Zenotech partners with Rolls-Royce on an innovative simulation project

Zenotech joins a ground-breaking project to drive engine research with Rolls-Royce

  • Zenotech is participating with Rolls-Royce in an innovative project on a world-first high-fidelity virtual simulation of a complete gas-turbine engine during operation.
  • This project is part of the second round of business-led EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Prosperity Partnerships that connect researchers with industry.
  • Zenotech is working with leading universities and partners to create the next generation of advanced simulation capabilities.

Zenotech is excited to announce its participation in a new ground-breaking project with Rolls-Royce and partners to develop a world-first high-fidelity virtual simulation of a complete gas-turbine engine during operation. Announced today, this is one of seven EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships which link industry with academic researchers. Partners include the University of Edinburgh with its EPCC (Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre) as project lead, the University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Warwick and CFMS. The ambitious project will examine the use of advanced computing for simulation at scale in an unprecedented level of detail.

This project will enable simulations with unmatched modelling accuracy, as well as developing solutions to cyber threats in cloud computing and large scale simulations. The aim is to create the next generation of simulation capabilities, which will allow Rolls-Royce to improve engine performance, and it is hoped the research will lead to the virtual certification of gas turbine engines.

Zenotech is highly active in the field of HPC and simulations, delivering commercial tools across engineering sectors. Our CFD solver, zCFD will be utilised and developed through the project with access to the most powerful computing resources, including ARCHER, the latest UK National Supercomputing Service which allows researchers to run simulations which require large numbers of processing in parallel. zCFD offers affordable CFD at scale and has been validated through a number of industrial test cases already; recently zCFD performed successfully in a blind test for the wind energy sector.

Zenotech will also be majoring on secure access to cloud computing resources and optimising the allocation of complex engineering workflows to heterogeneous high performance computing (HPC) resources via its EPIC platform.  EPIC allows engineers and scientists access to a wide range of HPC resources, including large research clusters, cloud providers and internal resources. Access to this flexible pool of resources allows engineers to run large scale simulations with EPIC providing the tools to ensure they stay within any time, cost and security constraints.

This five-year project is one of seven in the UK that aim to develop links between researchers and industry partners in order to boost the nation’s economy and its place as a global player. The £42 million scheme is funded by EPSRC, industry partners and universities. Industry partners involved in these projects include AkzoNobel, AstraZeneca and Google.

Zenotech co-founder, David Standingford said: 

“We are delighted to be participating in this innovative project with Rolls-Royce and strategic partners to help develop the next generation of simulation and modelling which requires advances well beyond the state-of-the-art solutions of today. Our zCFD product is already well-established in developing engineering processes, and we look forward to accessing supercomputing resources to offer new ways to further optimise the design of gas-turbine engines for Rolls-Royce.”

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Executive Chair said:

“Our first round of Prosperity Partnerships are proving a great success. They are bringing universities and industry together and applying the creative energies of both to engineering and scientific challenges. Our next round of Partnerships covers a broad range of fields and has, on top of EPSRC’s £20.4 million investment, leveraged in £16.8 million from industry partners and a further £4.9 million from universities. We are confident that these projects will deliver real benefits to all their partners and help the UK research, discover and innovate.”

Zenotech’s David Standingford will chair the Industrial Advisory Board responsible for aligning the project with business challenges along with Rolls-Royce, CFMS and selected independent members.

Find out more about our computational fluid dynamics solver (zCFD) which is freely available for academic and research purposes.

EPIC is available as an online service offering a range of engineering simulation software and HPC resources.

Follow our blog and @Zentoech on Twitter for updates on this exciting project.

*Featured image kindly supplied by Rolls-Royce plc.