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Developer(s) Collier Research Corporation
Stable release
Operating system Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Type Design & Analysis software
License Commercial
Website www.hypersizer.com

HyperSizer is computer-aided engineering (CAE) software used for stress analysis and sizing optimization of metallic and composite structures. Originally developed at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as ST-SIZE, it was licensed for commercial use by Collier Research Corporation in 1996. Additional proprietary code was added and the software was marketed under the name HyperSizer.[1]


HyperSizer developed from the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) ST-SIZE research code. ST-SIZE was originally developed because NASA identified a need for accurate methods of formulating panel stiffness and thermal expansion coefficients, leading to the development of ST-SIZE from 1988 to 1995. Another need was the reduction of mass on high-speed aircraft and weight reduction for optimization. ST-SIZE was developed by a team of engineers working on the National Aerospace Plane X-30.[2] Two major versions of ST-SIZE were created. The original version included formulations for stiffness terms and thermal expansion coefficients based on approximations often taken in traditional design methods. In 1990, a version of ST-SIZE was formed for structural design and weight prediction. A new method for formulation of stiffened panel properties was developed starting in 1991. A method for including composite lamina and laminate data in the formulation of stiffened panel structural properties was first developed. Thermal coefficients were created to handle both in-plane and through-the-thickness temperature gradients for membrane, bending, and membrane-bending coupling. A method was then developed to enter these thermal expansion and bending coefficients into the MSC Software version of Nastran for finite element analysis (FEA) using a model with a single plane of finite elements.[3][4] Other solvers are supported such as I-DEAS.

In May 1996, Collier Research Corporation was formed in Hampton, Virginia from the original ST-SIZE design team, which included Craig S. Collier. Collier Research obtained an exclusive, all-fields-of-use license, and became the first company to license NASA software for commercial use.[1] They combined the NASA LaRC ST-SIZE copyright research code with other company proprietary software; the combined software became HyperSizer.


jet airplane with one long wing
Hypersizer was used to design the GlobalFlyer

Commercial customers use HyperSizer software to design and analyze composite material and metallic structures. For example, the wind turbine design industry uses the program to design 100-meter long blades that are light and manufacturable.[5][6][7]

Beginning with the NASA astronaut Composite Crew Module (CCM) of the Orion spacecraft,[8] the CSeries and Learjet 85 of Bombardier Aerospace, HyperSizer has seen use on projects that are primarily or entirely composite structures.[9] The record-setting Scaled Composites GlobalFlyer was designed with the help of Hypersizer,[2] as well as the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.[7]

Earlier codes were originally intended for weight prediction but evolved into ones that were able to assess structural integrity and find optimum sizes and materials. HyperSizer Version 6.1, released in May 2011, contains an integrated suite of failure analysis predictions verified by test data. New capabilities optimize manufacturing.[10] Capabilities have been added to include: macromechanics, micromechanics, failure mode and effects analysis, panel concepts, composite optimization, and integration with Abaqus FEA software.[11]

There are two available versions of Hypersizer, Basic and Pro. The "Pro" version includes all features of "Basic" in addition to the analysis and optimization to FEA using Nastran and Abaqus solvers, and export laminate designs to CATIA and FiberSIM.[12]


HyperSizer is written in Fortran and Visual Basic and contains over 400,000 lines of code. The software is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Version 6.1 (released in May 2011) integrated with FEA solvers in an iterative loop conducting trade studies and examining potential design candidates. HyperSizer ensures structural integrity through failure analyses. It increases manufacturability by minimizing ply drops, identifying laminate transition add/drop boundaries, and defining ply shapes.[13][14]

HyperSizer competes in the analysis and sizing software market with Firehole Composites, ESI, and ESAComp among others. It was rated first in the "tools of the month" by Desktop Engineering magazine in July 2011.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Structural Analysis and Design Software". Spinoff. NASA. 1997. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Sheri Beam (November 3, 2008). "Collier Comes Back to His Future at Langley". Researcher News. NASA Langley Research Center. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Collier Research Corporation". Partners. MSC Software. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ Craig Collier; Phil Yarrington; Mark Pickenheim (September 1998). "Design Optimization Using HyperSizer" (PDF). Americas Users’ Conference Proceedings. MSC. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Materials and design methods look for the 100-m blade". Windpower Engineering. May 10, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  6. ^ Craig S. Collier (October 1, 2010). "From Aircraft Wings to Wind Turbine Blades: NASA Software Comes Back to Earth with Green Energy Applications". Tech Briefs. NASA. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Luke Abaffy (June 8, 2011). "Software To Optimize Composite Designs". Engineering News-Record. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Composite Crew Module passes critical NASA tests". High-Performance Composites. Composites world. December 14, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  9. ^ Karen Wood (November 1, 2010). "Learjet 85 composite pressurized cabin a cost cutter". Composites World. High-Performance Composites. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  10. ^ Beth Stackpole (May 13, 2011). "HyperSizer v6 Keys in on Manufacturing Optimization". Design News. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Collier Research Corporation". Simulia alliance. Dassault Systèmes. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Hypersizer". Structures.Aero. SDA. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Version History Detail". Hypersizer. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  14. ^ Beth Stackpole (May 13, 2011). "HyperSizer v6 Keys in on Manufacturing Optimization". Design News. 
  15. ^ "Tools of the Month: New Products for Engineers". Desktop Engineering. June 2011. p. 46. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 

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