The Hartree centre (UK) selects OPTIS as Virtual Reality partner for its new HPC and Visualization centre

A unique partnership with the Hartree Centre at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury (UK) to develop and demonstrate Virtual reality applications in support of UK industry.

December 17th, 2013 | Industry focus


Underpinned by £37.5 million of Government investment and combining the UK’s premier supercomputing environment with an unrivalled depth and breadth of related skills and experience, the partnership will focus on the development and demonstration of the use and benefits of Virtual Reality to UK industry. The facility at the Hartree centre includes 4 Virtual reality suites including a new 8 meter 140 degree VR screen, a 6 meter x 3 meter powerwall as well as a 150 seat lecture theatre and a new 54 workstation training facility.


Building on the delivery of several successful innovative projects for UK industry in collaboration with the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) at Daresbury, OPTIS will now provide software and expertise to the Hartree centre as part of the partnership to help UK businesses explore how Virtual Reality; underpinned by OPTIS’ new Real Time simulation software THEIA-RT; can be used to simulate products and processes through experiencing how the product will look and function, many months – or in some cases years – before the product itself is built.


Used primarily within the automotive and aerospace industries, the simulations performed through the use of OPTIS’ software allows engineers and designers to evaluate different lighting conditions using immersive VR to fully explore how the product will perform in many different lighting conditions including human perception of light and colour, analysis of critical reflections, glare, and how the eye adapts to changing light conditions.


SPEOS software enables engineers to verify that a particular design works well at all levels by the exact analysis and measurement of both the ergonomic criteria and perceived quality of material surfaces from the observer’s perspective and under unlimited ambient lighting conditions. This solution helps designers to optimize and improve the layout of; for example; a car interior and illuminated graphics by precisely developing multiple, virtual prototypes and verifying the design integration.



“The partnership with Hartree provides us with a unique environment through access to, not only a world leading Virtual reality installation, but the huge computing resources and expertise available to us at Daresbury”

states Chris Grieve – Country manager and VR Business Development Manager at Optis Northern Europe,


“we have already been very successful in demonstrating the benefits and pushing the boundaries of what VR can bring to the design and manufacturing process through our close partnership with the VEC at Daresbury, this new facility expands our capability to provide a completely integrated solution for our end users and partners."


OPTIS’s physics-based rendering SPEOS software is fully integrated in the all the major CAD PLM solutions. This is a key advantage as it processes the CAD-data generated in the design process and optically models the performance. It simulates the performance of the vehicle from the relative position of the occupant and helps engineers to visualize how the interior reacts with light in different conditions. It helps accurately model light sources and surfaces from the perspective of each occupant.



“The Hartree Centre is delighted to have formed this partnership with OPTIS. One of the Centre’s key objectives is to bring the power of modern, high performance computing to bear on industrial and commercial applications and this partnership is a key example of how we intend to deliver on this objective. With OPTIS’ deep domain expertise coupled to the Centre’s facilities and skills we can offer real benefits to our industrial partners and win them competitive advantage in their markets”

John Bancroft…….Hartree Centre Project Director