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Reducing Costly “Trial & Error” Approaches

In enabling or improving manufacturing processes and manufactured products, and to increase understanding of complex processes and products.

Computational Engineering Modelling is one essential tool to increase understanding of complex processes and products. Improving manufacturing processes and manufactured products often requires experimentation along a “trial and error approach”.
This can be costly in terms of staff time and materials and is often a lengthy process sometimes with an uncertain outcome. The predictive capabilities offered by computational modelling can reduce or eliminate the “trial and error” approach so that new products can have shorter lead times to market and new processes and products can be optimised with low risk and faster implementation times.

Complex Physical Phenomena

Progress in understanding the physics, building models for it and in computing technology results in an ever-improving capability and reliability of numerical simulations. Heat transfer, gas and liquid flows, particle flows, structural mechanics and electromagnetic phenomena can be simulated and combined in multi-physics models developed through research to understand their interactions and effects. This can be applied to review product performance in its intended use and throughout the manufacturing process.

Advanced Techniques

Increasing the range of scenarios: Many advanced techniques exist now for computer modelling of engineering processes; these include the Finite Element, Finite Difference, Finite Volume and Discrete Element Methods or applied mathematical modelling techniques.


There have been many successful projects with companies in the area of Computational Modelling under ASTUTE  (2010 - 2015) generating significant impact. Our capabilities are outlined below:

Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

  • Heat Transfer and Thermal Phenomena
  • Injection Moulding
  • Solid mechanics
       - Structural/static/elastic & plastic/hyperelastic deformation
       - Linear and non-linear analysis
       - Fatigue/Fracture
       - Composite
  • Fluid – Structure Interaction
  • Coupled Multi- Physics Simulation

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

  • Fluid dynamics - for liquid, gas and particulate flows, and multiphase flows
  • Transport Phenomena - of discrete and dissolved phases.
  • Fluid – Structure Interaction
  • Coupled Multi- Physics Simulation

(The image shows absolute pressure contours in the impeller axial gap of CentriMag® Ventricular Assist Device)


  • Topological Optimisation
  • Parametric Optimisation
  • Gradient-based and evolutionary methods

Wave Propagation

  • Electromagnetic simulation
  • Acoustics modelling

The modelling capabilities are supported through advanced techniques developed at our partner Universities based on bespoke software or further development on commercial software in mesh generation, finite volume or finite element methods.

Analysis Tools with Modern Computer Power

Techniques can be applied in an increasing range of manufacturing and product scenarios across a variety of sectors, utilising the following software:


ANSYS is a suite of engineering simulation software, best known for its mechanical solver, and CFD capability (Fluent and CFX). Electromagnetics, acoustics and more specialised solvers give an opportunity to explore multi-physics interaction such as the mechanical and dynamic response of a solid in fluid flow, or in an electro-magnetic field.


Altair Hyperworks is a numerical analysis software suite mainly based on the finite element analysis. Its strength resides in its optimisation fluid flow and electromagnetic capabilities As a research institution, collaboration with Altair gives an opportunity to develop new advanced optimisation techniques.

Plastic Injection Moulding

Analysts use Moldflow plastic injection moulding simulation software in combination with bespoke optimisation techniques to improve plastic part designs, injection mould designs and manufacturing processes.


ASTUTE 2020 has access to a broad toolset, ensuring inter-operability with the main computer aided design systems. In particular, interfacing capabilities with Solidworks, CATIA, Inventor and Rhino are available.


Multi-purpose explicit and implicit finite element program used to analyse the nonlinear response of structures.

Case studies Relating to Computational Engineering Modelling