overview on the Current Status and Available Tools for FTire

  • Prof. Dr. Michael Gipser - FTire, Cosin Scientific Software

10:00 am – A Look Into the Future: Panel Discussion led by James Popio

  • Dean Tener, Mike Stackpole and Prof. Dr. Michael Gipser

10:45 am – Closing Remarks

11:00 am – Networking Break

11:30 am – Shuttle to Ravenna Tire Testing Lab

12:30 - 1:30 pm – Tour of Ravenna Tire Testing Lab

1:30 - 2:30 pm – Shuttle Back to Hotel


Dean Tener

Business Development Manager in USA specializing in Tire and Wheel Testing | Smithers Rapra

Dean has more than 30 years of experience in the research, design and testing sectors of the automotive industry, and provides product development assistance, testing and analysis for commercial tires. 

Previously, Dean was Senior Test Engineer for General Motors Tire/Wheel Systems. Prior to General Motors, Tener was Senior Engineer for Honda R&D Americas, where he led the CAE simulation for predicting vehicle steering, handling, ride and low-frequency vibrations. Dean also served as test and countermeasure development expert in the areas of drift/pull and torque steer.  He has also worked as the Technical Manager for Bridgestone/Firestone’s vehicle systems.

Expertise: Tire Testing

Based in Akron, Ohio, Dean focuses on strategic business and test program development, Force and Moment (F&M) testing and Plysteer Residual Aligning Torque (PRAT) services. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron.


Dr. James Popio

Vice President North America in USA specializing in Tire Performance and Characterization | Smithers Rapra

Dr. James A. Popio is Vice President of Operations -  North America of Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira in the United States. Prior to this he was Vice President and General Manager of Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira in the United Kingdom; and before that he was General Manager and Director of Engineering at Smithers Rapra's Ravenna Tire and Wheel Testing Laboratory in Ohio. 

Jim has worked with the tire and rubber industry for 20 years and has spent his professional career working for and/or with tire companies, tire dealers, automotive OEMs, industry suppliers, manufacturers, standards organizations and government agencies.  

Expertise: Tire performance, characterization and methods development

Jim has extensive experience in tire performance, characterization, and methods development. His specialty areas of expertise are force and moment, endurance, aging, compliance, indoor wear, rolling resistance, and characterization for modeling. Jim is a regular contributor to industry journals as well as a chair and speaker at major tire and rubber conferences.  Jim has a PhD in engineering and and MS, and BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron.


Chris Coker

Senior Program Manager | Altair


Chris Coker has been involved in vehicle dynamics simulation starting with his graduate studies at Texas A&M.  Since joining Altair Engineering in 1992, he’s worked on helping customers simulate, design, build, and test a variety of vehicles, ranging from golf-carts, race cars, aircraft, military vehicles, to 500 ton mining trucks.

Altair is a product design and development, engineering software and cloud computing software company, founded in 1985, with its headquarters in Troy, Michigan, and offices worldwide.



Michael Stackpole

President | Stackpole Engineering Services, Inc

Michael Stackpole is the President and Owner of Stackpole Engineering Services, Inc, located in North Canton, Ohio, USA.   Originally founded as a tire testing, modeling and analysis service company in 1999, the company’s team of industry leading vehicle dynamics and software engineers have helped to expand the company’s offerings to include commercially available custom simulation software and engineering analysis tools.  Stackpole Engineering currently provides tire/vehicle related engineering services throughout the world to professional motorsports programs and major automotive, truck and military vehicle manufacturers, their suppliers and aftermarket providers.  

Prior to starting Stackpole Engineering Services, Michael worked for 15 years at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, in both their OEM focused Vehicle Dynamics group and the Advanced Engineering group in Race Tire Development.  His focus was both development.  Prior to Goodyear, Michael worked in the Advanced Engineering group at Bridgestone/Firestone, where he specialized in tire/vehicle modeling and vehicle simulation development and analysis.

Expertise: Tire Modeling, Tire Data Fitting, Simulation Development and Tire/Vehicle System Analysis

Michael earned his BSME from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey and his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron.  Michael has 25 years of experience in the areas of tire testing, tire model development, tire data fitting, simulation analysis and engineering software development.


Karthik Krishnan

Automated Dynamic Analysis of Mechanical Systems (ADAMS) | MSC Software

Prof. Dr. Michael Gipser

Engineer, Partner | Cosin Scientific Software

Expertise: Simulation, System Dynamics, Vehicle Dynamics, Multibody Dynamics and Computer Science

1972-77        Darmstadt University, Applied Mathematics

1977-82        Mathematics Research Assistant, Darmstadt University

  • PhD in numerics of discretized nonlinear partial differential equations

1982-1993    Daimler-Benz Research, Stuttgart, Germany

  • Senior Researcher Vehicle Dynamics
  • Tire and suspension modeling Mathematical K&C Optimization
  • Simulation technology, computer animation
  • Mathematics of suspension control systems (active suspension, 4WS)
  • Head of System Dynamics Department

since 1993: Professor at Esslingen University, Germany

Automotive Engineering Faculty

  • Computer Simulation
  • System Dynamics
  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Suspension and Tire Modeling
  • Computer Science Programming
  • Author of the textbook 'Systemdynamik und Simulation'

since 1998: Development of the tire simulation model FTire and related software Development of 
cosin/mbs (multi-body dynamics based driving simulator software)

2009             Foundation of cosin scientific software & Commercialization of FTire

  • Cooperation contracts with MSC Software
  • Altair Engineering
  • Simpack AG
  • Dassault/3DS
  • Aachen University
  • Karlsruhe University
  • Neorium
  • Consultant of Daimler, BMW, Audi, VW, Jaguar-Landrover, Honda, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, GM, Opel, Ford, Chrysler, Bell, Volvo Car, Airbus, Deere, MAN, Bell, Caterpillar, Liebherr, Continental, Pirelli, Michelin, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Firestone, Hankook, Toyo, MagnaSteyr, and many more

2015             Retirement from Professorship

  • Full engangement in cosin scientific software and FTire development
  • Member of SAE, GAMM, ASIM









Venue & Accommodations

Courtyard by Marriott Akron Downtown

41 Furnace Street | Akron, Ohio 44308

This year's Tire Modeling training course will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Akron Downtown, which is centrally located to some of the best attractions and restaurants that downtown has to offer, and is also close by many leading tire brands. 

Additionally, we have secured a number of rooms at a discounted conference rate of $129.00 plus tax, with all delegates required to make their own travel arraignments and accommodation reservations. Parking is free at the hotel as well. 


Book your hotel room using the following link below or by calling the hotel at (330) 252-9228  and referencing the “Fundamentals of Tire Modeling training course".

Click here to book your room >>>

If you have any questions, please contact Alyssa Perna at

Gipser Interview

In preparation for this September's inaugural Fundamentals of Tire Modeling training course, we spoke with Prof. Dr. Michael Gipser of Cosin Scientific Software about his industry experience. With over 35 years of extensive involvement in the tire market, Prof. Dr. Gipser offered valuable insight into current challenges, future opportunities, and anticipated achievements within the tire modeling industry.

Why is this event important to the tire market?

Gipser: There is no doubt that the 'virtual tire' will play an ever growing part in virtual product development; the tire being one of the most important and, at the same time, least understood  components. In the past, model fidelity of the tire frequently stayed far behind model fidelity of other suspension components like bushings, shocks, power steering, etc.

In the last decade, the advent of physics-based (predictive rather than descriptive) tire models contributed to a much wider and much more accurate vehicle dynamics simulation application range. Obviously, for the CAE engineer as well as the decision maker, it is of highest importance to better understand both chances and limitations of the current state-of-the-art technology, and of future trends regarding the 'virtual tire'. 

What are you looking forward to the most in the future?

Gipser: One thing I am looking forward to is a much closer link between different levels of tire modeling (mathematical, physics-based, FEA-based) with respect to data exchange and model structure. I am also looking forward to the usage of high-end models in real-time environments and further widening the application range of physics-based models (hydroplaning; sophisticated soil models, acoustics, etc...)

Why should people attend this event?

Gipser: This training course will broaden your understanding of the current and future opportunities and limitations of tire modeling.

Your background focuses on research and development, why is this so important for Tire Modeling?

Gipser: There is no other way to describe the tire in all vehicle dynamics-relevant situations, in a predictive manner, than first understanding its physics (mechanics, thermodynamics, tribology, fluid dynamics).

What are some current challenges you are facing?

Gipser: Making the parameter fitting methods (implemented in our FTire/fit software) even more repeatable and automated by further reducing the need for manual interventions, promoting usage of FTire in real-time environments (HiL and simulators), and better combining indoor tests with FEA analyses, to get the best out of both worlds.  

What does FTire hope to achieve and what can we see happening over the next few years with regards to the development of the software?


  1. Releasing the co-simulation combination of FTire with our particle-based soil model (cosin/prm)
  2. Fully-automatic FTire/fit application in close cooperation with selected testing facilities
  3. If necessary, further refinement of our real-time capable thermal model component

What innovations would you like to see in FTire and similar software?

Gipser: In terms of innovations, I would like to see detailed but fast (real-time capable) hydroplaning simulation along with more detailed and physics-based tread rubber/road friction property descriptions (for example, Dr. Bo Persson's work).

Register now to hear more valuable insights from Prof. Dr. Michael Gipser this September at the Fundamentals of Tire Modeling training course.