Presented by Dr Paolo Zannetti, QEP, President of The EnviroComp Institute, USA and EnviroComp Consulting, Inc., USA

Since the very beginning, in the late 1940s, computers have been used not only for data storage, organization and analysis, but also for simulation and forecasts. For example, the idea of using computer models for weather forecasting was initiated at the US Weather Bureau headquarters in January 1946, and the first operational computer-generated forecasts were issued in May 1955. Since then, the science of computer simulation has expanded exponentially. Today, all fields of science and engineering are investigated via computer simulation, especially those fields (e.g., astronomy and climate) where actual physical experiments in laboratory conditions are impossible (or too expensive).

Once a physical system is correctly simulated by a computer program, the same program can be used to evaluate "what if" scenarios, thus providing useful information to decision makers. For example, the same model that correctly simulated the sinking of Venice due to historical underground water extraction, can be used to simulate a possible reversal phenomenon with future injection of water underground. Computer models can also be used in forecasting mode to predict short-term or long-term events. For example, a global atmospheric circulation model can simulate the trajectory and impact of an accidental radioactive release on a scale of hours/days. And an econometric model can simulate the evolution of selected parameters (e.g., inflation, GNP) over a scale of months/years. Monte Carlo methods can be added to simulation models to include variations and uncertainties, thus obtaining a spectrum of likely results, instead of a unique solution.

Recently, computer simulation has expanded to cover every aspect of our lives. Traffic models provide drivers in real time with best alternative routes. Large entities (e.g., hospitals, amusement parks) rely on computer models to operate, purchase and storage products, and optimize operations. Often, even a minor change suggested by a computer program can provide improved efficiency and million dollars savings. These developments have created the need for specialized experts to develop models and algorithms, run the computer codes, and interpret the results. These fields are a major job opportunity for a new generation of scientists.

The objective of this course is to introduce the basic concepts of computer simulation by exploring its current use in different fields. Without addressing complex mathematical details, this course will provide a good introduction and a general view of methods, applications, and job opportunities in this growing field.

Target audience

This course is targeted to both young scientists, who are considering and evaluating different possible career fields, and manager, who want to achieve a better understanding of current trends and business opportunities.

Course Programme

3-day remote course, daily from 2 pm to 6 pm (BST)

Day 1 - Tuesday 22 October 2024

    • History of Computer Simulation
    • Simulation vs. Forecasting
    • Basic Simulation Algorithms


Day 2 – Wednesday 23 October 2024

Case Studies

    • Atmosphere
    • Astronomy
    • Electromagnetism
    • Computational Fluid Dynamics
    • Engineering design


Day 3 – Thursday 24 October 2024

Employment opportunities

    • Industrial production

    • Health care

    • Entertainment


Dr Paolo ZannettiDr Zannetti has worked on computer simulation since 1971. In particular, he has performed pioneering work on air pollution modelling and Monte Carlo applications to atmospheric science. His activities have covered pure research in the fields of atmospheric sciences and numerical modelling, written publications, seminars and courses, project management, environmental consulting, editorial productions, and forensic expert testimony. He has written more than 300 publications, and 40+ books and book chapters, including the book “Air Pollution Modelling”, completed in 1990, which was the first comprehensive book in the field and is still today a widely used textbook

He has studied many environmental cases throughout the world. In particular, in the first phase of his scientific career, he studied and modelled the air pollution affecting the city of Venice, Italy, and was the project manager in Kuwait of the first comprehensive air pollution study (monitoring and modelling) in the Persian Gulf. In the last 20 years, Dr Zannetti has investigated with computer modelling hundreds of accidental and planned releases caused by industrial, transportation, and agricultural activities throughout the world. He has performed pioneering work for the development of new Lagrangian modelling techniques in which air pollution is simulated by computer methods using a series of independent segments, puffs, or particles.

He is often invited to present talks at conferences and seminars throughout the world. In particular, he has taught computer simulation courses in Italy (University of Bari-Taranto), California (Berkeley Extension), Kuwait (Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, KISR, and Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, KFAS), and at the Wessex Institute of Technology, WIT, where he is Professor of Environmental Sciences.

Dr Zannetti’s professional credentials have been certified with the title of Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP), given by the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP; now transferred to the Board for Global EHS Credentialing, BGC). The QEP certification recognizes professional achievements for environmental professionals and their compliance with the highest ethical and professional standards.

Wessex Institute:

The EnviroComp Institute, USA:

EnviroComp Consulting, Inc., USA:

Other Lecturers

A few guest lecturers will be invited to provide 30-minute presentations on specific case studies in the business/engineering world.

“The online course on Computer Simulation in Today’s World … was excellent. It gave me a new idea for my PhD thesis.”