9-10 June 2014
VŠB - Technical University Ostrava, building CPIT1
Europe/Prague timezone


Elmer is an open source finite element software suite particularly well suited for the study of multiphysical problems. In Elmer each physical model is a dynamically linked solver and there is no upper limit to the number of different solvers. Elmer includes at least basic models for many branches of computational engineering, e.g. fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, heat transfer, electromagnetics, acoustics. Elmer has been parallized with MPI and has demonstrated good scalability up to thousands of cores.


Peter Råback (CSC - IT Center for Science, Finland)





Purpose of the course (benefits for the attendees)

After the tutorial the participants should be able to solve basic engineering problems using the graphical user interface of Elmer and also run these problems in parallel. The tutorial gives a good starting point for more complex simulations using Elmer software.

About the tutor(s)

Peter Råback holds a D.Sc.(Tech.) from Helsinki University of Technology. He has been involved in the development of Elmer since 2001 contributing to many aspects of the code. His main specialities lie in the solution of coupled problems. Currently Råback is managing the development of Elmer at CSC - IT Center for Science, Finland.

Course structure

Session 1:  Introduction to Elmer finite element software (lecture+demo)

An overview of the structure and capabilities of Elmer software is given. Also the graphical user interface ElmerGUI is demonstrated setting up a simple case.

Session 2:  Hands-on session using ElmerGUI (hands-on)

The participants will go through simple exercices using ElmerGUI. Some of the cases can be chosen individually to best suite the profile of the participants.

Session 3:  Elmer structure explained & hands-on session continued (lecture+hands-on)

In this session we explain the content of the Elmer files, the structure of Elmer simulation and demonstrate how to run Elmer cases from the command-line interface. Thereafter the users can continue to work with the example cases.

Session 4: Parallel computing with Elmer (lecture+demo)

The parallel computing principles and practices of Elmer is explained. This is demonstrated first on a PC and thereafter on a supercomputer platform.

Session 5: Programming user functions and solvers in Elmer

In this session we demonstrate the programming practices of Elmer. User defined functions and custom solvers are explained and examples are shown. Also the creation of menu structures for user solvers is explained.

Session 6: Miscallenous topics & User problems

The last session can be tuned based on the wishes of the participants. The participants can continue to study some cases or we can go through some miscalleneous topics based on the interest of the audience. Such topics could include
  • use of Elmer with other pre- and postprocessors
  • new developmenents of Elmer including hybrid programming
  • Elmer capabilities for specific problems
VŠB - Technical University Ostrava, building CPIT1
Ostrava–Poruba Czech Republic



The participants should have some prior experience on the solution of partial differential equations related to computational engineering (fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, heat transport, electromagnetics). The tutorial is well suited for researchers and engineers who want to apply scalable open source software in their work.
To ease the work with Elmer(GUI),  an VMware-based virtual machine will be used during some hands-on. This virtual machine (Linux - Ubuntu) comprises everything needed, i.e. ElmerGUI, ElmerSolver, Paraview, Gmsh, ... The participants will download it to their laptop prior to the course from http://www.nic.funet.fi/pub/sci/physics/elmer/bin/Vmware/
To run it, you will need to  install the VMware Player on your laptop.
To prepare for the course, the participants may find useful slides on Elmer presented at the PRACE Spring School 2014 in Hagenberg, Austria.


Obligatory registration - registration form here; deadline June 2, 2014 or exhausted course capacity.


30 attendees


  • The venue building is marked as "CPIT" on the campus map. See a special page on transport (in Czech) how to get there.
  • Do not forget your notebook with the necessary software (see Prerequisites)
  • Anselm training accounts will be distributed at the registration.
  • Anselm cluster documentation is available at http://support.it4i.cz/docs.