16thSPHERIC International Workshop

6th – 9th June 2022

Piazza Roma, Catania, Italy

Organiser: SIG40

Coordinator: Giuseppe Bilotta

After the first successful Virtual International SPHERIC Workshop in 2021, the aim for the 16th edition of the International SPHERIC Workshop is to return to the traditional in-presence format, co-organized by the Italian National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology (SPHERIC member), and the University of Catania, that will also host the event in one of its historical buildings. The choice to return in presence is expected to be welcome by researchers and engineers worldwide as an opportunity to foster new collaborations and strengthen existing ties, bringing together the global academic and industrial research community. The attendance is expected to be similar to those of recent in-presence workshops, ranging from 100 to 130 delegates.

The proposed programme for the 16thWorkshop includes

  • A preliminary training day including lectures and hands-on training with SPH open-source tools, aimed at PhD students and other researchers new to the field, but open to all.
  • Keynote lectures by Professor Qiang Du, Fu Foundation Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Columbia University, New York, USA (confirmed), and Dr. Paul W. Cleary, Chief Research Scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Melbourne, Australia (to be confirmed).
  • Approximately 60 research presentations of 13 minutes each in a single plenary session.
  • Two panel discussions on designated topics, featuring questions submitted by delegates in advance.
  • Award of the Libersky Prize for the best paper and presentation by a student at the workshop.
  • Award of the Joe Monaghan Prize, every three years, to recognize SPH researchers who have made outstanding advances in recent years on one or more of the SPHERIC Grand Challenges.

To maintain high scientific and technical quality of the event, and to foster the community ethos, the workshop is organized in a single plenary session. Presentations are proposed by way of abstracts, which are peer-reviewed by the scientific committee. Selected speakers are then required to provide a 6-8 page paper, which appears in proceedings.

To support young researchers, SPHERIC offers the Libersky Prize for the best presentation and paper by a PhD student. Approximately one quarter of the presentations are typically given by students.

Industry participation is strongly encouraged. Of SPHERIC’s 14-member steering committee, three members are from industry. One of the two panel discussions will have an industry theme and will be coordinated by an industry member. One of the five SPHERIC Grand Challenges is “Applicability to Industry”. The event will be advertised directly to an industry audience.

SPHERIC, the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Research and Engineering International Community, is ERCOFTAC SIG 40. The SPHERIC workshops are the only worldwide events which focus on the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) methodology and related simulation approaches.

Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

The SPH method was initially formulated to study the development of galaxies in astrophysics. Yet, a number of developments based on this approach have been launched by various research teams in association with environmental engineering, applied solid mechanics, marine and coastal engineering, nuclear power engineering, medical engineering and geotechnical applications, amongst others.

Applications range from cosmic to microscopic scales. The majority of effort in the SPHERIC community is dedicated to development of computational tools for industrial engineering applications. Prominent examples refer to tsunami and landslide simulations, galaxy collisions, liquid gas sloshing in LNG tankers, solid fracturing due to high-velocity impact, wave energy conversion using floating bobber arrays, slamming loads on offshore structures, flooding of ship sections, decay of tip vortices behind aircraft, casting and moulding processes, and human lung respiration simulations, amongst others. Due to the huge computational effort associated to SPH simulations, a significant branch of SPH research is concerned with high-performance computing on the most recent hardware technologies (e.g. massively parallel CPU and GPU computing). Moreover, the methodology is often applied to achieve ambitious virtual-reality animations and to support the virtual training, e.g. of medical students.


SPHERIC ( was established as an ERCOFTAC SIG in late 2005. Its aims are to foster collaboration and promote development of SPH and related methods. Its activities include:

  • The annual international workshop.
  • Award of the Libersky Prize for the best paper and presentation by a student at the workshop.
  • Identification, analysis and promotion of the five SPHERIC Grand Challenges, critical topics for the development of the method.
  • Award of the Joe Monaghan Prize, every three years, to recognize SPH researchers who have made outstanding advances in recent years on one or more of the SPHERIC Grand Challenges.
  • Distribution of a newsletter to all members twice a year, with informal technical articles, notices of events and other news.
  • A community-maintained online bibliographic database, through which members can share and collect literature of interest.

SPHERIC currently has 74 active member organizations, including academic institutions, companies, and national research centres. (Active status is defined by recent participation in workshops.) Despite the group’s original identification as a European entity, over 32% of members are outside Europe. The first event outside Europe, the 2017 SPHERIC Beijing International Workshop, took place in October 2017, followed by the 2020 SPHERIC Harbin International Workshop ( in January 2020, and the upcoming 2022 SPHERIC Xi'an International Workshop. In 2021, the 15th SPHERIC International Workshop was held virtually for the first time, due to the global pandemic, and was attended by around 130 researchers from all over the world. SPHERIC members have also built an ecosystem of other activities not officially affiliated with SPHERIC, including open-source software, EU-funded research collaborations, training events and industry-oriented workshops.

More information will be available soon.