Victor E. Saouma
Professor, Civil Engineering Department
University of Colorado at Boulder


Victor E. Saouma » Mercury

What is Real Time Hybrid Simulation

If you are not familiar with the concept of hybrid simulation, or real time hybrid simulation, the following video (put together when we were a NEES center) describes this novel testing paradigm (you should click on the play key bottom on the right).

What is Mercury?

Mercury is a full fledge nonlinear dynamic finite element program which can be embedded within LabView or Simulink to drive a pseudo-static or a hard real time hybrid simulation.

Main features

  1. Stiffness and Fexibility based elements
  2. Zero length/section elements
  3. Fiber sections
  4. Hybrid Elements
  5. Giuffre-Menegotto-Pinto-Filippou (steel)
  6. Modified Kent and Park (concrete)
  7. Initial Stiffness, Newton-Raphson, Modified Newton-Raphson
  8. Load/Displacement control
  9. Pushover
  10. Embedded Lua
  11. SCRAMNet support
  12. Graphical Postprocessor (under development)

A brief description of Mercury can be found here.


There are three versions of Mercury:

  1. Student version, Matlab, linear elastic, open source. This is ideally suited for Senior/first year graduate courses in “Matrix Structural Analysis” where students may have a term project involving the modification of an exiting Matlab code.
  2. Matlab Release version (.p files, closed source codes). This is the full version of Mercury, it has some capabilities for hybrid simulation (through TCP/IP). It is primarily used to test new features prior to implementation in the C++ release version.
  3. C++ Release version This is the deployment version, which can run either within a real time Linux operating system, or as embedded in LabView or Simulink

Short Presentations

The following pdf files provide an exhaustive presentation of Mercury, an application and a related series of tests. Some files are pretty large, as they contain videos of tests embedded in them.

Here is a full description of Mercury


Saouma, V., Kang, D., Haussman, G.,: 2010, A Computational Finite-Element Program for Hybrid Simulation, Submitted for publication

Hybrid Simulation (2008) Book, Taylor & Francis, Saouma and Sivaselvan (Eds


Theory Manual (6.5 MB)

User’s Manual (300 KB)

User’s Manual, Student Version (150 KB)

Example/Validation Manual (4.2 MB)

Installation Manual


Student Version (with source code) 33KB

Full Matlab Version (only .p files)

Full c++ Version (only .exe file); Note that you will have to request a password from Saouma

Validation Examples (162 MB) Zip file containing over 40 validation examples. Each one has a three input files: Matlab, and C++ for Mercury; Tcl for OpenSees comparison

Dynamic Pushover Tests performed prior to the testing of Mercury
Application of Mercury in the real time hybrid simulation of a 402 dof nonlinear simulation of a reinforced concrete frame


The Matlab version was developed by Dr. Dae-Hung Kang, and the C++ by Dr. Gary Haussmann (with some help from Dr. Kang). Prof. Saouma supervised the development of both versions.

Picture of the team which developed and tested Mercury.