HPCwire’s ‘Best Use of HPC in Industry’ Awarded for Enabling Fast Design Optimization of Propulsion Systems Using HPC and Machine Learning

Representatives from Aramco Research Center – Detroit, Argonne National Laboratory, and Convergent Science virtually accepting the HPCwire Readers’ Choice Award. From the top: Kelly Senecal, Yuanjiang Pei, Sibendu Som, and Roberto Torelli.

Madison, Wisconsin—December 7, 2020—Convergent Science, Aramco Research Center-Detroit, and Argonne National Laboratory received the 2020 HPCwireReaders’ Choice Award for the Best Use of HPC in Industry. The three recipients were nominated for their use of high-performance computing (HPC) and machine learning to accelerate injector design optimization for next-generation high-efficiency, low-emissions engines.

Researchers from Aramco Americas, Argonne, and Convergent Science investigated the use of a heavy-duty engine injector for gasoline compression ignition, an advanced combustion concept that can offer significant gains in efficiency. The team leveraged the capabilities of the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science user facility at Argonne National Laboratory, to obtain high-resolution scans of the injector using high-energy x-rays. The data from the APS was incorporated into high-fidelity CONVERGE simulations that resolved micron-scale manufacturing defects in the injector geometry. Accounting for the geometry imperfections significantly improved the predictive capabilities for cavitation inside the injector, as well as the subsequent fuel-air mixing, combustion, and emissions formation.

“This was the first time that micron-scale manufacturing defects in fuel injector geometries were resolved using HPC-enabled coupled in-nozzle flow and spray simulations. Compared to previous studies using nominal injector geometries, we saw a substantial difference in engine emission predictions,” said Dr. Yuanjiang Pei, a Lab Scientist at Aramco Research Center – Detroit.

“The last few years we have been working toward trying to understand what really happens inside automotive injectors for heavy-duty engines,” said Dr. Roberto Torelli, a research scientist at Argonne. “Now we can rely on HPC to resolve very small-scale features inside an injector, that happen at very small time scales as well, so we can get a better idea of how these features will eventually influence the engine performance in the real world.”

Furthermore, the research team applied a machine learning technique using the Theta supercomputer, housed at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, another DOE Office of Science user facility at the laboratory, to enable fast optimization of injector design to support the development of cleaner engines.

“Internal combustion engines still have a vital role to play in future transportation, so it’s imperative we continue to improve them,” said Dr. Kelly Senecal, Co-Owner and Vice President of Convergent Science. “It’s an honor to work with our colleagues at Aramco Americas and Argonne to perform research that propels us toward our goal of clean transportation.”

Aramco’s work with engine design and fuel formulations is pushing forward higher efficiency and lower emissions advancements. “This a great example of applied research and collaboration to help reduce the carbon footprint from the transport sector,” said Ghaithan Al-Muntasheri, Director of Research & Development at Aramco Americas.

About Convergent Science

Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, Convergent Science is a global leader in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. Our mission is to enable our customers to perform revolutionary CFD simulations by creating accurate, versatile, user-friendly software and providing unparalleled support.

Our flagship product, CONVERGE, is an innovative CFD software that eliminates the grid generation bottleneck through autonomous meshing and features a suite of advanced physical models, fully coupled detailed chemistry, and the ability to easily accommodate moving geometries. CONVERGE is revolutionizing the CFD industry and shifting the paradigm toward predictive CFD.

For more information about Convergent Science please visit


About Aramco Americas

Aramco Services Company (d/b/a Aramco Americas) is the U.S.-based subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, a world leader in integrated energy and chemicals, and has had a presence in the U.S. for more than 60 years.  Aramco Americas is a contributor to the U.S. energy sector through research and development, venture fund activities, asset ownership, as well as technology and digital transformation.  The company is headquartered in Houston, and maintains offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Detroit.  Aramco Americas is committed to being a positive contributor in the communities where its employees live and work, and to making a difference through outreach that benefits the arts, geosciences, education and the environment.

About Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.

Published December 7, 2020