Innovative Grid Developments for Engineering Applications

In-Grid is one of six community projects in the German D-Grid initiative, funded by the Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung). In-Grid will enable engineering projects for Grid-based application and efficient use of common compute and software resources.

The community project In-Grid provides a Grid environment for engineering applications. The flexible use of Grid technologies will combine the competences in modeling, simulation and optimization and allow for the common, efficient use of distributed resources.

Six typical applications (interactive visualization, foundry technologies, metal forming technologies, groundwater flow and transport, turbine simulation and fluid-structure interaction) are considered as showcases in order to cover the three central areas of computationally intensive engineering applications that are coupled multi-scale problems, coupled multi-discipline problems, and distributed simulation-based optimization. In particular, adaptive and scalable process models and Grid based runtime environments for these tasks are developed.

The project is concerned with basic research as well as application oriented research to establish a Grid-based, networked software infrastructure for the support of scientific engineering work. The results can be used on three levels, in order to interlink research, development and production strategies: by direct exertion of influence on engineering applications at the involved universities; by transfer of the developed methods and tools into the German economy; by implementation of the developed software components into German and European e-Science infrastructures.

Purpose of an engineering Grid

The problem categories in engineering, seen from the present perspective, are:
-Optimal design,
-Optimal system control,
-Design of hybrid systems and
-Optimization of multi-level production systems.

These categories are subtasks of virtual prototyping and collaborative engineering. Only by use of Grid technologies, necessary resources such as processors, memory systems, software tools, information systems and quick and safe network connections can be combined to fit the demand, in order to cope with these tasks in co-operation of researchers, developers, manufacturer, providers, and users. Today?s usual development and research processes overcome the classical borders of engineering and economical-organizational ranges in the sense of the product life cycle management.

The community specific goals can be summarized as follows:

1-Support of virtual prototyping by means of
  a-internet-based collaborative methods,
  b-mapping of engineering workflows on a Grid environment
  c-integration of specific technical data sources and
  d-building of portals for selected engineering scenarios.

2-Development of a knowledge-based system for the optimization of
engineering workflows and support of decision-making processes

3-Development of co-operation, business, safety and confidence models
for scientific engineering applications.

The project develops new scientific approaches for the central question: how can engineering be supported in the future by Grid technology? It builds on the idea that the abilities of man and machine have to be engaged in a most synergetic way and that in particular adequately interlaced Grid-based engineering has a substantial significance for future technical products and product development processes.

By developing methods and software components to support engineering processes by Grid technology, the project closes a crucial gap from the "Grid computing" to the "internet of the next generation". The development of a Grid based "computational engineering community" demonstrates technologically advanced applications of engineering work in research as well as in operational innovation management.