Vanderplaats Research & Development, Inc.


Software for Structural Analysis and Optimization

GENESIS is a fully integrated finite element analysis and design optimization software package, written by leading experts in structural optimization.

Analysis is based on the finite element method for static, normal modes, direct and modal frequency analysis, random response analysis, heat transfer, and system buckling calculations.

Design is based on the advanced approximation concepts approach to find an optimum design efficiently and reliably. An approximate problem, generated using analysis and sensitivity information, is used for the actual optimization, which is performed by the well-established DOT or BIGDOT optimizers. When the optimum of the approximate problem has been found, a new finite element analysis is performed and the process is repeated until the solution has converged to the optimum.

GENESIS is easy to learn, so no special knowledge of optimization technology is required. Many design options are available for users including: shape, sizing, topography, topometry and topology. Shape/sizing and topography optimization typically require less than ten detailed finite element analyses, even for large and complex design tasks. The topology and topometry optimization typically takes twenty or less detailed finite element analyses.

GENESIS has countless of unique and innovative features that have been developed in house by its developers. GENESIS is also the first structural optimization code that was developed from the beginning to be a structural optimization code and it is the first commercial code that fully utilizes second generation approximations pioneered by the company founder Dr. Gary Vanderplaats. GENESIS has introduced new types of optimizations, such us topometry optimization. GENESIS has best in class options for sizing, shape and topology optimization. GENESIS internal algorithms help it converge faster than its competitors, which is critical for solving large scale problems.


  • Reduces Cost and Improves Performance - by generating new designs based on user criteria such as mass minimization, frequency maximization, stress or displacement constraints and many more.

  • Reduces Engineering Time - Genesis has powerful embedded solvers such as our SMS eigensolver which speeds up solving time and is 2 to 5 times faster for small to midsize problems and 5 to 10 time faster for very large problems.

  • Innovative Designs Come To Life - robust designs can be realized as our optimizer, BIGDOT, can handle extremely large numbers of design variables. This allows an engineer to explore the entire design space with either topology, topometry, or topography optimization.


  • Sizing Optimization - is an optimization capability which allows the user to find the best dimensions of any designable elements like bars, shells and composites. In total, 17 types of elements are designable with sizing.

  • Shape Optimization - is an optimization capability which allows the user to find the best shape possible. The software finds the best location of the finite element nodes, which define the shape of the structure.

  • Topography Optimization - is an optimization capability which allows the user to find the location and shape of bead patterns to stiffen panel structures.

  • Topometry Optimization - is a unique optimization capability which allows the user to find the optimal distribution of sizing dimensions over the structure. Like topology, this capability can be used to find the optimal places to take out material. Unlike topology, it also can be used to find the best places to add additional material.

  • Topology Optimization - is an optimization capability which allows the user to find the best distribution of material. With topology optimization, an optimal structure is generated by carving out material from a given design space, allowing for a given amount of material.

  • Freeform Optimization - is a new special shape optimization capability which allows the user to find the best location and shape of rib patterns that stiffen solid structures. It can also be used to find the best location of grids in any type of structure.