Multidisciplinary-design Adaptation and Sensitivity Toolkit (MAST)

The Multidisciplinary-design Adaptation and Sensitivity Toolkit (MAST) is a sensitivity-enabled, multiphysics FEA tool developed to support computational design and engineering analysis.In addition to analysis of complex, nonlinear physics on large built-up models, MAST supports efficient analytical gradient/sensitivity calculation using direct and adjoint methods. As a result, it is well suited for gradient-based multidisciplinary design optimization processes.

MAST is developed at the Computational Dynamics and Design Laboratory at Mississippi State University in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Multidisciplinary Science and Technology Center (MSTC). Many of the capabilities in MAST have been developed through research efforts focusing on design of nonlinear, multiphysics systems that exhibit dynamic responses.

A brief list of capabilities for the software is:

  • 1D, 2D, and 3D analysis in multiple disciplines
  • Nonlinear steady-state and transient analysis
  • Heat Transfer
    • 1D, 2D, and 3D heat conduction elements
    • Nonlinear heat conduction
    • Radiation and convection boundary conditions
    • Temperature-dependent material properties
  • Structures (Elasticity)
    • 1D beam (Euler-Bernoulli and Timoshenko) and bar/rod elements
    • 2D plate (DKT and Mindlin) elements
    • Multiple 3D elements including hexahedral (brick) and tetrahedral elements
    • Thermoelastic loading
    • Surface pressure and concentrated forces
    • Single-point boundary conditions
    • Nonlinear von Karman strain
    • Nonlinear static and transient analysis
    • Modal vibration analysis (including about a nonlinear equilibrium)
    • Bifurcation buckling
    • Advanced continuation and load-stepping in nonlinear analysis
    • Ability to read meshes defined in Nastran Bulk Data format using pyNastran
  • Fluids
    • SU/PG discretization of compressible Euler equations
    • Small-disturbance linearized time-domain and frequency-domain solvers for Euler equations
    • SU/PG discretization of compressible Navier-Stokes equations (experimental).
  • Fluid-structure Interaction (FSI)
    • Small-disturbance flutter solution through coupling of structural and fluid discretizations
    • Time-accurate fluid-structure interaction (experimental)
  • Aeroelasticity
    • U-g flutter solver with mode tracking
    • Time-domain flutter solver for piston-theory aerodynamics
  • Analytical sensitivity analysis for nearly all analysis capabilities
  • Interfaces to multiple optimizers (GCMMA, DOT, NPSOL)
  • Topology Optimization (TO)
    • Level-set based approaches
    • Density-based approaches

MAST leverages the following open-source libraries to enable efficient high-performance computations:

  • libMesh for finite element analysis capabilities,
  • PETSc for linear and nonlinear solvers.
  • SLEPc for eigensolvers,
  • Eigen for dense matrix and vector operations.


You can contact the MAST developers on topics/issues pertaining to MAST by:


The MAST software and documentation are provided as is. Therefore the MAST authors cannot be held responsible for any harm resulting from the use of the software or the documentation. In particular, the MAST authors cannot be held responsible for content of web pages of other authors linked to/from the MAST source or documentation.