FLOW-3D World Users Conference 2023

FLOW-3D World Users Conference 2023
FLOW-3D World Users Conference 2023

We invite our customers from around the world to join us at the FLOW-3D World Users Conference 2023. The conference will be held on June 5-7, 2023 at the Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile in Strasbourg, France. Join fellow engineers, researchers and scientists from some of the world’s most renowned companies and institutions to hone your simulation skills, explore new modeling approaches and learn about the latest software developments. The conference will feature application-specific tracks, advanced training sessions, technical presentations by our customers, and the latest product developments presented by Flow Science’s senior technical staff. The conference will be co-hosted by XC Engineering

Call for Abstracts

The call for abstracts is now open through March 31, 2023!

Share your experiences, present your success stories and obtain valuable feedback from the FLOW-3D user community and our senior technical staff. Abstracts should include a title, author(s) and a 200 word description and can be emailed to info@flow3d.com

Social Events

Opening Reception

The reception will take place at the conference hotel, Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile in the Vineyard from 18:00-19:00 on Monday, June 5. All conference attendees are invited to this event.

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will take place the evening of Tuesday, June 6. All conference attendees are invited to this event. Time and location, TBA. Stay tuned for more details!

Conference Information

Important Dates

  • March 31, 2023: Abstracts Due
  • April 7, 2023: Abstracts Accepted
  • May 26, 2023: Presentations Due
  • June 5, 2023: Advanced Training Sessions
  • June 6, 2023: Conference Dinner

Registration Fees

  • Day 1 and 2 of the conference: 300 €
  • Day 1 of the conference: 200 €
  • Day 2 of the conference: 200 €
  • Guest Fee (social events only): 50 €
  • Training Sessions: Free!

Advanced Training Sessions

All training sessions are free for conference attendees!

Training Schedule

Monday, June 5, 2023
  • 1:30-300: FLOW-3D (x)
  • 3:00-3:30: Coffee break with refreshments
  • 3:30-4:00: Rescale & Cloud Computing
  • 4:00-5:30: FLOW-3D POST

FLOW-3D POST: Beyond the basics, simulation troubleshooting and advanced scene rendering

FLOW-3D POST is a flexible, powerful post-processing tool which allows the user to easily change focus from cell-level point property investigations up to complete scene advanced rendering. In this training we will explore two common post-processing functions. We will first learn how to extract point value information for either troubleshooting or run-time improvement purposes. This part is deeply technical but offers the reward of providing insights into why a simulation may be running into numerical difficulties or inefficiencies. In the second part  we learn how to create compelling images and animations by exploiting advanced rendering effects using vectors, ray tracing and moving camera effects.

FLOW-3D (x): Efficiency and improved simulation insights through automation

FLOW-3D (x) is a powerful addition to the FLOW-3D toolkit which allows users to easily connect, automate and optimize many simulation elements, from CAD parametric definitions through automated simulation and post-processing complete cycle workflows. In this training, users will learn how to use FLOW-3D (x) in conjunction with other software nodes in order to create robust simulation environments, thereby automating simulation and post-processing tasks to greatly improve workflow efficiency.

Attendees will receive a free 3-month license of FLOW-3D (x) after the conference.

Rescale: A new platform for FLOW-3D users to leverage cloud-based high performance computing (HPC) resources

Flow Science is offering a new cloud-based resource, Rescale, for customers to run FLOW-3D models on a wide selection of remote hardware. This training is structured around three topics: 

  1. Opening a Rescale account, running a model and post-processing data; 
  2. Running on Rescale in command line mode versus using Rescale in a user interface-based environment; and 
  3. Detailed benchmarking on many different types of hardware architectures available on Rescale, to clarify the cost-performance considerations tied to hardware choice and HPC deployment strategy. At the end of the training session, users will have a clear command of both the practicalities and the costs of running models on the Rescale platform.

Presenter Information

Each presenter will have a 30 minute speaking slot, including Q & A. All presentations will be distributed to the conference attendees and on our website after the conference. A full paper is not required for this conference. Please contact us if you have any questions about presenting at the conference. XC Engineering will sponsor the Best Presentation Award.


Conference Hotel

Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

4 place Saint Pierre le Jeune

GPS: 48.585184, 7.746356
fax +33 3 88 15 49 99

Visit the hotel website for train and airport information.

Meeting Room Rate

The meeting room block will be open from January 15 to April 15, 2023.

  • Classic room: 195.00 euros per night
  • Superior room: 220.00 euros per night
  • Superior room with balcony: 250.00 euros per night
  • Luxury room: 250.00 euros per night
  • Breakfast included for 1 person
  • Extra charge for double occupancy: 30.00 euros per night
  • Local tax: 3.30 euros per person and per night
  • Free of charge cancellation if notified more than 7 days prior to arrival.
Sofitel Strasbourg
Sofitel Strasbourg Lobby
Sofitel Strasbourg Terrace

Making The Mactaquac Dam New Again

FLOW-3D HYDRO Case Studies

Making The Mactaquac Dam New Again

FLOW-3D HYDRO computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software answers important questions about the future of New Brunswick’s historic Mactaquac Dam.

This material was provided by Jason Shaw, Discipline Director – Hydrotechnical Engineering, Hatch Ltd.

Damming streams and rivers to generate electricity is nothing new. Beginning with Appleton, Wisconsin’s construction of the Vulcan Street Plant on the Fox River in 1882 — the world’s first hydroelectric power plant — dams now account for more than 70% of all renewable energy across the globe.

From the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams in Washington State to the Mica and W.A.C. Bennett dams in British Columbia, the United States and Canada boast nearly 3,000 hydroelectric stations, powering more than 50 million homes and generating approximately 80% of the renewable energy consumed in North America.

Designing these massive objects has long been one of the most demanding of engineering activities. For starters, there are the structural concerns that come with pouring several million tons of concrete, followed by the need to manage many megawatts of electricity. But it is determining the optimal way of passing water through, over, and around dams and spillways that has perhaps proven to be one of the most challenging design aspects of dam building, requiring costly physical models, lengthy analyses, and no small amount of educated guesswork.

Fortunately, hydraulic design has become much easier over recent decades thanks to the development of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. CFD is now an indispensable tool for dam designers and anyone who needs to understand what makes water and other fluids behave as they do, and how to effectively harness their immense power.

Straddling the St. John River

The Mactaquac Generating Station ranks high on the list of Canada’s essential dams. Located at the intersection of the Mactaquac River and the St. John River, this embankment dam sits twelve miles upstream from Fredericton, New Brunswick’s capital. Its six turbines generate 660 megawatts of power, making it the largest hydroelectric facility in the Canadian Maritime provinces.  According to its operator, NB Power, the 55-meter tall, 518-meter long structure supplies approximately 12% of the province’s homes and businesses with electricity.

The Mactaquac Dam courtesy of NB Power

The Mactaquac Dam was completed in 1968 and intended to last 100 years. But as with any large-scale infrastructure project, unanticipated problems can sometimes occur, some of which might fail to emerge for years or even decades after the foundation is laid. Such is the case with the Mactaquac Dam, where an adverse chemical phenomenon known as alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR) caused the concrete to swell and crack, resulting in significant and ongoing annual maintenance and repair costs.

Granted, CFD analysis would neither have predicted nor prevented this particular problem, but it can help to answer the question of how to refurbish the structure. Is it enough to simply replace the faulty concrete, or will a significant redesign be necessary? This is where Jason Shaw and his team at Hatch comes into the picture.

Building relationships

A Project Manager and Hydraulic Engineer at Hatch Inc., Shaw and the other 9,000 professionals at the Mississauga, Ontario-based consulting firm have extensive experience in a range of industries, among them civil engineering, mining, oil and gas, and all manner of infrastructure design and development, power generation facilities included.

They’ve also had a long-term relationship with NB Power. “In 2004, Hatch acquired Acres International, an engineering consultancy with expertise in dams and hydropower,” said Shaw. “They were the original designer of Mactaquac and have since become part of our energy group. As such, we’ve had a longstanding relationship with NB Power, and we continue to do work for them, not only Mactaquac life-extension, but other facilities as well.”

Shaw explained that alkali-aggregate reaction is very difficult to manage. In the Mactaquac Dam’s case, high amounts of silica in the locally-quarried greywacke—a type of sandstone used to make the concrete—caused a chemical reaction between it and the alkaline limestone found in cement. The result is a viscous gel that, in the presence of water, expands over time, leading to spalling, cracking, and rebar exposure.

Rendering of Spillway Baffle Blocks courtesy of ASI Marine Report Underwater Inspection of Mactaquac Generating Station
Rendering of Spillway Baffle Blocks courtesy of ASI Marine Report Underwater Inspection of Mactaquac Generating Station

“One area of concern is the spillway, where the baffle blocks and end sill have seen significant deterioration,” said Shaw. “But it’s really everything about the dam that’s in jeopardy. Because the concrete is squeezing on the gate guides, for example, you get to the point where the spillway gates are at risk of binding. And in the powerhouse, it’s pushing on the concrete that holds the power generation units, causing them to shift location and become ‘out-of-round’. The consequences are gradual but distortions are inevitable, leading to the requirement for a complex structural remediation.”

To avoid this, NB Power commissioned Hatch to study the problem and provide options on how to move forward. Since AAR issues were discovered in the 1980s, the Hatch team has installed sensors throughout the structure to monitor structural movement and concrete performance. They continue to analyze the ongoing alkali-aggregate reaction in an effort to understand how the concrete is deteriorating and ways extend the life of the project. NB Power and Hatch even pioneered cutting small, strategic spaces and gaps in the dam using diamond wire saws to relieve internal stresses and manage deformations.

Saving the spillway

Over the course of the project, NB Power determined their best option was to refurbish the dam by repairing and improving the damaged portions. A major part of this plan included a hydraulic analysis to determine the best approach. This helped answer questions about whether the operating conditions of the existing structure may have accelerated erosion of the spillway, and if any modifications could be made to reduce this risk. Much of that analysis was based on Hatch’s extensive use of CFD software to determine which parts of the spillway structures need replacing and what designs would provide the best results.

That software comes from Flow Science Inc. of Santa Fe, New Mexico, developers of FLOW-3D HYDRO. “We’ve had a relationship with Flow Science for close to 30 years,” said Shaw. “In fact, I’d say we were probably one of the early adopters, although now practically everyone in the industry is using it and it’s far from novel to use CFD on projects like this.”

Prior to CFD, the only alternative would have been to perform the analysis using a scaled physical model. Shaw noted that this is not only time-consuming, but if multiple iterations are needed, it may promote schedule delays and escalate project development costs. Additional factors related to the scaling of the physical model can also lead to questionable conclusions. CFD, on the other hand, allows engineers to iterate at scale as much as necessary. Various scenarios are easily tested, solutions applied, and the optimal design quickly determined. Physical models are still used, but as a means of validation rather than experimentation.

“CFD fills a crucial gap,” said Shaw. “It allows designers to examine a range of different scenarios that would otherwise be very costly to replicate. This allows you to fine-tune a design and, when you’re ready, check it against the physical model—if they agree, it eliminates any question marks.”

Moving downstream

This was exactly the case with the Mactaquac project, where the first phase of the project was validating the CFD model against measurements from a past physical modeling study of the site. This critical stage of the study allowed the engineers to quantify uncertainty and build confidence in the results of the CFD simulations. Shaw and his team were able to compare these physical model results against the newly-created 3D CFD model of the dam and its surrounding area. They soon found reasonable correlation between the two, providing them with a high degree of confidence that they were on the right track and that their CFD analyses were correct.

A 3D model is only as good as its calibration and validation. If you can’t provide that, then you don’t know where you stand, regardless of the approach. Despite the need for this critical step, however, CFD is a necessary part of the analysis train, if you will. It represents a more precise and more accurate way of analyzing a complex problem. These studies have served as a basis for making decisions about the dam’s future rehabilitation.

A comparison of the physical model results and the CFD simulation results.

After successful validation of the CFD model, the next phase of the study used FLOW-3D HYDRO to evaluate the existing conditions in the deteriorated spillway. Engineers compared estimates of water depths, jump containment, velocities and pressures on the aprons related to energy dissipation, and erosion and cavitation potential for the concrete structures as well as the tailrace areas downstream from each structure. CFD simulations illustrated hydraulic performance for each of these variables, allowing the team to accurately evaluate the three proposed refurbishment options. Ultimately, the CFD model results led the design team to recommend restoration of the original spillway dimensions, adding two new baffle blocks, and modifying the spillway end sill. The CFD results also raised concerns that cavitation may have played a role in the concrete erosion, which led to further recommendations for modified baffle block designs.

CFD simulation results of existing conditions with deteriorated concrete.
CFD simulation result comparison of 3 refurbishment options

A great deal of work remains before the Mactaquac Generating Station is restored. FLOW-3D HYDRO has allowed Hatch to identify the best approach moving forward, giving them a solid footing to plan and design future improvements and refurbishment. It allowed them to pinpoint the most effective way to improve hydraulic performance and reduce the risk of future erosion in the most efficient and cost-effective possible way.

“The intent here is to move forward with project development using CFD analyses and continue to sharpen the pencil,” said Shaw. “I’m very confident that we will derive design solutions that will ensure hydraulic spill performance at Mactaquac which will meet the objective of ensuring a safe design.”

Announcing the FLOW-3D 2022R2 Product Family Release

Announcing the FLOW-3D 2022R2 Product Family Release: A Unified Solver Offers Performance, Flexibility and Ease-of-Use

Santa Fe, NM, September 15, 2022 – Flow Science has released the FLOW-3D 2022R2 product family that includes FLOW-3D, FLOW-3D HYDRO and FLOW-3D CAST. In the 2022R2 release, Flow Science has unified the workstation and HPC versions of FLOW-3D to deliver a single solver engine capable of taking advantage of any type of hardware architecture, from single node CPU configurations to multi-node parallel high performance computing executions. Additional developments include a new log conformation tensor method for visco-elastic flows, continued solver speed performance improvements, advanced cooling channel and phantom component controls, improved entrained air functionalities, as well as boundary condition definition improvements for civil and environmental engineering applications.

By combining the workstation and HPC versions of our products, we are making the latest HPC optimizations available to our workstation users who run on lower CPU core counts, removing the delay for our HPC customers getting their hands on the latest developments, and maintaining only one unified code base, which makes our development efforts that much more efficient. With this release, we’re going to be nimbler and faster to market than ever before, said Dr. Amir Isfahani, President & CEO of Flow Science.

Committed to user success, FLOW-3D products come with high-level support, video tutorials and access to an extensive set of example simulations. Customers can also take advantage of Flow Science’s CFD Services to augment their product experience, including customized training courses, HPC resources and flexible cloud computing options.

A FLOW-3D 2022R2 product release webinar focusing on how to optimize run times on workstations and an overview of performance gains will be held on October 6 at 1:00 pm ET. Online registration is now available. 

A full description of what’s new in all products is available for FLOW-3D, FLOW-3D HYDRO and FLOW-3D CAST.

About Flow Science

Flow Science, Inc. is a privately held software company specializing in computational fluid dynamics software for industrial and scientific applications worldwide. Flow Science has distributors and technical support services for its FLOW-3D products in nations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Australasia. Flow Science is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Media Contact

Flow Science, Inc.

683 Harkle Rd.

Santa Fe, NM 87505


+1 505-982-0088

FLOW-3D HYDRO Workshops

Our FLOW-3D HYDRO workshops introduce the FLOW-3D HYDRO software to civil and environmental engineers through a series of guided, hands-on exercises. You will explore the hydraulics of typical dam and weir, municipal conveyance, and river and environmental applications. By the end of the workshop, you will have absorbed FLOW-3D HYDRO’s user interface, reviewed CFD modeling best practices, and become familiar with the steps of setting up, running and analyzing simulations.

Unless otherwise noted, all FLOW-3D HYDRO workshops run from 11:00am – 2:00pm ET (8:00am – 11:00am PT) over two consecutive days.

  • January 25 – 26, 2023
  • February 15 – 16, 2023
  • March 15 – 16, 2023
  • April 26 – 27, 2023
  • May 30 – 31, 2023

Who should attend?

  • Practicing engineers working in the water resources, environmental, energy and civil engineering industries.
  • Regulators and decision makers looking to better understand what state-of-the-art tools are available to the modeling community.
  • University students and faculty interested in using CFD in their research or in the classroom.
  • All modelers working in the field of environmental hydraulics.

What will you learn?

  • How to import geometry and set up free surface hydraulic models, including meshing and initial and boundary conditions.
  • How to add complexity by including sediment transport and scour, particles, scalars and turbulence.
  • How to use sophisticated visualization tools to effectively analyze and convey simulation results.

You’ve completed the workshop, now what?

We recognize that you may want to further explore the capabilities of FLOW-3D HYDRO by setting up your own problem or comparing CFD results with prior measurements in the field or in the lab. After the workshop, your license will be extended for 30 days. During this time you will have the support of one of our CFD engineers who will help you work through your specifics. You will also have access to our web-based training videos covering introductory through advanced modeling topics. 

  • Workshops are online, hosted through Zoom
  • Registration is limited to 10 attendees
  • Cost: $499 (private sector); $299 (government); $99 (academic)
  • Each workshop is broken into two 3-hour sessions
  • 30-day FLOW-3D HYDRO license*

*See our Registration and Licensing Policy

  • A Windows machine running 64 bit Windows 10
  • An external mouse (not a touchpad device)
  • Dual monitor setup recommended
  • Webcam recommended
  • Dedicated graphics card; nVidia Quadro card required for remote desktop
For more info on recommended hardware, see our Supported Platforms page.

Registration: Workshop registration is available to prospective users in the US and Canada. Prospective users outside of these countries should contact their distributor to inquire about workshops. Existing users should contact sales@flow3d.com to discuss their licensing options.

Cancellation: Flow Science reserves the right to cancel a workshop at any time, due to reasons such as insufficient registrations or instructor unavailability. In such cases, a full refund will be given, or attendees may opt to transfer their registration to another workshop. Flow Science is not responsible for any costs incurred.

Registrants who are unable to attend a workshop may cancel up to one week in advance to receive a full refund. Attendees must cancel their registration by 5:00 pm MST one week prior to the date of the workshop; after that date, no refunds will be given. If available, an attendee can also request to have their registration transferred to another workshop.

Licensing: Workshop licenses are for evaluation purposes only, and not to be used for any commercial purpose other than evaluation of the capabilities of the software.

Register for an Online FLOW-3D HYDRO Workshop

Register for an Online FLOW-3D HYDRO Workshop
All workshops will run for two 3-hour sessions over two days.
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If you need assistance with the registration process, please contact Workshop Support.

About the Instructors

Brian Fox, FLOW-3D CFD Engineer

Brian Fox is a senior applications engineer with Flow Science who specializes in water and environmental modeling. Brian received an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University with a focus on river hydraulics and sedimentation. He has over 10 years of experience working within private, public and academic sectors using 1D, 2D and 3D hydraulic models for projects including fish passage, river restoration, bridge scour analysis, sediment transport modeling and analysis of hydraulic structures.

Joshua Todd, PE, Flow Science

Joshua Todd, PE is an Application Engineer at Flow Science, Inc who specializes in the water resources and coastal engineering industries. Joshua received a M.S. in Coastal Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology with a focus in 3D modeling of coupled wind/wave/storm surge events. He has over 8 years of experience in using 2D and 3D hydraulic models including CFD modeling of riverine flows, wastewater treatment plants, floating structures, coastal defense structures, dams, and spillways.

What’s New in FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1

FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1 Release
FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1 Release

What's New in FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1

FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1 marks a significant development upgrade to the workflow automation and design optimization capabilities of FLOW-3D (x). The development objectives for this release center around performance and improved user experience.

FLOW-3D (x) is a powerful, versatile, and intuitive connectivity and automation platform, which includes a native optimization engine specifically designed for CFD applications. Whether you want to automate running FLOW-3D models through a parameter sweep, extracting key data to create post-processing deliverables, or you want to run dedicated optimization projects, refining geometry from dynamically connect CAD models or by sweeping through flow conditions, FLOW-3D (x) has all the features needed to perform these tasks in a clear and efficient manner. Remote execution, running simulations in parallel, and fully integrated batch post-processing are some of the new features that make FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1 an integral tool for our FLOW-3D user community.


Parallel execution of FLOW-3D simulations for automation and optimization tasks

With 2022R1, FLOW-3D (x) can now run multiple FLOW-3D simulations in parallel. By evolving from serial to parallel execution, users can now make the most of available computational resources, vastly accelerating the time to completion of automated parameter sweeps and gaining valuable insight sooner.

Parallel execution of simulations
Depending on available license resources, the number of concurrent executions to use in the automation or optimization project is easily set in the FLOW-3D (x) execution widget.

Execution of FLOW-3D simulations on remote nodes

Hand-in-hand with the ability to execute FLOW-3D nodes in parallel, we recognized the need to be able to make the most efficient use of computational resources that might be remote and distributed across multiple workstations on a network. With FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1, users can define execution nodes as remote nodes. Users can decide which nodes, local or remote, to run FLOW-3D executions in order to best make use of their computational resources.

Simulation on remote nodes
In addition to running FLOW-3D (x) and FLOW-3D executions on a local workstation, remote nodes are easily configured in order to take advantage of remote computing resources.

Full integration with FLOW-3D POST and Python automation

Automated post-processing using FLOW-3D POST state files is now fully integrated into the workflow automation supported by FLOW-3D (x). The latest release of FLOW-3D POST 2022R1 allows users to create macros, state files, and Python-driven advanced batch automation. These advanced post-processing features are integrated into the FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1 release under a dedicated post-processing node, as well as under dedicated Python script execution nodes.

Advanced post-processing
With the integration of FLOW-3D POST post-processing capabilities into FLOW-3D (x), users can now automate their entire optimization process, from geometry or CFD mode parameter sweep through post-processed graphical deliverables.

User experience

Streamlined definition of optimization targets

A simplified definition of optimization targets has been added, allowing users to directly define targets rather than having to define a minimization goal.

Simplified definition of optimization targets
The new “target” class of objectives is now available in FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1.

Streamlined layout of user interface

Based on user feedback from the original release of FLOW-3D (x), the user interface now delivers a clear, intuitive experience even for large, complex optimization projects. Superior clarity of node and workflow definitions, improved layout optimization tasks and population selection, and dedicated nodes for all FLOW-3D products are some of the improvements delivered in this release.

Streamlined layout of interface
A more compact, streamlined workflow graphical representation is just one of the many user interface improvements delivered in FLOW-3D (x) 2022R1.

Data analysis and plot formatting upgrades

In keeping with efforts to streamline FLOW-3D (x) model setup and execution for the user, the data analytics graphical representation widget allows for clear, simple access to the most important data from your project simulations. Plot definition has been simplified and plot formatting improved. A new type of chart allows filtered data to be exported as text and images at custom resolution.

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