Who are we?

Z-set is the result of 30 years of close collaboration between the École des Mines ParisTech (France), Onera – the French Aerospace Lab, NW Numerics & Modeling, Inc (USA) and various academic partners.

MINES ParisTech

The Technology Transfer group of École des Mines operates at the crossroads between research and industrial reality. Formed by PhD-level mechanical engineers specialized in numerical modeling and simulation, the group works in synergy with researchers at Ecole des Mines, acting as an assistance service for PhD students and researchers, and places its long-standing expertise gained there at the service of industry. New functionalities are then developed in the Z-set code to satisfy specific industrial needs. Sophisticated and high-performance on-demand calculations can be performed for the industrial partners. Finally, the team organizes courses to train end-users in the optimized use of the vast range of possibilities of Z-set.


Onera, the French Aerospace Lab, is a multidisciplinary organization that brings together experts in energetics, aerodynamics, materials, structures, electromagnetism, optics, instrumentation, atmosphere and space environments, complex and onboard systems, information processing and long-term design.
The materials and structure branch has a long-standing reputation in the field of constitutive models and damage mechanics. This is applied in several domains, such as high-temperature metallic or composite materials and structures for aerospace engines, as well as their damage tolerance. In order to develop and test new models, Onera has contributed very significantly to the development of the finite element code Z-set and, in doing so, has acquired a strong experience in FE formulations and implementations. We bring in our expertise with finite elements and material mechanics, and massively parallel high-performance computations.

NW Numerics & Modeling Inc

NW Numerics provides a variety of services, primarily in support of the software customer’s needs, and also has numerous activities for both internal R&D and external contracts, which leverages its staff specializations. Many of these projects have been large multi-year efforts with significant R&D Program design, customer interactions and project management activities.
NW Numerics has a state of the art high-temperature fatigue testing facility on-line for material model calibration and development, as well as failure parameter determination (creep, fatigue, TMF, etc.), and an extensive experience calibrating all types of commonly used material models (and many very uncommon ones) to experimental data.
Furthermore, NWN has successfully performed numerous model development projects, ranging from simple requested formulations to full customized solutions including all model development R&D and programming. Finally, NWN is also involved in developing specialized CAE applications, with a special interest in crack and multi-material applications.




First versions of Zébulon (Apple II, Fortran) at École des Mines


Unique version, 2D-3D, plasticity


Unix/Sun Version, graphical post-processor, fracture mechanics, thermal problems

Beginning of the ’90s

Available for all platforms, post-processing, interactive mesh generation, constitutive equations


First C++ version


First parallel version, ONERA


Creation of NW Numerics & Modeling, Inc


Optimizer, diffusion laws


Commercial Z-mat for Abaqus


New version of the GUI – Zmaster


Dynamic and explicit solvers

2002 – 2003

Interface with other commercial FE codes (Ansys, Cosmos, etc.)


Z-set becomes the official research code at Snecma and ONERA


Development of the interface with world class CAO/mesh generation (OpenCascade, INRIA)

2006 – 2011

Crack propagation (X-FEM, FEM), two-level parallel computing