OpenCMISS (Open Continuum Mechanics, Imaging, Signal processing and System identification) is a mathematical modelling environment that enables the application of finite element analysis techniques to a variety of complex bioengineering problems.

Refactored from the ground up

The project represents a complete rewrite and overhaul of the existing CMISS computational modelling tool to take advantage of modern programming languages, data structures, and today’s range of available high performance hardware.

Optimised simulation performance

This significant re-engineering effort represents a complete upgrade in functionality and modelling capability, particularly in terms of increased ability to optimise simulation performance on high performance, and in particular distributed, architectures.


The original CMISS programme was started by Peter Hunter in 1980 in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (TAM) at The University of Auckland and had major early contributions from Poul Nielsen and Andrew McCulloch.

The development of OpenCMISS, begun in 2005 with funding from the Wellcome Trust, has been led by Chris Bradley in Auckland and Oxford.

Since 2008 this work has evolved into a major collaborative project between the groups based at King’s College London and Auckland with input from partners in Barcelona, Oslo, Oxford, Sheffield and Stuttgart, funded by both European and national level research funding agencies.