Bringing sophisticated solutions to aeronautical research

RegioStars 2009 WinnerCenaero is a research centre located in Charleroi’s Aeropole business park providing sophisticated services and technological solutions to industries in the aeronautical and related sectors. Set up in 2002, Cenaero has played an important part in Wallonia’s economic turnaround.

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Modern research centre helping to boost Walloon economy Modern research centre helping to boost Walloon economy

“It’s ideal to be able to make use of a centre specialised in numerical methods as we look for the new tools and applications we need.”
Stéphane Maljean, Techspace Aero

Cenaero’s mission is to support innovation among aeronautic companies by providing them with focused expertise in numerical simulation and modeling methods. The centre bases its success on well-developed cooperation between universities and industry.

From the virtual to the real

Simulation ranks high among today’s design cycle priorities, boosting profits by reducing time to market. Cenaero develops software to model certain manufacturing processes allowing designers to reduce tedious manual tuning and to optimise the resulting manufactured part. One such software, Morfeo, has become a reference in unified simulation for wide-ranging applications. Morfeo is designed to handle large and complex mechanical components within a real industrial environment.

In order to develop multidisciplinary simulation technologies for aeronautics, Cenaero relies on the scientific and technological expertise provided through a partnership of four universities (Université de Liège, Université Catholique de Louvain, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Université Mons-Hainaut), a research centre (Von Karman Institute) and EWA (the association of Walloon companies in the aeronautical sector). A local development agency for Charleroi (IGRETEC) also became a member of the centre in order to fully integrate its growth within the regional innovation strategy.

Gaining well-merited recognition

Cenaero is now recognised all over Europe for its expertise and performance. With a team of more than 50 highly qualified engineers and PhDs and the biggest High Performance Computing (HPC) centre of the region, Cenaero has become a reference for numerical simulation.

In terms of impact, Cenaero has led to the creation of more than 75 jobs. The Centre is now entering its second phase of development and aims to consolidate its position at European level while at the same time diversifying its market opportunities. By 2015 some 50 additional jobs should be created as well as two start-up companies. The full self-financing of the structure should also be achieved.

As part of the regional innovation strategy, Cenaero has clearly contributed and will continue to play an important role in the economic development of the Hainaut area, and, more generally, in the competitiveness of the Walloon region.

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