In February 1987 an agreement was signed in Barcelona between UNESCO, the Catalan Government and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). The parties recognized their interest in creating CIMNE. The signatories were Dr. Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow (Director-General of UNESCO), Sr. Jordi Pujol (Former President of the Catalan Government) and Prof. Gabriel Ferrate (Former Rector of UPC).
In April 1987 CIMNE was created as consortium formed by the Government of Catalonia and UPC, with the support of UNESCO. The executive vicepresident and director of CIMNE has been prof. Eugenio Oñate since its very beginning.
Initially, CIMNE was located at the premises of the School of Civil Engineering at Torre Girona. The center's activities in these early years focused primarily on supporting multiple scientific initiatives of UPC academic staff (projects, courses, publications…).
CIMNE's own staff has grown to reach in 2017 some 200 persons from 25 different countries. This includes 95 senior and junior researchers, 63 research engineers, 62 PhD students and 39 administrative persons.
CIMNE moved to the Department of Strength of Materials and Structural Engineering in C1 Building of the North Campus of the UPC. There CIMNE also hosted the secretariat of the Spanish Society for Numerical Methods in Engineering (SEMNI) and the Pilot Center of the European Research Community of Flow, Turbulence and Combustion (ERCOFTAC).
An agreement between UNESCO and UPC created the first UNESCO chair in the world, the UNESCO Chair of Numerical Methods in Engineering. CIMNE is the host of this UNESCO Chair.
Professor Olgierd Zienkiewicz held the UNESCO Chair and made long stays in CIMNE for over 20 years, promoting academic and scientific activities.
Many other internationally renowned researchers visited CIMNE in that period, including Prof Robert Taylor of the University of Berkeley in the US. Profs Zienkiewicz and Taylor wrote in CIMNE two editions of their famous book The Finite Element Method , issues which were published in Spanish by CIMNE.
CIMNE moved to the second floor of the C1 Building located at the UPC North Campus, counting for the first time with its own facilities. CIMNE began its consolidation and, in recent years, has expanded its structure with the creation of new departments (congresses, publications, postgraduate training...) and the constructopm of different premises in Spain.
CIMNE received the Ciutat de Barcelona Award in Technological Research in 2002. The center has also been recognized by other relevant institutions like the Catalan Government (Narcís Monturiol Medal to the Scientific and Technological Merit, 1999), the European Commission (IST Award to the Best Product, 2001) and the Spanish Association for Naval Engineers (AINE Award, 2010), among other prizes. See more CIMNE Awards
CIMNE created the Project Management Department to facilitate the management of its research projects via the coordination of their scientific and economic aspects.
In 1987 CIMNE succeeded in getting the first research project with funding from the European Commission (EC). Since that date CIMNE has participated in 189 EC projects. The EC funding for CIMNE in these projects has amounted to 42 M€.
CIMNE started its international expansion through international alliances that were consolidated with the opening of offices in China, Singapur, USA and Latin America. Ms. Sonia Sagristà, Mr. Manuel López, Ms. Francisca García-Sicilia and Mr. Javier Piazzese have been the representatives of CIMNE in these countries were the center works in international projects in collaboration with institutions and specialised companies.
In 2009 Prof. Sergio Idelsohn was awarded the first CIMNE's Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) for the project "Real Time Computational Mechanics Techniques for Multi-Fluid Problems". In subsequent editions, this ERC award and the corresponding Proofs of Concept were obtained by Profs. Eugenio Oñate, Javier Oliver and Santiago Badia.
In 1996 CIMNE created its first start-up company. This initiative was followed by different similar ones and, in 2011, it created the company CIMNE Tecnología S.A. in order to professionalize the launching of spin-offs. María Ángeles Viciana, manager of CIMNE until that date, became sole administrator of this new company. Since 2011, CIMNE has fostered the start-up of eighteen technology-based companies. CIMNE is a shareholder in several of these companies.
Anna Font, head of the Project Management Dpt. in those days, was appointed manager of CIMNE in December 2011.
As a result of the research carried out by the center on inflatable structures for engineering solutions, CIMNE presented the world's lightest inflatable bridge: 14 meters long and 5 tons of weight, capable of supporting up to 20 tons of load. An effective solution for facilitating mobility of traffic and persons in areas devastated by floods or earthquakes.
CIMNE organized the first International Conference in 1987 and, eventually, it created its own Congresses department. Since that date, CIMNE has organized 200 international conferences on a broad range of topics of computational engineering. One of the most relevant ones was the WCCM Congress 2014, held in Barcelona, that brought together 4,000 experts in the field of computational mechanics.
CIMNE started the construction of a new building of 2,270 m2 in the Campus North of UPC – Barcelona Tech in a zone adjacent to the central offices of CIMNE in Barcelona. The B0 building hosts the premises of the Flumen Institute for River Dynamics and Hydraulic Engineering, a joint initiative between CIMNE and UPC as well as spaces for research, education and technology transfer activities related to the development and application of numerical methods in engineering, with emphasis on civil engineering.
In July 2016 the B0 building was inaugurated with a ceremony attended by the Minister of the Government of Catalonia, Jordi Baiget; the rector of the UPC, Enric Fossas; the director of CIMNE, Eugenio Oñate, and the engineer in charge of the works, Pere-Andreu Ubach, among other personalities.
The B0 building extended the premises of CIMNE in the Barcelona area in the North Campus of the UPC and the Casteldefels Campus, built in 1992 and 2011, respectively.