The OpenFOAM® Foundation

About OpenFOAM

OpenFOAM is a free, open source CFD software package, licensed and distributed by the OpenFOAM Foundation . It has a large user base across most areas of engineering and science, from both commercial and academic organisations. OpenFOAM has an extensive range of features to solve anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to solid dynamics and electromagnetics. More...


The OpenFOAM Foundation

The OpenFOAM®  Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 2011, that manages the development of OpenFOAM and distribution to the public under the GPL. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors including Henry Weller (creator and architect of OpenFOAM) and Chris Greenshields, CFD Direct, and Cristel de Rouvray, ESI Group. The Foundation is based in the UK and has a governance structure that includes the following groups.

  • Financial Membership for organisations that pay a fee to fund the Foundation and participate in the evolution of the software.
  • Contributing Membership for individuals that make a significant personal contribution to OpenFOAM, for the public good.
  • Technical Committees, that participate in software management, such as model implementation, testing and validation.


Open Source

As the copyright holder, the Foundation licenses OpenFOAM free and open source only, under the GNU general public licence (GPL). The GPL gives users the freedom to modify and redistribute the software and a guarantee of continued free use — as long as the terms of the GPL are adhered to. In particular, there are terms to the GPL that provide protection against exploitation by companies including OpenFOAM within non-free and/or closed source software products. First, when any modified version of the software is redistributed, the source code must also be made available by the distributor. Secondly, any modified version can only legally be distributed open source under the GPL , without limiting the rights on further redistribution. Software that links intimately enough to OpenFOAM has to be distributed under the GPL as well. Copyright statements on the software must remain intact.