SDRC Engineering Services, hitherto specialised in mechanical computer-aided engineering software, sees an opportunity in the falling cost of supercomputer-class power to branch out into fluid modelling, and has bought a Convex C1 minisuper to develop its I-DEAS Integrate Design & Engineering Analysis Software to encompass fluids. The new development, to be called Flodyn, will predict fluid flows in engineering design applications. SDRC says that this type of application requires supercomputer power and previously would have been impractical as few users could afford Cray-like hardware. It picked Convex because the company has the largest user base for this class of machine in the US and that this is its target market. Development work on Flodyn will be carried out at SDRC Hitchin, Hertfordshire CAE software development base. Flodyn is intended for use in a networked environment with the Convex machine acting as a back-end to Unix-based workstations from Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and DEC. I-DEAS runs on Sun and Hewlett-Packard machines. Flodyn, to be written in Fortran 77, is intended to improve the quality and speed of the design process in applications such as modelling air flow round the body of a car, predicting the air flow in an engine inlet manifold or modelling the flow of cooling water around an engine cylinder block or through a valve orifice. When the program development is completed it will comprise a suite of programs for drafting, solid modelling, stress analysis and testing. SDRC was formed in the US in 1967, set up in the UK 10 years ago, and employs 450 people worldwide.