All grown up! 15 Years of using Simcenter STAR-CCM+

By Joel Davison

A postdoc walks into a bar office

A little over 15 years ago, a fresh faced young post-doc walked into the Hammersmith office of CD-adapco for a job interview. Along with the usual discussions on his experience and suitability, he was given a test to judge how readily he could pick up new software and learn on the fly. The software in question was a new code called STAR-CCM+, Version 1.02 to be exact. 

In case you hadn’t guessed the post-doc in question was yours truly and, having done my PhD using STAR-CD, STAR-CCM+ came as a bit of a shock. You couldn’t manipulate cells and vertices directly and there was no command line! Probably most surprising was that you didn’t need to write pages of Fortran to get things done. 

Confusing as it seemed, STAR-CCM+ was also exciting, the interface was easy to use, and the post-processing was great. Probably the most amazing feature, however, was seeing flowfield develop as the solver ran and changing settings on the fly. In a time of tailing log files to understand solution progress it felt like a brave new world.

The release announcement for CD adapco group’s new CFD code

Back in 2005 it was a pretty basic code, single phase only, no meshing, and limited post processing. Since then, the three major releases per year have enabled the software to develop at an phenomenal rate. Simcenter STAR-CCM+ really can lay claim to being the most capable and powerful CFD solution on the market today. 

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ version 1 on the left, FSI 2020.1 on the right. I think its fair to say it’s come a long way on a short space of time!

Our new webinar series

So why am I reminiscing about my 15 years of using Simceneter STAR-CCM+? Well you’ve probably read some of the blogs that detail the developments in every new release. While it is always great to talk about exciting new capabilities, we felt it was time to take a step back and look at what makes Simcenter STAR-CCM+ the powerful solution it is today.

Over the next few months we will be holding a series of webinars to highlight different aspects of Simcenter STAR-CCM+ and how it can help you bring new and innovative products to market as well as highlighting some amazing things our customers are doing with it. All Webinars will be available on-demand after the live event.

We’ve kicked things off by talking about some of the technologies introduced over the years that make Simcenter STAR-CCM+ what it is today. From there we will look at how you can easily go from running a single design point to hundreds and improve your products through design exploration in our “One to Many” webinar.  

On-demand Webinars:

Design exploration has become an critical part of Simcenter STAR-CCM+ today

Next up, we will focus on how Simcenter STAR-CCM+ enables the building of  high-fidelity digital twins. We will demonstrate how you can incorporate more physics and geometric detail than ever before, enabling simulation of truly realistic representations of your products.  

Of course, it is fine to talk about running multiple design points and realistic physics, but unless you can get meaningful results quickly, it can be of little value . That is why our final webinar will look at how Simcenter STAR-CCM+ allows you to complete simulations and make informed engineering decisions in hours, not weeks.

Developments such as adaptive mesh refinement are driving down simulation time without sacrificing physical realism

Older, maybe wiser, still excited about
Simcenter STAR-CCM+

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ has come an awful long way in those 15 years since I started at CD-adapco. Every new release continues to deliver hundreds of new and innovative features and there is a lot more on the way. I’m continually amazed to see how it keeps getting better and how our users apply it in ways we never dreamt of. 

These days the face may not be so fresh, and I can’t really be accused of being that young any more, but I still find using Simcenter STAR-CCM+ as exciting as the first time I laid eyes on it. So please join me for the first of the series of four webinars and see how Simcenter STAR-CCM+ is redefining the art of the possible in CFD simulation.  

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at