What is ?

is a multi-physics modelling and simulation infrastructure based on a platform-independent, open-source design. The core of is the Chrono::Engine middleware, a C++ object-oriented library which can be used to perform multi-physics simulations, including multibody and finite element analysis. Among the other components of the ecosystems are:

Technical Leads

Key Project Chrono Developers

Past developers


The first version of the Chrono::Engine was developed in 1998 by Prof. Alessandro Tasora when he was a student at the Politecnico di Milano. It was the result of a thesis in Mechanical Engineering. Originally, Chrono::Engine was meant to be a multibody simulation tool for robotics and biomechanics applications.

Until 2002, Chrono::Engine was tightly linked to the Realsoft3D modeller. In 2002-2005 the software was gradually reorganized in the form of a standalone library, just like it is today. Alessandro started working in 2005 with Professor Mihai Anitescu from University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratories. Their work strengthened the handling of large frictional contact models in Chrono.

Professor Dan Negrut joined the Project Chrono effort in 2007. The members of Simulation-Based Engineering Lab (SBEL) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been active in its development ever since.

Senior Scientist Radu Serban starting working on Project Chrono effort in 2013, at the time he joined the Simulation-Based Engineering Lab.

We took the decision to release Chrono as open source in 2013, when we started to use the name to recognize the fact that this software infrastructure had become a multi-physics simulation engine. In 2014, the US Army decided to invest US $1.8 million over a two year period to further develop Chrono as an open source platform for physics-based modelling and simulation. Recent investments that will augment Chrono include US $1.0 million from National Science Foundation (2019-2023), US $0.4 million from US Army Research Office (2019-2023), US $0.32 million from US Army (2019). The current version of Chrono is 4.0 and it was released in July of 2019.

Chrono is copyrighted by and is released under a BSD-3 license.