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Durham University


Massively Parallel Particle Hydrodynamics for Engineering and Astrophysics

SPH (smoothed particle hydrodynamics), and Lagrangian approaches to hydrodynamics in general, are a powerful approach to hydrodynamics problems. In this scheme, the fluid is represented by a large number of particles. Each particle tracks a Lagrangian element, moving with the flow. The scheme does not require a predefined grid making it very suitable for tracking flows with moving boundaries, particularly flows with a free surfaces, and problems that involve the mixing of different fluids, flows with physically active elements or large dynamic range. The method was originally developed to study stellar collisions, but is widely adopted in engineering and cosmology because of it flexibility, adaptivity and natural multi-physics capability. The range of applications of the method is growing rapidly and is being adopted by a rapidly growing range of commercial companies including Airbus, Unilever, Shell, EDF, Michelin and Renault.

The widespread use of SPH, and its potential for adoption across a wide range of science domains, make it a priority use case for the Excalibur project. Massively parallel simulations with billion to hundreds of billions of particles will revolutionise our understanding of the Universe and will empower engineering applications of unprecedented scale, ranging from the end-to-end simulation of transients (such as bird strike) in a jet engines, to simulation of tsunami waves over-running a series of defensive walls.

The ExCALIBUR project brings together a wide range of experience and knowledge, from Engineering, Computer Science and Astrophysics. The group will identify the limitations of current approaches and will develop proof of concept solutions that will set out the path to SPH simulations in the exa-scale limit.The working group bring together two state of the art codes. SWIFT and DualSPHysics:

1. SWIFT: a state-of-the-art SPH fluid dynamics solver that uses a novel Fine-grained task parallelism approach

2. DualSPHysics: a state of the art GPU enabled SPH code.

The team


Richard Bower (Durham)


Alastair Basden (Durham)

Tobias Weinrzierl (Durham)

Carlos Frenk (Durham)

Benedict Rogers (Manchester)

Georgios Fourtakas (Manchester)

Scott Kay (Manchester)

Robert Crain (Liverpool John Moores)

Tom de Vuyst (Hertfordshire)

Pablo Lauren-Aguilar (Exeter)

Dave Acreman (Exeter)

Matthieu Schaller (Leiden)