Uncle Sam’s HPC CFD Post-processing Supercomputer specifies EnSight

When the U.S. Government’s Department of Energy (DoE)  builds its next two supercomputers, the Trinity and NERSC-8,  it specified the software for post-processing and visualization it wants to be able to use.  In that specification the only commercial software for post-processing was CEI’s EnSight.   See section 4.1.1 of the document for yourself.


These computers are to be delivered in 2015, probably not taking advantage of free shipping from Amazon Prime accounts, or iTunes gift cards.

No other agency in the world has built more supercomputers for science and engineering.  So at CEI, (we might be biased) we think it is a very strong endorsement for EnSight over other commercial CFD post-processing and visualization software.

The labs that will be using these computers are:


More nuggets from the introduction of the draft requirements document.

“The intention is to choose a single vendor to deliver two systems of similar technology. The technical specifications in this document describe joint requirements everywhere except for the tables in Section 3 that describe requirements specific to the Trinity and NERSC-8 systems.”  “The Offeror must respond with a configuration and price for both systems.”   Kind of like the Joint Strike Fighter procurement where the government didn’t want to buy different aircraft for different branches of the military.

“In the 2015 timeframe, the current ASC systems will be nearing the end of their useful lifetime.” “The Trinity system, to be sited at Los Alamos, NM, is projected to provide a large portion of the ATS resources for the NNSA ASC tri-lab simulation community: Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), during the 2016-2020 timeframe.”

“The system needs to provide a significant upgrade in computational capabilities, with a target increase between 10-30 times the sustained performance over the NERSC-6 Hopper system.”

“In addition to increasing the computational capability available to DOE computational scientists, the system also needs to be a platform that will begin to transition DOE scientific applications to more energy-efficient, many-core architectures. This need is closely aligned with the US Department of Energy’s 2011 strategic plan, which states an imperative to continue to advance the frontiers of energy-efficient computing and supercomputing to enable greater computational capacity with lower energy needs. Energy-efficient computing is a cornerstone technology of what has been called exascale computing and represents the only way of continuing NERSC’s historic performance growth in response to science needs.”

sage_asteroid_Cx45e from EnSight by CEI Software on Vimeo.

Converge Post-processing accelerates through Convergent Science Inc. and CEI partnership

July 15, 2013 – Convergent Science Inc. has announced that they have partnered with Computational Engineering International, Inc. to offer CEI’s flagship product EnSight-Desktop fully integrated into CONVERGE™ Studio. CONVERGE™ Studio is the graphical user interface for the innovative CFD solver CONVERGE™.  The goal is to improve CONVERGE post-processing.

Rob Kaczmarek, Director of Sales and Marketing at Convergent Science stated “We are very pleased to partner with CEI to bundle EnSight-Desktop with CONVERGE™ Studio.  Having CEI’s post-processor integrated with CONVERGE™ Studio will offer our CFD users an industry leading option for visualizing their CONVERGE™ results.”

Darin McKinnis, VP of Sales & Marketing at CEI Software commented “EnSight has been used to post-process and visualize CONVERGE™ results for several years, but the past two years as our companies have worked more closely together we’ve made greater strides than ever in better serving CONVERGE™ users.  We expect that progress to accelerate due to this partnership.

CONVERGE™ Studio allows users to cleanup geometries, setup cases, prepare chemical mechanism reduction, create plots, and post process all in one easy to use environment. With CONVERGE™ Studio getting from CAD to CFD just got even faster.

Sample movie made by EnSight with data from a jet engine combustor simulated by CONVERGE™.=

Standard Features

  • Full problem setup with Screen Slide technology
  • Input condition and validation
  • Chemical Mechanism Reduction utility
  • Plotting utilities

About Convergent Science

CONVERGE™ is an innovative CFD software that automates the meshing at runtime with a perfectly orthogonal Cartesian mesh, eliminating the need for a user defined mesh.  This combined with its Adaptive Mesh Refinement technology allows for easy analysis of complex geometries and moving boundaries.  CONVERGE™ is also equipped with extremely fast and efficient detailed chemistry, an extensive set of physical sub-models, a genetic algorithm optimization module, and fully automated parallelization.


About CEI

CEI, founded in 1994, offers an entire range of EnSight versions for CFD post-processing and visualization needs, from a free version (EnSight Free) to one supporting the most advanced Virtual Reality (VR) displays and massive CFD simulation datasets (EnSight DR). EnSight offers unparalleled interactivity, performance, image quality, and flexibility in CFD post-processing and visualization.  CEI has corporate headquarters in Apex, N.C., offices in Tokyo, Munich, Shanghai, and Pune, India and authorized distributors around the world.


Additional Information

Samples of EnSight-produced movies from Converge Data

Requesting EnSight for Converge

Attempting to Break the Land Speed Record with the Help of CFD

CEI, Pointwise and North American Eagle (NAE) will present a free joint webinar on the application of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) techniques toward breaking the land speed record on Wednesday, November 7th at 11:00 a.m. CST. The webinar will be hosted by Chris Sideroff from Pointwise, Darren Grove from NAE, and Kevin Colburn from CEI.

Metacomp CFD++ solution of the North American Eagle @ 700 MPH with design cycle 1 fairings. Composite image showing unstructured viscous mesh generated with Pointwise, overlaid by stream-wise velocity on ground & symmetry planes, vehicle surfaces colored by pressure and near surface streamlines using EnSight post-processing software.

Aerodynamics Engineer Darren Grove will show us how use of Pointwise for pre-processing, CFD++ from Metacomp Technologies for flow solutions, and EnSight from CEI for post-processing NAE improved the drag and stability characteristics of the NAE vehicle. Within the context of the overall goal of achieving 800 mph, this webinar will discuss how Mr. Grove used Pointwise and EnSight to help design aft suspension fairings to reduce overall drag on the NAE car while maintaining stability and control.

Techniques presented will include:

• Generating fast, repeatable, complex, viscous, unstructured meshes with T-Rex
• Employing CFD as a cost-effective tool to help an all-volunteer team attempt the world land speed record
• Challenges of designing a stable, low drag wheel system for a supersonic ground vehicle
• Efficiently extracting drag and stability information from a large number of calculations using EnSight

To register for the webinar, please visit https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/414913270

Chris Sideroff, Ph.D. – Technical Sales Engineer
Chris Sideroff joined Pointwise in September 2007 after working as a petroleum engineer for the NATCO Group, a CAD engineer for ARV Development, and a computer technician for Harddata Ltd. Dr. Sideroff earned both a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta in 2000 and 2003. He earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University in 2009.

Kevin Colburn, – Sales Manager, CEI
Kevin Colburn joined CEI in March 2007 after working for 14 years in automotive, combustion and aerospace fields as a CFD engineer. Kevin’s background is as a CFD user utilizing a wide variety of tools and techniques in the utilization of CFD within real world design cycles. Kevin had 7 years experience using EnSight as a user before joining CEI. Kevin received his B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic University in 1995.

Darren V. Grove , Aerodynamic Consultant, North American Eagle
Darren Grove holds a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland, and an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey CA. Specializing in CFD and design, with a strong background in wind tunnel and flight testing, and IT support, he is experienced in subsonic, transonic, and supersonic aerodynamics. Darren has over 18 years experience in CFD technologies and has worked on programs like the F/A-18E/F and Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for the Naval Air Systems Command, and the Boeing 787, 777, 737MAX, and Open Fan Rotor programs. Currently Darren works within the Product Development group at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, analyzing performance on the next generation of aircrafts.

Computational Engineering International (CEI), Inc. develops and sells EnSight, the premier CFD post-processing and visualization software. EnSight can handle data from all the major CFD solvers including ANSYS FLUENT, STAR-CCM+, ANSYS CFX and OpenFOAM, as well as many neutral formats, such as CGNS, PLOT3D, and more.  EnSight offers extensive flow feature extraction capabilities and excellent support for transient and large models.  CEI offers a free version of EnSight, cleverly named EnSight Free, so that CFD engineers can adopt it at their own pace. And with free 3D viewers EnLiten and Reveal, users of EnSight can communicate and share CFD results with colleagues, managers, and customers easily and effectively. EnSight is a trademark of CEI, Inc.

Pointwise, Inc. is solving the top problem facing engineering analysts today — mesh generation for computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The company’s Pointwise software generates structured, unstructured, and hybrid meshes; interfaces with CFD solvers, such as ANSYS FLUENT, STAR-CCM+, ANSYS CFX and OpenFOAM, as well as many neutral formats, such as CGNS; runs on Windows (Intel and AMD), Linux (Intel and AMD), and Mac, and has scripting languages that can automate CFD meshing. Large manufacturing firms and research organizations worldwide rely on Pointwise as their complete CFD preprocessing solution. More information about Pointwise is available at www.pointwise.com.

Pointwise is a registered trademark and Pointwise Glyph and T-Rex are trademarks of Pointwise, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owner.

The purpose of the North American Eagle™ Land Speed Program is to test the capability of a land based vehicle to safely transition through supersonic speed. The by-products of this challenge have the potential to impact high-speed rail, ground effects of high-speed aircraft in the landing configuration as well as deceleration methods utilized by high-speed vehicles. The fuels and lubricants utilized during the project are also significant. Materials used for the construction of the vehicle, and most importantly, the wheels, are critical to the project’s success. All phases of this project are continually measured against a risk factor. Above all, breaking a land speed record must not result in unacceptable risk to the driver, crew or spectators. The primary objective of the project is to break the current land-speed record of 763mph, currently held by the British, with the goal to get to 800mph.

Visit http://www.landspeed.com for more information.


River Flooding, Tsunami and Groundwater Simulations

We’ve noticed a surge in interest in EnSight for visualizing flooding and other groundwater control simulations.

Yes, we do have translation routines for both River-FLO, FLO-2D, MIKE21_FM, and MIKE21_Classic formats. These translation routines to convert these formats into EnSight Case Format, which can then be read into and visualized with EnSight.

Summary of the different translation routines on our Python Exchange Website:

You can find details about the different translation routines, some examples of aerial photo application onto the model, special time annotations, as well as a video tutorial showing one of the translation routines in action, as well as some of the fundamental benefits of utilizing EnSight for visualization of these types of river & flood tools.

You can also find on our gallery website some of the animations and engineering quantification of River & Flood simulation results using EnSight:


River Flood simulation. Simulation courtesy of Wood Rodgers, using MIKE21 Classic. Dataset read into EnSight, and visualized using EnSight 10. Keyframe animations, aerial photo texture mapping, isovolume calculation, graphs of the area effected over time, max depth, as well as profiles through the simulation.


This short animation illustrates the power of EnSight’s interactivity. In this video, we have first created a clip through the flood as a “cross-section”. We then graphed the depth along this cross section in the plotter. Next, the interactivity of EnSight now allows the user to interactively drag the cross-section to anywhere they would like, and the plot automatically updates instantaneously. Simulation results courtesy of Wood Rodgers.


Animation of the river flood event in EnSight. In this animation, we have used EnSight’s 3D arrow along with the interactive query of the max depth to illustrate to the user the dynamic location of the maximum depth as time develops. Simulation results courtesy of Wood Rodgers


Are you involved with River and Flooding simulations? Are there specific aspects to the simulation that you are trying to capture and illustrate? We’d like to hear more about this type of work and see where EnSight can help you analyze, visualize, and communicate those results.