Research Software Engineering Special Interest Group

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The RSE Special Interests Group aims to bring together developers of OpenFOAM and OpenFOAM-related projects. The main goal of the committee is to investigate software engineering practices that can facilitate the development of OpenFOAM and its integration with downstream and related projects, as well the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reproducible) management of community-contributed research software and data.

Links: Online meetings /// meeting notes /// Matrix chat /// CFD online thread

News and events

Next meeting: Thursday, April 11, 13:00-14:30 CET (Germany), online.

Topic: Automatic code formatting (part 2)

  • Gerasimos Chourdakis (TUM): General overview of automatic code formatting approaches for OpenFOAM. (related issue)
  • Moritz Schwarzmeier (TUDa) and/or Gerasimos Chourdakis: Status of our attempt to fit clang-format into the current OpenFOAM Style Guide. (related repository)
  • Gregor Olenik (KIT): Adopting modern software development practices within the NeoFOAM project.

Join the chatroom: On Gitter/Matrix

Activity log

  • 2024-02-16: Regular meeting: Automatic code formatting (part 1) - related notes
  • 2023-12-07: Regular meeting: Continuous Integration / Talk: The SFB1194 approach to CI with OpenFOAM - related notes (reproducibility), ci
  • 2023-09-29: Regular meeting: Reproducible code and cases, with examples from the OpenFOAM Journal - related notes
  • 2023-07-28: Regular meeting: Contributing workflows in OpenFOAM-related projects - related notes
  • 2023-07-14: Splash talk announcing the group at the 18th OpenFOAM Workshop in Genoa, Italy
  • 2023-07-13: Met at the 18th OpenFOAM Workshop in Genoa, Italy
  • 2023-06-27: Wiki page gets some first content
  • 2023-05-16: Wiki page created
  • 2023-05-09: Approval of the group by the OpenFOAM Governance
  • 2022-12-15: Official application to the OpenFOAM Governance
  • 2022-11-25: Organizational meeting, clarifying goals and application procedure
  • 2022-11-23: First meeting with the OpenFOAM Governance - slides
  • 2022-10-25: Organizational meeting, clarifying goals and application procedure
  • 2022-07-20: First brainstorming meeting, collecting topics and goals
  • 2022-07-11: Software Engineering session at the OFW17, including three talks
  • 2022-05-09: Proposal for a software-focused BoF track at the 17th OpenFOAM Workshop (Cambridge, July 2022)

The idea dropped after an improvised RSE talks session at the 17th OpenFOAM Workshop (Cambridge, July 2022). We convened a few times since, and proposed the SIG in November 2022. This page started in May 2023, and first content was added in June 2023.

Scope and goals

The group discusses RSE-related topics proposed by its members and documents findings in a publicly-accessible repository (TBD), open to contributions from the community. These act as recommendations to the Steering Committee and OpenFOAM-related projects. Implementing or enforcing these practices into OpenFOAM is out of scope.

More specifically, the group has the following goals:

  • Investigate and demonstrate workflows for developing, testing, and distributing code.
  • Propose workflows to scale up OpenFOAM development and testing, including contributions by the community.
  • Disseminate good development practices in the community.
  • Disseminate reproducible research practices (including distributing and citing software and data).
  • Identify potential for aligning the OpenFOAM development with related software and propose approaches to integrate with such software.

Why this name?

"Research Software Engineering is the use of software engineering practices in research applications." - Read the full article on Wikipedia.

We treat OpenFOAM as software used for research (and partially developed in a research context), and we consider OpenFOAM code, case files, and results, as research-related artifacts.


The committee meets in regular intervals (once per month) and organizes dissemination events every two months. These include online talks on specific topics by invited speakers, panel discussions on broader topics, and group-based exploration of new topics. Once per year, the committee also organizes presentation and groupwork sessions in the OpenFOAM Workshop.

By the nature of its goals, the committee meets with developers of other projects with similar goals and challenges, to exchange knowledge and potential solutions to common problems.

The committee documents its findings on a public repository and in publications to the OpenFOAM Journal.

The group communicates on Gitter/Matrix.


The group is currently led by Gerasimos Chourdakis and Tomislav Maric (chair and co-chair, rotating yearly).

Initial members include:

This list is mostly serving as an overview of potential contacts, and is not meant to be exhaustive or current at all times.

Anyone can join and leave the group at anytime. In order to be listed as regular members, requirements are a regular attendance to the monthly meetings (min. once per three months) and significant contributions to the groupwork (e.g., by actively participating in the discussions and/or contributing to the resulting documentation).

All meetings are open to non-members and the dissemination events are publicly announced. Developers of any OpenFOAM variant, OpenFOAM-related, or unrelated projects with similar goals are particularly welcome.