Computational engineering

Project overview

Our simulations in this area deal with the development and application of computational models and simulations, tightly integrated with high-performance computing, to solve complex physical problems arising in engineering analysis and design (computational engineering) as well as natural phenomena.

In recent years, we have investigated common relevant phenomena such as the study of trailing vortices that form during aircraft takeoff and cause delays of several minutes between consecutive starts, therefore creating waiting queues during peak traffic hours.

Current research activities are reported in the framework below.

Large-scale simulations of human bone under elastic deformations have been demonstrated to offer critically  superior information for the behavior of bone under stress than traditional diagnostic techniques such as measuring bone density. We have employed micro-finite-element simulations with hundreds of millions of elements, resulting in billions of degrees of freedom, and showed extreme scalability on tens of thousands of processors on Blue Gene supercomputers. Our next steps focus on a scale down of the technology to utilize many core inexpensive HPC platforms that will allow the methodology to become incorporated into everyday clinical practice more easily.

Bone density


  • C. Bekas, A. Curioni, P. Arbenz, C. Flaig, G. H. Van Lenthe, R. Mueller and A. Wirth
    Extreme Scalability Challenges in Micro-Finite Element Simulations of Human Bone,
    Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience. Volume 22 Issue 16, November 2010, pp. 2282-2296. DOI.