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Simpleware, Exeter

Academic links make Simpleware a market leader

“People who work with us are also here for the quality of living in Devon and they definitely enjoy living here. We have had strong organic growth – with an average 40% growth year on year.”

Prof. Phippe Young – Founder, Simpleware

The high-standard academic establishments in Devon are a major plus for the local economy – a fact underlined by the University of Exeter recently being named the University of The Year by the Sunday Times.

That academic link has not only seen high calibre students join local businesses, but it has also directly produced world leading businesses.

Simpleware is one such company, with its roots in the engineering department at the University and founded by Professor Philippe Young, a professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Exeter.

The company has developed software which accurately converts 3D computer images into Computer Aided Design (CAD) and numerical models for research and development in a number of different fields, ranging from medicine to geology and natural sciences. Its software has featured on the Discovery Channel and BBC2 in research exploring the hydrodynamics of Gharial Crocodiles and how Hammerhead Sharks smell.

Simpleware’s clients include the US Naval Research Laboratories, Siemens, Fraunhofer and BASF. It also has a longstanding relationship with NASA’s Glenn Research Centre and ARUP (the global firm of engineer and design specialists) which has led to award winning research publications.

Having been established at the University’s Innovation Centre in December 2000, Simpleware moved into Exeter City Centre in February 2011. Among its 20 staff are five graduates from the University of Exeter and one from Plymouth University.


The business success of the company’s software has been matched with industry recognition this year, with Simpleware being awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in April, as well as jointly receiving the PraxisUnico Impact Award with the University of Exeter for their outstanding achievements in developing the innovative simulation software.