powder mixer

CFD model of a powder mixer.

Engineering and technical services

CSIRO creates computational models and software tools for many applications from understanding and improving complex industrial processes to speeding up medical research and drug discovery through image analysis.

  • 20 September 2011 | Updated 23 July 2012

CSIRO has technical expertise in the areas of computational modelling and image analysis. We help businesses not only improve their productivity, but understand their processes better through useful analytics.

Computational modelling

CSIRO's computational modelling experts use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods to create advanced computer software to simulate the flow of fluids. CSIRO has a specialist team who apply CFD methods to new and existing plants in the mineral processing, metal production and energy industries.

Using computer simulation, a wide range of variations in physical design and operational parameters can be tested and refined to achieve optimum performance, saving companies many millions of dollars per year in production improvements.

We also have a world-leading team who use both Discrete Element Methods (DEM) and Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) methods for computational fluid dynamics modelling. 

CSIRO is using these methods to model a wide range of scenarios from creating realistic fluid special effects, modelling geophysical events such as tsunamis, flooding, dam breaks, and rogue waves to biomechanical processes such as human swimming and blood flow through the heart.

We help businesses not only improve their productivity, but understand their processes better through useful analytics.

Quantatative imaging

CSIRO's specialist imaging group invents, applies and delivers new technologies to automate the extraction of useful information from images. Image analysis has broad applications in many industrial and scientific applications.

While CSIRO's team has particular expertise in creating image analysis solutions for the biotechnology industry our award-winning team of mathematical scientists, imaging specialists and engineers have also worked on a diverse range of industrial and business problems.

The team has many years of experience engineering and creating customised hardware and software solutions for a range of clients.

Projects have included:

  • Automated Opal grading technology and analysis software
  • Cellular and compound screening using CSIRO's HCA Vision software
  • Image-based diagnosis system for melanoma detection, breast cancer and bowel cancer screening.
  • Road crack detection and classification system for NSW Roads and Traffic Authority
  • Automated insect discovery system
  • Software and algorithm development for analysing spectroscopy and hyperspectral images.

Simulation leads to improved mineral processing

Computer simulation of mineral processing is leading to more cost-effective plant designs and improved operating conditions.

CFD shows potential in flotation process

Scientists have developed a computational fluid dynamics model that determines the effect of cell design and operation conditions on flotation performance.  

Modelling dam breaks, tsunamis and other geophysical events

CSIRO mathematicians are creating computational models of events like floods, dam breaks and tsunamis to aid understanding and planning for these phenomena.

Finding the flaw in the flow

Researchers used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to identify a large recirculating vortex as the cause of performance variations in precipitation tanks at an alumina refinery. Article from Process October 2007.

Maths for human performance modelling: from speedy swimmers to somersaulting divers

Our expertise in human performance modelling has applications in many sports. Find out how our virtual swimmers may give Australian athletes the edge in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

CSIRO researchers create giant waves

CSIRO scientists have created ‘rogue waves’ more than 20 metres high and smashed them into virtual oil and gas production platforms to compare different mooring designs.

Increasing production rates

Mathematical modelling was one of several approaches which helped James Hardie to increase production rates for their reinforced cement building products.



Insect imaging system to accelerate species discovery

Scientists around the world are looking for innovative ways to accelerate the identification of new species. CSIRO scientists are developing an automated insect imaging system that will speed up the process of naming thousands of new species every year.

Quantitative Imaging: tools for extracting high quality data from images

CSIRO is developing computer vision tools that, like the human eye, can recognise and discriminate between objects but are also able to make detailed, accurate measurements.

HCA-Vision: software for cytomics

Our HCA-Vision tool helps researchers find more effective, safer pharmaceuticals and better understand the mechanisms of disease. HCA-Vision is an automated image analysis software package that rapidly and reproducibly measures functional features of neuronal cells in images.

Automated detection of road cracks

CSIRO’s automated road sensing system, RoadCrack, is able to find cracks in road paving down to a width of one millimetre at high speeds, reducing the cost and increasing the accuracy of road crack detection.  

Hyperspectral imaging for analysing materials

Checking the contents of tablets, finding new ore bodies to mine, identifying tumours – these are just some of the applications of hyperspectral imaging. This technology has been the focus of CSIRO research which helps determine the composition of different materials and how composition varies throughout the material.

Faster drug discovery

CSIRO helped Axon instruments develop image analysis software for their ImageXpress™ cellular screening system. ImageXpress™ helps researchers discover safer drugs more quickly.

The Gemmological Digital Analyser: an automated system for grading opals

CSIRO researchers in collaboration with opal miners have developed an automatic imaging device that can accurately and objectively grade opals.

A closer look at cells with image analysis

Maths-based medical imaging analysis software developed by CSIRO scientists is helping cell biologists to understand diseases such as diabetes.