ANSYS for UCI Engineering (Students, Faculty, Researchers)

As of 2017, HSSOE has entered into a paid campus license agreement with ANSYS. The software can be used for instruction, education, and non-commercial research.

Instructional use of Ansys

Professor Said Elghobashi, Ph.D., D.Sc., teaches Ansys CFD in MAE 132, Computational Fluid Dynamics and it's used in MAE 199 project courses using the Ansys Academic Teaching CFD license agreement. Some of Professor Elghobashi's recent work includes researching particle-laden turbulent flows.

About ANSYS Campus Software Program:

  • All ANSYS simulation tools are available to all engineering students and faculty at The University of California, Irvine.
  • This includes, but is not limited to
    • ANSYS Fluent and ANSYS CFX for Computational Fluid Simulations
    • ANSYS Mechanical (and APDL) for structural analysis simulations
    • ANSYS HFSS for high frequency electromagnetic simulation - antenna design, radar cross sections analysis, etc.
    • ANSYS Maxwell for low frequency electromagnetic simulation – remote power transfer devices, electric drive simulation, etc.
    • ANSYS SpaceClaim, the easiest and fastest solution to prepare geometry for simulation
    • ANSYS Discovery Suite (as of version 19.2), instantaneous simulation used to quickly understand how geometry changes affect the performance of your design. Discovery suite covers CFD, FEA, Thermal, and Modal simulation and optimization. Discovery live technology required a dedicated Nvidia GPU with modern architecture and at least 4 gigs of ram
  • The ANSYS Campus Software Program at UCI School of Engineering includes the following:
    • Solvers are all included. The license set includes 50 Research (Mech/CFD), 25 Research (Electromagnetics) and 250 Teaching of each, 75 Composites, and 128 HPC's: 
    • NOTE: By default, research licenses are issued. After research licenses are used up, licenses are issued at the Teaching level with node restrictions.

ANSYS Downloads

1)  Download ISO images for ANSYS Multiphysics. 
    You need to be logged into your UCI Google Apps account.
   Download 3 .iso files
  **This is a new version. Computer labs and HPC are on v2020R2.

Software including documentation

   Download each item separately

ANSYS v2020R2 - Linux
  Download each item separately

Older versions (both linux and windows)

License Server

  • Click HERE for license server information.
  • You will need to input the license server during installation.

Installation Instructions

**IMPORTANT:  You must be connected to UCI Campus Network in order to install ANSYS.  If you are using Wi-Fi, then you need to use UCI's VPN service because OIT blocks many network ports.

1)  Mount the ISO labeled ANSYS_2020R2_WINX64_DISK1.
    Right click on file, select "Mount"

2)  Double click the setup.exe after mounting the ISO`

3)  Click Install ANSYS Products from the menu that pops up

4)  Scroll down and click "I AGREE" and then click NEXT >>

5) Select Install Directory or leave it as the default. Do not change the checked & unchecked boxes. Click Next >>

6)  INPUT License Server info.
You must be connected to campus via UCI VPN.

If you receive an error message, please note the following:
**IMPORTANT:  You must be connected to UCI Campus Network in order to install ANSYS. 
If you are using campus Wi-Fi, then you need to use UCI's VPN service because OIT blocks many network ports.

If you continue to experience error messages, look at your Windows Firewall, Advanced Settings, Inbound Rules. Scroll through and look for any ANSYS software that might be blocked.

7) The software should select the products to be installed based on the license server so click Next >>

NOTE:  If you select additional products, please know they may not run because we are not licensed for them.
Contact Lisa Preble,  if you require use of a package we are not licensed for.

8) Configure CAD
  - It's up to  you if you want to configure those during installation or after.

9) Click Next to continue installation.

10) You will reach the following install screen. It will install until it requires the second iso and the enter path to the next media window pops up. Mount the second ISO named ANSYS_2020R2_WINX64_DISK2 and click browse and find your mounted iso. Do this again for Disk 3.

11) Click exit and your ANSYS software should now be ready to be used.

ANSYS Software FAQ, Support, and Online Help:

1) How do I obtain the software?
  • Download from UCI Google Apps (scroll down to "Download Instructions" for link)

2) Is this research-level software offered without any node-restrictions?

  • Yes, but it depends upon the number of concurrent users. We are limited to 50 Research Mech/CFD licenses and 25 Research Electromagnetics licenses.
    By default, research licenses are issued without any node-restrictions. After all research licenses have been checked-out, instructional licenses are issued with node limits.

3) What is the difference between the research version and instructional version?

Both versions use the same installer package.  The license server determines which packages are available to the end-user. By default, the license server will issue research (non-restricted) licenses. Instructional licenses are issued with node-restrictions after all of our research licenses have been checked out.

4) What are the node restrictions for Instructional-use licenses?
  • In case all research licenses have been used up, you'll be issued an instructional license with the following node limits:
        Numerical Problem Size Limits (for Instructional-licenses only):
    • Implicit Structural, thermal:
      • 32,000 nodes/elements
      • Explicit Dynamics: 32,000 nodes
      • Low Frequency Electromagnetics:
      • 64,000 nodes/elements
      • Fluid Dynamics: 512,000 nodes/cells

5) How do I use the ANSYS Campus software from off-campus?
  • You need to connect to the UCI network using the campus VPN service.

6) What is the license server?

7) Who may install the software?
  • Faculty, Researchers, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students.

8) Where can I install the software?
  • You may install the software on personally-owned and University-owned computers.

9) Is the student version still available?
  • Yes, the student version is still available to students. 
  • The student version is obtained directly from ANSYS after students complete a registration process.
  • There is a minimal cost of around $20.00. 
  • This version does not use the campus license server and it is a year-long lease issued directly from ANSYS.
  • It has node restrictions.
  • Students may consider this option if they do not want to use the license server at HSSOE.

7) I keep getting node restrictions on the research version.
  • Contact Lisa Preble, 4-3965, 
  • So far we have no reports of research license shortages.
  • Keep me posted if you experience problems.

8) I receive an error "
Failed to check out license 'hfsshpc_pack'.  License server does not support this license SR Description."
  • Please know we are licensed for HFSS HPC Pack. 
  • There is a setting you need to configure on your local installation.
  • Select Tools > Options > HPC and Analysis Options. In the HPC and Analysis Options window click the Options tab. Under HPC Licensing the default is Pack. Change Pack to Pool.

9) My HPC installation is not multi-core.  It's supposed to use all my processor cores.
  • Configure licensing from "Pack" to Pool.
  • Select Tools > Options > HPC and Analysis Options. In the HPC and Analysis Options window click the Options tab. Under HPC Licensing the default is Pack. Change Pack to Pool.

10) What platforms and hardware are supported?

11) How do I use Fluent?

12) How do I run a parallel process or job scheduler?
  • In the Fluent Users Guide, see Chapter 34 and 35 on Parallel Processing.
  • See "Running ANSYS Fluent using a Load Manager.pdf" for using ANSYS Fluent with a supported job scheduler.
  • If there is interest in parallel computing with other ANSYS tools (HFSS, and Mechanical are also popular) you can find similar documentation on the ANSYS customer portal. 
13)  How to access ANSYS manuals (Windows)
  • The product manuals are included within the product installation media, for example:
    • From ANSYS Workbench GUI > Help > ANSYS Workbench Help
    • From ANSYS Mechanical GUI > Help > Mechanical Help
    • From Windows Start > All Programs > ANSYS 18.0 > Help
    • Every Workbench application has a similar Help menu process that provides access to the application’s documentation
14)  How to access ANSYS on the HPC
  • See documentation here

15) ANSYS Electronics Suite does not open

A recent Windows update (2/8/2021), Microsoft update KB4571756, results in one of the Windows functions (DescribePixelFormat) crashing on startup.

For versions 2018.0 and newer, please try setting the environment variable ANSYS_EM_DONOT_PRELOAD_3DDRIVER_DLL=1 to get around the problem.
  • New Variable Value: 1
    1)  Go to Control Panel\System and Security\System. Click "Advanced System Settings" on the left.
    2) Click Environment Variables

     3)  Click NEW under System Variables

     4)  Type in System Variable name and value:
  • New Variable Value: 1

5)  Click OK.

6) Start Ansys EM.  You may need to enable PPE option below on the next step.           

16)  ERROR MESSAGE:  Failover feature <FeatureName> specified in license preferences is not available.  Request name <featurename> does not exist in the licensing pool.  Feature has expired.   

This error message appeared with the 1/15/2021 license server update. 
  • ANSYS says the minimum version to work with our license is 2020R1.
  • Anyone using an older version MUST upgrade.
  • Additionally, there is a checkbox that must be selected to enable PPE licensing:
How to Fix:
  1) Verify Ansys EM version is 2020R1 or newer
  2) Open EM Desktop.
  3) Go to Tools -> Options -> General Options -> Desktop configuration", then check the first box for enabling PPE license mode

ANSYS Support

Please visit the ANSYS Academic Portal for ANSYS support

The process is you post your help question on the student forum. This is the case for all Academic use of ANSYS including faculty, researchers, and students.

ANSYS engineers are now collaborating with professors, researchers, students, and IT managers on the open and easily accessible ANSYS Academic Community


This open community allows for the same level of support for researchers, professors and IT while greatly increasing the ease with which the entire academic community can get answers to the most commonly questions asked. 

Best practices to fully leverage the ANSYS Academic Community:

·  Be efficient - As our community grows it is becoming more likely that you are not the first to ask this question. Please search before creating a new post. 

·  Be clear - Provide supporting screen shots, error messages, and background information. No simulation files will be opened by ANSYS support engineers. 

·  Be precise  - Please use the right tags to our help our engineers find your question.

·  Be patient - Please allow three days for someone to get back to you, if you have an urgent question, please email your ANSYS Account Manager. 

Be helpful - Please help our community grow by answering other's questions and telling your academic colleagues about this resource

ANSYS Online Training and Tutorials

ANSYS Online Help
  • Web based documentation and tutorials home for ANSYS products.
  • Cornell University Mooc -Learn Engineering Simulation
    • Free and on-demand MOOC (Massive Online On-demand Class) from Cornell University. Learn how to analyze real-world engineering problems using ANSYS simulation software and gain important professional skills sought by employers.
    • Enroll here

ANSYS Student Portal

  • ANSYS Student Community
    • Have a technical question? Want to discuss an innovative new idea? Join the worldwide community of student ANSYS users.
    • This is a public forum for the benefit of authorized ANSYS Academic product users, allowing the sharing of ideas, and for open discussion on topics that are of interest to the ANSYS academic user base.
  • Online Webinars
  • Never hesitate to attend an ANSYS webinar.
  • The schedule is available here

  • Follow ANSYS Blog for the latest information
  • Want to be kept updated on applications of simulations? Webinar available? Etc.
  • Follow the ansys blog at and subscribe for regular updates

Other training and tutorials available on the web

A large amount of tutorials and resources is just a click away. Some examples of great ANSYS training material and tutorials:


The Power of ANSYS

Importing SolidWorks Geometry into ANSYS Mechanical

Ansys Workbench Cad Transfer from Solidworks & Design Modeler

About ANSYS, Inc.

ANSYS brings clarity and insight to customers' most complex design challenges through fast, accurate and reliable engineering simulation. Our technology enables organizations — no matter their industry — to predict with confidence that their products will thrive in the real world. Customers trust our software to help ensure product integrity and drive business success through innovation. Founded in 1970, ANSYS employs more than 2,500 professionals, many of them expert in engineering fields such as finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, electronics and electromagnetics, and design optimization. Headquartered south of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., ANSYS has more than 70 strategic sales locations throughout the world with a network of channel partners in 40+ countries. Visit for more information.

Ansys Software