A History of Innovation
They knew that the potential application of that vision was in the world of process manufacturing – energy, chemicals and other
industries that manufacture and produce products from a chemical process. Their premise was that computer simulation and models could
help manufacturers find ways to make products like fuel, gasoline and complex chemical components less expensively and more efficiently.
Coincidentally, in the late 1970s energy shortages and the resulting “oil shock” was causing major economic and political disruption
in America and abroad. As the U.S. faced an energy crisis, MIT created an Energy Laboratory to facilitate collaboration between
university and industry.
The ASPEN project set about to develop a general-purpose process simulation system that could be used by chemical
engineers across the process industries, reducing and eventually eliminating the need to rely on the proprietary, home-grown systems that
were in use at the time.
The end result of the project was the next-generation process simulator, also named ASPEN. It could simulate large, complex processes
involving highly non-ideal chemical components, coals and synthetic fuels, as well as electrolyte and multi-phase systems.
AspenTech was founded on August 12, 1981 to commercialize the technology. In 1982, the company released its first product, Aspen Plus,
commercial process simulation software that was the first of dozens of innovations and industry firsts delivered by the company.
Over time, that original goal of a general-purpose process simulation system evolved to a broader vision. Today, a suite of
industry-leading AspenTech products optimize assets and processes across all the engineering, manufacturing and supply chain functions.
And the company continues to build on its legacy of innovation and forward thinking, 35 years after its founding.
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