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Modeling and Simulation

The ORNL Modeling and Simulation (M&S) group uses advanced modeling techniques to develop and demonstrate solutions for a wide range of energy, biomedical, homeland security and defense-related applications, including: electric grid modeling and simulation, systems analysis for optimization and reliability, design and performance evaluation of renewable energy, design and analysis of fuel production systems, critical infrastructure analysis, nuclear systems analysis, and atmospheric risk and quality assurance. 


Our competency is applying scientific computing and large-scale modeling and simulation techniques for engineering and analyzing complex systems with specializations in the following areas: discrete-event simulation, communications modeling, heat transfer and fluid flow, fracture mechanics, probabilistic risk assessment, discrete- and continuous-process control and advanced sensing & actuation. The unique combination of scientific staff, modeling and simulation expertise, and state-of-the-art computing resources permit us to address essentially any application at any point in the Research and Development, Design, and Operations spectrum. These world class capabilities include the following:

  • Physics-based modeling including computational fluid dynamics, numerical heat conduction, computational fracture mechanics, computational physics, physiological and psychological biomedical simulation, as well as environmental and meteorological modeling.
  • Engineering systems analysis for energy research including electric grid, renewable power, manufacturing systems, industrial processes, and facilities vulnerability assessments.
  • Analysis of complex systems such as human neurological and physiological processes, human cognition
  • Design and development of sensing, communication, control, and actuation systems for highly coupled system-of-systems and autonomous process-control systems.
  • Development of parallel discrete-event-simulation algorithms and numerical engines for network, traffic, social dynamics, sensor, and organization simulations.
  • Technical expertise in a diverse array of applications, including research reactors, global carbon sequestration, fusion energy, nuclear weapons manufacturing, advanced military weapons systems, pollutant fate and transport, medical- and industrial-event forewarning, autonomous measurement and control systems, energy infrastructures, the interdiction of smuggled nuclear materials, and remote sensor networks.

The M&S group is comprised of four main teams; 1) Systems Engineering and Cybernetics ; 2) Heat and Mass Transfer; 3) Atmospheric Risk and Quality Assurance; and 4) Computational Structure and Fracture Mechanics.