Albany: Open-Source Multiphysics Research Platform


Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

Capability Expert

James W. Foulk III, Alejandro Mota, Jakob Ostien, Andrew Salinger



Node Readiness Category

3: High-Temperature Electrolysis (HTE)
3: Low-Temperature Electrolysis (LTE)
3: Photoelectrochemical (PEC)
2: Solar Thermochemical (STCH)


Albany is an open-source Multiphysics research platform developed mainly at Sandia National Laboratories. It hosts a variety of projects: solid mechanics (LCM), ice sheet modeling (FELIX), topology optimization (ATO), climate modeling (Aeras), etc. It is a C++ object-oriented, parallel, unstructured-grid, implicit finite element code for solving general partial differential equations. Salient features: use of components for rapid development; decomposes complex problem into simpler problems with managed dependencies; use of automatic differentiation for Jacobian computation. Extensive use of SNL's TRILINOS library for numerical computation. Albany has the ability to do design and not just forward simulation: optimization, parameter inversion, topological optimization, stability analysis, etc. Fundamental consideration of finite deformation mechanics within the context of nonlinear finite element methods integrated with constitutive model domain expertise provide a path to evaluation of material performance intimately tied to the structure-properties relationships. Albany is open source under a BSD-style license and is hosted on GitHub. It accepts a few mesh database formats, the most common is the Exodus format developed at Sandia. Exodus meshes are created using Sandia's Cubit meshing tool. Albany also reads plain ASCII files and a format called PUMI developed at RPI. It also produces output in the Exodus format, which can be visualized with a variety of tools such as Paraview.

Capability Bounds‎

Continuum scale models and calculation capabilities.

Unique Aspects‎

Rigorous application of fundamental physical and mathematical principles spanning experiments, model development, and regularized numerical methods, driving towards predictions of performance.


Tools are developed as open source computational codes produced by SNL (e.g. Albany & TRILINOS are distributed on GitHub). These tools are available for use with external collaborators.


Albany has been used for simulations to determine the effects of hydrogen embrittlement in metal allows. The ability to rapidly incorporate model equations that represent additional and relevant physics to water splitting technologies currently absent from Albany is a particular strength of this code.


Use of coupled Shrodinger-Poisson solver to predict depletion gate performance in quantum dot semiconductors.


A. Mota, Q. Chen, J.W. Foulk, J.T. Ostien, Z. Lai, 2016. A Cartesian parametrization for the numerical analysis of material instability, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, DOI:10.1002/nme.5228.

J. T. Ostien, J. W. Foulk, A. Mota, M. G. Veilleux, 2016. A 10-node composite tetrahedral finite element for solid mechanics, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 10.1002/nme.5218.

A. Mota, W. Sun, J. T. Ostien, J. W. Foulk. K. N. Long, 2013. Lie-group interpolation and variational recovery for internal variables, Computational Mechanics, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 1281-1299. Website: