Project Overview

Welcome to MOTIVATE

MOTIVATE is an Innovation Action within the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Clean Sky 2 program under Grant Agreement No. 754660, supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 17.00064.

Our team involves Airbus Operations SAS as Topic Manager as well as University of Liverpool (the Coordinator), Empa, Dantec Dynamics GmbH and Athena Research and Innovation Center as Beneficiaries.

The goal of the project is to deploy a CEN validation method to numerical results from FE simulations of a subcomponent test based on measurements using Digital Image Correlation. Results of this test at an Airbus site  as well as preliminary tests at Empa will be documented on this website. An introductory video is found on Empa TV.

We have made significant progress on methods for DIC calibration and model validation, notably on measuring the quality of data comparison. A special session at the BSSM international conference in Belfast on September 11th 2019 as well as a Knowledge Exchange workshop in Zurich on November 5th 2019 were held to present and discuss the latest relevant findings.

The work is based on a Support Action that was conducted in the FP7 project VANESSA.

Now if you are new to the field of validation or want to consult related documents, you will find relevant publications and presentations on this website.

Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking

Clean Sky is the largest European research programme developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, Clean Sky contributes to strengthening European aero-industry collaboration, global leadership and competitiveness.


The MOTIVATE project team held its final project meeting  on April 30th, 2020. Due to the Corona pandemic they gathered on-line to review the project outcomes which include a novel validation flowchart; digital tools to implement it; a validation metric to quantify the extent to which a model represents an experiment; and methodologies to estimate DIC measurement uncertainty in an industrial environment.



Prof Dr Eann Patterson
Project Coordinator
University of Liverpool


Dr Eszter Szigeti
Topic Manager
Airbus UK



Project Chronology

5 Nov 2019 The MOTIVATE project team organised the 4th International Workshop on Validation of Computational Mechanics Model at the guild hall of carpenters in Zurich. The audience enjoyed presentations from international speakers and participated in lively panel discussions.
10 Sep 2019 The MOTIVATE project team held a special session on "Supporting Simulations with Strain Measurement (CEN WS71)" at the BSSM14th International Conference on Advances in Experimental Mechanics, hosted at the Queen's University in Belfast.
15 May 2019

The MOTIVATE project team held its 24 months Review Meeting in Ulm, Germany, on 15-16 May 2019. The partners passed the validation protocol, which will be deployed on a full-scale test at Airbus in Toulouse in the final task of the project.

6 Nov 2018

18m Midterm Meeting in Zurich

The MOTIVATE project team held its midterm Review Meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, on 6-8 November 2018. The partners demonstrated DIC calibration procedures and started deploying the draft validation protocols during a static test of an Airbus fuselage panel.

26 June 2018

12m Review Meeting in Athens

The MOTIVATE project team held its 12m review meeting in Athens, Greece, on 26-28 June 2018, in parallel to the ECCM conference. They decided on a test-panel for deploying the draft validation protocols during a static test at Empa.

22 Mar 2018

The MOTIVATE project team attended the Photomechanics 18 conference in Toulouse, France, on 20-22 March 2018, and gave a presentation on "What’s the probability that a simulation agrees with your experiment?".

29 Nov 2017

6m Meeting in Bristol

In addition to the project progress review, a revision of the ASME flowchart for Verification and Validation was discussed.

1Oct 2017

We welcome Ksenija Dvurecenska to the MOTIVATE team! Ksenija is lecturer at the University of Liverpool.


6 June 2017

Kick Off Meeting in Liverpool

Partners presented their organisation and people participating in the project. The Topic Manager provided an overview of Airbus and then focussed on Predictive Virtual Testing. There was a discussion about the technology gaps and their relationship to the MOTIVATE work packages.

1 June 2017 Official project start date  

Blog posts

The blind leading the blind

Three years after it started, the MOTIVATE project has come to an end. The focus of the project has been about improving the quality of validation for predictions of structural behaviour in aircraft using fewer, better physical tests.  We have developed an enhanced flowchart for model validation, a method for quantifying uncertainty in measurements of deformation in an industrial environment and a toolbox for quantifying the extent to which predictions from computational models represent measurements made in the real-world.  In the last phase of the project, we demonstrated all of these innovations on the fuselage nose section of an aircraft. ...

This blog post appeared on May 27th, 2020, on

Alleviating industrial uncertainty

Want to know how to assess the quality of predictions of structural deformation from a computational model and how to diagnose the causes of differences between measurements and predictions?  The MOTIVATE project has the answers; that might seem like an over-assertive claim but read on and make your own judgment. ...

This blog post appeared on May 13th, 2020, on

Fake facts & untrustworthy predictions

I need to confess to writing a misleading post some months ago entitled ‘In Einstein’s footprints?‘ on February 27th 2019, in which I promoted our 4th Workshop on the ‘Validation of Computational Mechanics Models‘ that we held last month at Guild Hall of Carpenters [Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten] in Zurich.  I implied that speakers at the workshop would be stepping in Einstein’s footprints when they presented their research at the workshop, because Einstein presented a paper at the same venue in 1910.  However, ...

This blog post appeared on December 4th, 2019, on

Same problems in a different language

I spent a lot of time on trains last week. ... The common thread, besides the train journeys, is the Fidelity And Credibility of Testing and Simulation (FACTS).  My research group is working on how we demonstrate the fidelity of predictions from models, how we establish trust in both predictions from computational models and measurements from experiments that are often also ‘models’ of the real world.  The issues are similar whether we are considering the structural performance of aircraft ..., the impact of agro-chemicals ..., or the performance of fusion energy and the impact of a geological disposal site ...

This blog post appeared on October 30th, 2019, on

On the trustworthiness of multi-physics models

... The process of validating computational models of engineering infrastructure is moving slowly towards establishing an internationally recognised standard...  We have guidelines that recommend approaches for different parts of the validation process...  Under the auspices of the MOTIVATE project, we are gathering experts in Zurich on November 5th, 2019 to discuss the challenges of validating multi-physics models, establishing credibility and the future use of data from experiments...

This blog post appeared on October 2nd, 2019, on

Archive video footage from EU projects
... We are in the last twelve months of the MOTIVATE project and we have started producing video clips about the technology that is being developed.  So, if you missed my presentations at the conference in the US then you can watch the videos online using the links below . We have been making videos describing the outputs of our EU project for about 20 years; so, if you want to see some vintage footage of me twenty years younger then watch a video from the INDUCE project that was active from 1998 to 2001....

MOTIVATE videos: Introduction; Industrial calibration of DIC measurements using a calibration plate or using an LCD screen

 This blog post appeared on June 5th, 2019, on
In Einstein's footprints?

... I have been involved in organising a number of workshops in Glasgow, London, Munich and Shanghai over the last decade.  The next one will be in Zurich in November 2019 in Guild Hall of Carpenters (Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten) where Einstein lectured in November 1910 to the Zurich Physical Society ‘On Boltzmann’s principle and some of its direct consequences‘.  Our subject will be different: ‘Validation of Computational Mechanics Models’; ...

This blog post appeared on February 27th, 2019, on

Industrial uncertainty

Last month I spent almost a week in Zurich. ... I was there for the mid-term meeting of the MOTIVATE project and to conduct some tests and demonstrations in the laboratories of our host, EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology.  Two of our project partners, Dantec Dynamics GmbH based in Ulm, Germany, and the Athena Research Centre in Patras, Greece, have developed methods for quantifying the uncertainty present in measurements of deformation made in an industrial environment using digital image correlation ...

This blog post appeared on December 12th, 2018, on

Spontaneously MOTIVATEd
Some posts arise spontaneously, stimulated by something that I have read or done, while others are part of commitment to communicate on a topic related to my research... This blog post on a new validation metric and flowchart appeared on June 27th, 2018, on
Brave New World
In the brave new world of digital engineering, some engineers are attempting to conceive of a world in which experiments have become obsolete because we can rely on computational modelling to simulate engineering systems. ... This blog post on a world without experiments appeared on January 10th, 2018, on
Getting smarter
Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) is a perennial problem in computational simulations of engineering structures... This blog post is on how predictions from the simulation have to be tested against reality in order to establish confidence. It appeared on August 2nd, 2017, on

Structural Test at Airbus in Toulouse, FR

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