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Swansea University

The Civil and Computational Engineering Research Centre (C2EC) at Swansea University has been at the forefront of international research in the area of computational engineering since the 1960?s.

Mainly under the leadership of the late Professor Olek Zienkiewicz, we have pioneered the development of many of the cornerstones of the finite element method, and other advanced computational techniques, which have enabled us to find solutions of many complex and very challenging engineering problems. The Finite Element Method has been recognized as one of the top 100 discoveries and developments in UK universities to have changed the world. The C2EC has consistently achieved the highest national research rating since the Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) was started in the UK. In the last RAE (2008) 95% of C2EC academic staff were rated as world leading or internationally excellent.

The Centre currently comprises over 60 PhD students and 80 RAs, and its research activities are supported by a high quality computational infrastructure, including a 800-processor cluster and the super computer Blue-C. The Centre is expanding and enhancing our reputation around the world through increasing our research income, allowing our staff to develop their research ideas. We've received £100 million in research funding since 2008.

The Swansea participants for this project belong to a research group that has an international reputation in finite/discrete element analysis and has contributed prominently to many fundamental developments in the field. Research activities over the last decade have largely focused on three general areas: (i) the modelling of continuum problems involving nonlinear material behaviour, finite strains and contact conditions, (ii) the simulation of discrete phenomena, such as particulates and multi-fracturing solids and (iii) the development of supporting computational technologies such as adaptive mesh refinement methods, parallel processing strategies and equation solution procedures.

Latterly, attention has been given to fluid flow/solid interaction problems. Our research work has been supported through numerous EPSRC grants and direct industrial funding, and particularly through involvement in European collaborative initiatives including BRITE/EURAM, VALUE, TEMPUS, COPERNICUS, HCM Networks, and ALIS projects.

The research group has enjoyed a long tradition in engaging international collaborations with many countries outside the Europe. Particularly we have maintained very strong strategic links with a number of leading research institutions in China. These links are further strengthened by some bilateral academic exchange activities with Tsinghua University over the past few years. Both C2EC and Tsinghua have initiated close research collaborations in the field of computational science, through several joint projects including "Increased Robustness & Practicability for Physical Modeling in Computer Graphics " (funded by the Royal Society, UK and the National Science Foundation of China), "Stochastic Analysis of Nuclear Graphite with Dispersed Micro Cracks" (funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering) and "Stochastic Finite Element Modelling Techniques" (as a sub-project funded by the 973 scheme in China). These collaborations have led to a series of high quality research publications. Jointly funded by Tsinghua University and Swansea University, the first Tsinghua-Swansea Joint Workshop on Computational Science was held at Tsinghua last summer. The current proposal, when successful, will provide an ideal platform for research cluster exchange, which will significantly strengthen and broaden the strategic link between Swansea and Tsinghua. It will add a ?momentum injection? to accelerate existing activities to publication and fruition, by collocating international teams in a single laboratory for prolonged periods of time.

The Civil and Computational Engineering Research Centre has access to one of the most advanced university computing facilities in Europe. Hardware includes a 450 cpu Cluster, high-end graphics workstations and high-speed network links. Extensive software packages include both in-house developed and 'off-the-shelf' commercial.

Over the last 30 years Swansea University has been at the forefront of international research in the area of computational engineering. We have pioneered the development of numerical techniques, such as the finite element method and associated computational procedures that have enabled the solution of many complex engineering problems.

Active research and industrial applications include: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Structural Analysis and Structural Optimisation, Geomechanics, Geometry Modelling and Grid Generation, Graphical User Environments and Solution Visualisation, High Performance Computing, Computational Electromagnetics, Materials Processing and Injection Moulding, Bio-medical, Water and Environmental Engineering.

Civil Engineering at Swansea is ranked second in the UK for its research quality. The Centre is recognised as a Centre of excellence by the Welsh Government.

Related to TCAiNMaND project, C2EC is the developer of the ELFEN code.


ELFEN is a 2D/3D numerical modelling package developed by our centre that incorporates all of the latest Finite Element (FE) and Discrete Element (DE) analysis technology to enable it to solve a wide range of problems. ELFEN is a general purpose finite element/discrete element system incorporating:

Graphical Pre-processing facilities (model generation with parametric design, processor for loading, boundary and process conditions, mesh generation, materials database, geometry import facilities)

Implicit/explicit FE and DEFT analysis capabilities (Linear static, Linear and Non-linear buckling, Natural frequency, Transient & dynamic stress, Steady state & Transient heat transfer, Non-linear heat transfer, Thermo-mechanical coupled, Material non-linear, Geometric non-linear, Two phase, Linear & non-linear field, Contact & Impact, Granular Dynamics, Fragmentation, Adaptivity, Rigid and deformable bodies, Newtonian & non-newtonian fluids)

Post processing facilities for assessment of results (Contour display, Graph plotting, Animation, Virtual Reality module)

Category: SWANSEA
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme, Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) under grant agreement n° 612607
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