2018: Next User Training / Nächste Schulung

Update: 01.05.2018:

Dear Telemac users, customers, colleagues and friends,


We proceed in the 6 th year of user trainings for open source software which helps us to simulate free surface flow! Every year more and more customers keep us busy with inhouse trainings for their own work group, but we offer few public courses again as well.

For those who plan to start at an entry level, the new editions of Course I (German) and IV (English) will be the right decision. New program versions bring new functions, and new users ask new questions. So I decided to configure a new version of the Telemac Life Cluster and to update the training examples.
As the years before, there will be public trainings  in German or English. They can also be held as in‐house training for those who miss the date or like an even more private and project based consulting. Don’t hesitate to contact us to receive the final program updates and for further information.

New Public Course Dates for 2018:

Free Surface Flow Modelling with Open Source Software is an introduction course for those who expect the fastest possible learning curve. Pre- & Postprocessing, calculation setup, parallel computing and source code adaptations are the topics for 4 days.

July 2018, 23th‐26th

October 2018, 15th-18th

Sisyphe in DepthFor autumn 2018 we plan a new Sediment Transport Course with Dr. Catherine Villaret from CMSOL. Please contact us for further registration.

October 2018, 22th-24th

Find the detailed program below or as PDF ->here<-

All the best,

Uwe Merkel

Update: 04.09.2017: The new handouts are almost finished:


Farid Mohammadi worked a lot to refurbish the handouts for Course 4!

Our intention is, that you only have to write additional comments during the course. The important pictures (intermediate and final states of the examples), commands, keywords and milestones are all listed, the explanations are given during the course.

You can have a preview on the handouts here: -> Course_4-HANDOUT-Preview.pdf


Update: 01.05.2017: Some Pictures from the first courses 2017:

  • Modelamiento del flujo en superficie libre con software de código abierto [Free Surface Flow Modelling with Open Source Software], National Hydraulic Laboratory of the National University of Engineering, Lima, Peru. Spanish Program (PDF)  – Official Announcement (PDF) 
  • Advanced User Training for Flanders Hydraulics and the Antea Group, Belgium
  • Advanced User Training in Karlsruhe, Germany




Themen / Topics

Course I (German), Course IV (English): Free Surface Flow Modelling with Open Source Software

Tutors: Uwe Merkel
(4 day intensive user training, entry level, available in German or English)

Motivation: The numerical modelling of free surface flows undergoes major changes. Almost every university or major company developed their own source code until only few years ago. But since few years, more and more companies join forces and change their software licenses to open source.

One motivation is the fact that it was always necessary to provide source code instead of binaries. Unlike to widespread office software, numerical analysis software almost always deals with non standard cases. Therefore, a universal software package can neither be developed nor could a high number of features be paid by only one developing organisation. As most users extend the code to their own needs anyway, through the Open Source Model everybody can benefit from each others developments. This results in a dramatic increase of features.

A second very important motivation to use Open Source is the need for transparency and acceptance to convince both, clients and critics. Every other engineer can check the correctness of the included formulas.

However, due to the mass of features, it is hard to keep track, and even harder to find the right access point if you start from the scratch with Linux setups, pre- & post processing tools, software versions, mathematical methods or the search for suitable hardware. The theories of hydraulic modelling are taught at universities, but an engineer’s work provides many additional hurdles that have to be taken economically.

Therefore the main goal of our courses is to show you the easiest possible access to a full tool chain of market leading applications like TELEMAC Suite – PARAVIEW – QGIS – Blue Kenue – MPICH – TorquePBS – GNUFortran and CODE::BLOCKS. Avoid beginner’s mistakes, week long trial & error and don’t waste too much time configuring Linux. After the course, you will handle all core disciplines and know the ways to head on auto-didactically.

We learn in 3 steps: Explanation -> Demonstration -> Application, on your own PC!

Day 1:  First Steps in the Telemac Universe

Not all beginnings are difficult if you know where to look for. We analyse the program structures and interfaces. Your first own models will be started from scratch, calculated and analysed in detail by the end of this day.

o        Features, Possibilities & Limits

  • Flow in 2D and 3D
  • Sediments, wind & waves

o        Structure of the Telemac Suite

  • Don’t fear the command line!
  • Files & modules
  • Common mistakes

o        Demonstration: basic examples

  • Analyse datasets with Paraview and an editor
  • Start and monitor calculations
  • Change your configuration


o        Exercise A-I: Hands on the software!

  • Get used to console and scripts
  • Change values and configuration
  • Make mistakes and learn to understand them!

Lunch break

o        Configurations

  • Overview on 600+ options! Do I have to understand them all?
  • Which turbulence model, advection scheme, et cetera is the right one? (1 min)
  • Troubleshooting

o        Demonstration: Pre & post processing

  • PARAVIEW, BlueKenue, QGIS, BaseMesh, OpenOffice etc.
  • Understand the LOG-files


o        Exercise A-II: Build your own model

  • Meshing
  • Configure and calculate
  • Check results with QGIS & Paraview & log-files
  • Excurse on good mesh generation


Day 2:  Postprocessing with Tecplot / Speed up with parallel computing

To consolidate your new knowledge, we repeat Day 1 tasks, but in higher complexity. Now you will realize: computer power can’t be replaced by anything then more computer power. For most practical applications a state of the art office computer with 4 cores or more is good enough. But on demand you can connect your colleagues’ office computers to a cluster within minutes just by booting them up from the live disk. For even more performance you just rent as much as you need from a cloud service provider by hour and control it from your desktop.

Course IV: 100% Open Source (April)

o        How parallel processing works

  • Domain decomposition of a large project in many small projects
  • Distribution over several computers and connection via MPI
  • Demonstration: Understand desktop, workstation und cluster layout
  • The right hardware for your purpose
  • Load balancing

o        Exercise B-I: Parallel computing

  • Divide and combine projects: Partel & Gretel
  • Run jobs in different configurations and benchmark it
  • Try fast, efficient, decentralised setups

Lunch break

o        Resource efficiency: Queuing with TorquePBS

  • Queuing jobs
  • Priorities jobs overtake the queue
  • Distribute jobs to different computers
  • Demonstration: Calculating online in the rented cloud

o        Exercise B-II: Queues

  • We connect some our computers to a cluster.
  • We find the fastest combination of our computers with standard office network equipment.
  • The cluster MOM server distributes the jobs of a Monte Carlo sensitivity study between all available computers.


Day 3: Modify and extend your software

Special needs for special projects might need special modifications. Time dependent changes of the geometry, new empiric rules or unprecedented boundary conditions can be coded with only few lines. Don’t fear to mess with the source code! Understand the architecture of the software and avoid the common errors with this introduction in the development. You don’t have to be a programmer to change values. We start at a basic level. But for those who are familiar with FORTRAN we provide advanced exercises.

o        The development environment CODE::BLOCKS

  • The preconfigured environment for Telemac.
  • Little helpers of the IDE

o        Demonstration: Architecture of TELEMAC

  • Find the right variable
  • Working with the mesh (TIN)
  • Basic input & output


o        Exercise C-I: Modify initial and boundary conditions

  • Write your own outputs
  • Roughness and topography modifications
  • Integrate volumes

Lunch break

o        Demonstration: Integrate volumes in parallel computations

o        Compiling

  • Find errors (Debug)
  • Optimize and find bottlenecks (Profiling)

o        Tips, Tricks & Traps

  • Home made accuracy problems (Truncation error)
  • Calculating with mesh arithmetic


o        Exercise C-II: Your own routine

  • Write your own plug-in
  • Working with mesh and time loop
 Day 4:  Course Ia: Advanced Application / Course Ib: Open Lab Day
Course IV (April),  V (November, Karlsruhe, Germany), VI(APRIL 2017, Lima, Peru): 100% Open Source

For those who want to practise more under supervision we offer the “free program” day 4. The topics are chosen according to participant’s wishes. In the past trainings we used this day to focus on

  • mesh generation
  • sensitivities, uncertainties & professional calibration,
  • post processing with Python, SciPy and MatPlotLib
  • or we designed action plans for real projects participants already have in mind.

We choose the topics in the preliminary talks.

 Training Material

We provide a bootable 128GB SSD with a preinstalled and preconfigured Live Ubuntu/Mint Linux. It includes an extensively tuned collection of programes, with all manuals and examples plus docs. If you work during the training with this disk on your own laptop, we can be sure that all exercises work when you’re back at home, without configuration marathons and messed up primary discs. Please understand that we do not sell software, as all included software is free anyway under LGPL and GNU license.

 Dates & Cost

We limit the number of participants to 10 for this Entry Level Courses, to guarantee individual support and teaching in dialogue form.

  • July 2018, 23th‐26th

    October 2018, 8th-11th

  • Other dates and places can be organized on demand, even as in house training at your office.

The cost will be

  • “Early birds” reduced fee for bookings until 21 days before a course: 1490€
  • Regular Fee: 1790€

This includes the course itself, catering and the 128GB Training SSD. The additional VAT is applicable according to the laws in the country of presentation.
This equals 19% for trainings in Germany.

Program as PDF


Course II – Telemac & Sisyphe in Full Depth

Tutors: Jean-Michel Hervouet, Catherine Villaret
( 4 days advanced users training, English only)

[New dates on demand, please ask for further information!]

Motivation: Even experienced users always struggle at the same decisions: Do I use the right turbulence model, advection scheme, solvers, transport models, et cetera and how do I understand the options? What happens below the surface? You know from your own tests which option speeds up, increases accuracy or smoothes the surface. But confidence comes with understanding.

To get the best possible insider explanations, I invited Jean-Michel Hervouet and Catherine Villaret, both decade long core developers of Telemac and Sisyphe. They can help you with background information, mathematics and experience.

Telemac below the surface – Usability tips for advanced users
(Jean-Michel Hervouet)
  • Session 1
    • Saint-Venant equations and numerical techniques
    • Programming with Telemac subroutines
    • Inside Bief (structures, etc.)
  • Session 2
    • Telemac-3D
    • A few words on turbulence
    • Advection schemes
  • Session 3
    • Tidal flats
    • Parallelism
    • Linear solvers
  • Session 4
    • Telemac: Open question & answer session


Sisyphe below the surface – Usability tips for advanced users
(Catherine Villaret)
  • Session 5
    • Basic theory of bed load transport
    • Secondary currents
    • Slope effects
    • Bed forms & banks
  • Session 6
    • Basic theory of suspended load
    • Advection/diffusion
    • Rouse profile
    • Convection velocity
    • Stratification effects,
    • Hindered settling
    • Sensitivity analysis
  • Session 7
    • Long term simulations
    • Coupling with hydrodynamics in 2D-3D
    • Multi-grain sand grading
    • Application examples
  • Session 8
    • Sisyphe: Open question & answer session



Participants shall come with basic knowledge of TELEMAC.

Training Material

We provide a bootable 128GB SSD with a preinstalled and preconfigured Live Ubuntu/Mint Linux. It includes an extensively tuned collection of programmes, with all manuals and examples plus docs. If you work during the training with this disk on your own laptop, we can be sure that all exercises work when you’re back at home, without configuration marathons and messed up primary discs. Please understand that we do not sell software, as all included software is free anyway under LGPL and GNU license.

Dates & Cost

This Course will only be held once, July 2017, 4 th  ‐7 th , at the Fasanenschlösschen (“Pheasant Palace”) in the heart Karlsruhe, Germany.

  •  “Early birds” reduced fee for booking until 21 days before the training: 1590€
  • Regular Fee: 1890€
Program as PDF



Course III – Reverse Engineering of Interactions with Adjoints

[Currently no dates available, please ask for further information!]

A Hands-On Introduction to Telemac-AD
Tutors: Uwe Merkel, Uwe Naumann, Jan Riehme
(3 days advanced users training, English)

Motivation: Calibration of models, optimisation of geometries, mapping of spatial sensitivities or solving flow interactions mostly leads to complex iterative engineering.

These tasks have in common, that thousands or more parameters influence the hydraulic model results. They normally end up with immense computational efforts and a compromise between accuracy and economic aspects.

The new technique to generate “Adjoints” (sensitivities) with backward interpretation of Telemac results is the best option available so far to exponentiate working speed while reaching a until now unknown spatial accuracy for sensitivities.

The modified Telemac version TELEMAC-AD can quantify dependencies of your desired result to any model point in your Telemac mesh, in one single calculation! TELEMAC-AD is currently only available to research funders and participants of this course.

For further information, test cases and some publications, visit our TELEMAC-AD dedicated website:


About the course: We start the course with teaching you to rethink flow problems backward in time. Then you’ll learn mathematics and software engineering behind the technique of backward interpretation with an algorithmically differentiated Telemac. The course is set up for designing and researching engineers with basic hydraulic modelling and TELEMAC knowledge.

When you arrive back home, you will

  • have a basic understanding of AD and its usability for optimization methods
  • be able to calculate common hydraulic sensitivity analyses on your PC with your own TELEMAC-AD version.
  • be able to apply AD software to your own Fortran Code

We learn in 5 steps:
Simple Examples -> Interpretation -> Intermediate Examples -> Mathematical background -> Tough Examples -> Applying the results to optimization strategies


The detailed program will be updated soon.


Day 1:  Understanding Spatial Sensitivities

Step by Step, with examples, we show you what sensitivities, tangents, gradients or adjoints are, we explain what means “backward interpretation” and how you can use this to resolve spatial flow interactions.

o        Simple Examples for Tangent Linear Problems

  • Finite Differences of simple equations written in Fortran
  • Finite Differences with a simple Telemac example
  • Comparing Sensitivities
  • Using Sensitivities for Calibration


o        Exercise A-I: Hands on Fortran!

  • Change values and configurations
  • Make mistakes and learn to understand them!

Lunch break

o        Algorithmic Differentiation Examples for Tangent Linear Problems

  • Algorithmic Differentiation of simple equations written in Fortran
  • Algorithmic Differentiation of a simple Telemac example
  • Investigation of accuracy and scalability
  • Tangent AD for parameter calibration


o        Exercise A-II: Calculate and compare spatial sensitivities with a precompiled Telemac-TLM

Day 2:  Software Engineering & Mathematics

Background knowledge torn down to human understandable facts. What is the algorithmically differentiating NAG Fortran Compiler? How does it work under the surface? What is the mathematics behind it. What is check pointing and tape recording?

o        Mathematics behind Automatic Differentiation and Adjoints

  • Accurate Backward Sensitivity Analysis and Examples
  • Adjoint AD on simple problem
  • Adjoint AD on simple Telemac example
  • Investigation of accuracy and scalability
  • Adjoint AD for parameter calibration


o        Exercise B-I: Hands-on Adjoint AD

Lunch break

o        Software Engineering: AD-enabled NAG Fortran Compiler Support

  • Compiler under the surface
  • Specific programming basics
  • Examples


o        Exercise B-II:

  • Advanced example: Differentiating an iterative diffusion solver

o        Outlook: Large-Scale Adjoint Parameter Sensitivity Analysis

Day 3:  Using TELEMAC-AD Inputs & Outputs for Open Channel Flow Problems

What you can do with adjoints, and how to set up models efficiently.

o        Explain the sensitivity problem to your computer

  • What is a Cost Function ?
  • Cost Functions for Open Channel Flow related problems


o        Exercise C-I:

  • Formulate your own Cost functions

Lunch break

o        Basic Flow Optimization Strategies based on Adjoints

  • The Methods of Least Squares and Steepest Descent
  • Optimization with Scientific Python (SciPy)


o        Exercise C-II: Calibrate a model!

  • Manual application of “Steepest Descent” with a spreadsheet program
  • Try SciPy



Participants shall come with basic knowledge of TELEMAC and basic programming skills. If in doubt, please contact us.

Training Material

We provide a bootable 64GB SSD with a preinstalled and preconfigured Live Ubuntu/Mint Linux. It includes an extensively tuned collection of programmes, with all manuals and examples plus docs. If you work during the training with this disk on your own laptop, we can be sure that all exercises work when you’re back at home, without configuration marathons and messed up primary discs. All included software is free anyway under LGPL and GNU license. Except the test version of the NAG FORTRAN compiler and your personal beta version of TELEMAC-AD, this is exclusively available for our course participants.

Dates & Cost

Please contact us!



Tutors for 2017


Dr. Jean-Michel HervouetFather of the Telemac Project
and expert on the core numerics.
Dr. Catherine VillaretWorked more than 20 years as at EDF-LNHE and HR Wallingford. She was responsible for the development of 2D and 3D sediment transport models in the TELEMAC-MASCRET system.

Dr. Uwe H. Merkel (UHM, Karlsruhe)

Researches and develops tailor made solutions for river flow problems since more than 15 years, including modules for Sisyphe, QGIS and Telemac-AD. Specialised on model uncertainties. Organizes the courses.