Title image - The Centre for Numerical Modelling and Process Analysis

Centre History

90s

1999:

  • Research into computational optimisation coupled to multi-physics modelling techniques begins.
  • Research into evacuation from rail cars begins.
  • SIGNIFICANT GRANTS:
    • £170,000 secured from AIRBUS to research into evacuation capabilities of various aircraft configuration options.
    • £161,851 secured from EPSRC for WEAR project (Development of a Model to Predict the Life of Pneumatic Conveyor Bends Subject to Wear).
    • £21,769 secured from EPSRC for WEAR project (Experiments to gathering date for the Life of Pneumatic Conveyor Bends Subject to Wear).
  • OUTPUTS:
    • SOFTWARE RELEASES:
      • buildingEXODUS V2.0 is released.

1998:

  • Research work begins on the development of a maritime version of EXODUS, and implementing radiation and combustion models within SMARTFIRE.
  • The Intellectual Property of PHYSICA is invested into a new company called Multi-Physics Software Limited (MPSL). Founding shareholders are Cross, Pericleous, Chow and Bailey.
  • SIGNIFICANT GRANTS:
    • CSEG together with Wolfson Centre in collaboration with Surrey University secures £2.4 million grant (£1million EPSRC and £1.4million industry - Borax, GlaxoSmithKline, Tate and Lyle, Unilever and United Biscuits) to investigate Particulate Manufacturing.
    • £189,829 secured from EPSRC to develop models for predicting solder joint formation and its reliability in electronic packaging at sub-100 micro meter dimensions.
    • £140K funding from EPSRC secured for Containerless melting of reactive metals for casting.
    • £120,000 secured from EPSRC (Grant GR/L56749/01) to develop the SMARTFIRE fire simulation environment.
    • $70,000 to develop numerical models for the solder paste printing process supported by NIST (USA)
  • OUTPUTS:
    • SOFTWARE RELEASES:
      • SMARTFIRE V2.0 is released to consortium partners (Home Office, Essex Fire Brigade, LPC and Arup).
      • SMARTFIRE V2.0 is on general release and FSEG sells the first commercial license of SMARTFIRE.
      • airEXODUS V2.0 produced.
      • PHYSICA V2.0 is released having multi-physics and parallel solver capabilities.

1997:

  • Two short courses for the fire safety industry are launched. They are amongst the first courses in the world to cover the engineering disciplines of Fire Modelling and Evacuation Modelling. In the first year the courses attract 39 delegates.
  • Research into electronic product reliability begins with two key research grants.
  • Parallel version of the PHYSICA product becomes available. This marks the availability of the world's first parallel multi-physics solver.
  • SIGNIFICANT GRANTS:
    • Centre wins two key research grants on electronic product reliability, a KTP with FLOMERICS worth £98,000, and an EPSRC project on multi-physics modelling of Solder Joint Formation for flip-chip assembly worth £161,000.
    • £125,000 secured from Britannia Refined Metals to use computational fluid dynamics to optimise the lead-refining process.
  • OUTPUTS:
    • SOFTWARE RELEASES:
      • SMARTFIRE V2.0 released for internal use. First version to incorporate new case specification tool.

1996:

  • Work on Magnetohydrodynamics problems in metals processing begins.
  • Centre staff entered into RAE UoA Mechanical Engineering, score 3a with a group of 26 staff entered.
  • FSEG wins its first European Union funded research project. Known as FIREDASS, the project is a collaborative venture under BRITE/EuRam Framework IV (BRPR-CT95-0040) with partners CAA (UK), Cerberus (France), DLR (Germany), Marconi Avionics (UK), NTUA (Greece) and SINTEF (Norway). The project extends FSEG's work on sprinkler modelling to include water mist. This becomes a major research thrust for FSEG.
  • ENVIRONMENT:
    • STAFF:
      • 26 Research staff entered into the RAE.
  • SIGNIFICANT GRANTS:
    • EG/FSEG awarded £41,000 by EPSRC (Grant GR/K38250) to investigate Fire and evacuation in aircraft environments.
    • EG and MP/FSEG secures funding of £275,000 for project FIREDASS, an FP4 project concerned with fire suppression modelling using water mist.
  • OUTPUTS:
    • PUBLICATIONS:
      • 26 RAE research staff produce 49 publications of all types.
    • SOFTWARE RELEASES:
      • buildingEXODUS V1.0 is released and FSEG sells first commercial license of buildingEXODUS.
      • While internal versions of airEXODUS have been available since 1992, the first release version (V1.0) is produced with a version being sent to Boeing.
      • FSEG produces V1.0 of the SMARTFIRE software. Software is released internally for FSEG research.

1995:

  • V1.0 of PHYSICA is made available. This integrates the PHYSICA multi-physics solver within the CAD FEMSYS user environment for ease of use.
  • Research into a parallel version of PHYSICA begins.
  • SIGNIFICANT GRANTS:
    • £242K funding from the EPSRC secured for Portable software tools for the parallelisation of computation mechanics software.
  • OUTPUTS:
    • PUBLICATIONS:
      • 79 publications of all types produced.

1994:

  • Fire Combustion and Pyrolysis model development begins using the FLOW3D CFD code.
  • ESTEEM:
    • KP made a full professor in CFD.
    • CB becomes a member of the academic staff.
  • SIGNIFICANT GRANTS:
    • MC/CSEG secures £124K from EPSRC for Semilevitation melting project.
    • EG/FSEG secures funding of the order of £320,000 from various sources, including the UK CAA and EPSRC for the development of the airEXODUS evacuation model.
  • OUTPUTS:
    • PUBLICATIONS:
      • 60 publications of all types produced.

1993:

  • Research work to extend the airEXODUS concept to building evacuation applications begins. Work on the buildingEXODUS evacuation model begins.
  • Work on re-engineering the unstructured CFD FORTAN code CWNN, developed by CSEG into an interactive C++ CFD code by FSEG, begins as part of the SMARTFIRE development.
  • Work starts on rewriting the software CWNN into a commercial product called PHYSICA for general purpose multi-physics simulations.
  • Centre's first external publications to appear which describe the EXODUS evacuation model concept. These are amongst the first publications to appear describing fine grain evacuation modelling, linking the generation of fire hazards with evacuation behaviour.
  • Computer Science Group formed with Prof Brian Knight as director.
  • ENVIRONMENT:
    • CENTRE RESEARCH GROUPS:
      • Computational Science and Engineering Group (CSEG)
      • Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG)
      • High Performance Computing Group (HPCG)
      • Computer Science
  • OUTPUTS:
    • PUBLICATIONS:
      • 53 publications of all types produced.

1992:

  • First fully coupled models of casting that involved the phase change from liquid to solid, and the subsequent developments of stress, are developed and embedded into software called UIFS for analysis in two dimensions, and then extended to three dimensional analysis in the code CWNN.
  • Work on developing an expert systems controlled, 2D unstructured mesh CFD code begins; this very early work marks the beginning of the SMARTFIRE concept.
  • Centre staff entered into RAE UoA Applied Mathematics, score a 3.
  • ESTEEM:
    • EG made a full professor in Mathematical Modelling with his chair partially funded by the UK CAA.
  • OUTPUTS:
    • PUBLICATIONS:
      • 41 publications of all types produced.

1991:

  • First research grant from UK CAA to continue the development of the airEXODUS aircraft evacuation model is secured.
  • ENVIRONMENT:
    • STAFF:
      • CB returns to the Centre as a research fellow.
    • HARDWARE INFRASTRUCTURE:
      • The Centre acquires a 28 node INTEL i860 parallel system. This was a very powerful system for its time, the full system delivering about 1 Gflop. The system was enhanced on three occasions. This system led to some significant simulations being performed including large scale fire simulations.

1990:

  • Research into human behaviour and evacuation begins. The first application area is focused on aircraft evacuation. These efforts mark the beginning of the development of the EXODUS suite of software and airEXODUS.
  • Development of the concept of intelligent control of CFD software begins. This is demonstrated using a 2D heat transfer code, FLOWES. This concept is later adopted and adapted by FSEG as part of the SMARTFIRE development.
  • ENVIRONMENT:
    • Phd STUDENTS:
      • Dr Nicole Hoffmann becomes FSEG's first PhD graduate.
  • SIGNIFICANT GRANTS:
    • £250K secured from the EPSRC for the ACME casting initiative.