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SwRI wins R&D 100 Award for NESSUS probabilistic analysis software

San Antonio -- July 20, 2005 -- A general purpose software program for computing the probabilistic response or reliability of engineered systems has received a 2005 R&D 100 award. R&D Magazine has selected Southwest Research Institute's® (SwRI®) NESSUS Version 8.2 as one of the 100 most significant technological achievements of the past year.

NESSUS 8.2 is a commercial version of software originally developed by a team led by SwRI as part of a 10-year project for NASA to develop a probabilistic design tool for the space shuttle main engine. Co-developers are Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA Glenn Research Center and Mustard Seed Software.

NESSUS 8.2 simulates variations and uncertainties in loads, geometry, material behavior and other user-defined inputs to compute probability of failure and probabilistic sensitivity measures of engineered and natural systems. The software has been successfully applied to a diverse range of problems in aerospace, gas turbine engines, biomechanics, pipelines, geomechanics, automotive systems, defense, weaponry and infrastructure.

"NESSUS is a practical tool for assessing uncertainties and predicting reliability to support decisions involving cost or safety critical problems," said Dr. Ben Thacker, manager of SwRI's Reliability and Materials Integrity Section and a developer of the software. "It is particularly useful for extremely large and complex problems and for one-of-a-kind systems, where testing is impractical or impossible."

NESSUS Version 8.2 includes a sophisticated JAVA-based graphical user interface, three-dimensional probability contouring and results visualization, capabilities for performing advanced design of experiments and sensitivity analysis, a probabilistic input database, and state-of the art interfaces to many third-party codes including ABAQUS®, ANSYS®, LS-DYNA®, MSC.NASTRAN® and ParaDyn®.

SwRI has won 29 R&D 100 awards since 1971. This year's awards will be presented Oct. 20, 2005, in Chicago. For further technical information about NESSUS, contact Thacker at (210) 522-3896 or visit nessus.swri.org.

For more information, contact Deborah Deffenbaugh, Communications Department, (210) 522-2056, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.

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