Customer Stories / Manufacturing / Ireland

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VorTech Derisks Innovative Technology to Aid Global Water Sustainability Challenges Using Cloud-Native Simulations on AWS

Learn how VorTech, in the field of water and wastewater management, can create complex simulations as a startup using HPC on AWS.


innovative water management technology

Pilots vortex treatment technology

that reduces energy usage by up to 41% for its customers

£96,000 saved annually

for one of its customers

Helps customers extend the life span

of their water infrastructure


clean water and sanitation in developing countries


No more than 1 percent of the world’s water is readily available fresh water, according to the US Geological Survey. Water and wastewater management facilities face increasing pressure from consumers and regulatory agencies to adopt sustainable practices and infrastructure that will help make the most of this finite resource. Technology startup VorTech Water Solutions Ltd. (VorTech) helps solve these industry challenges by offering water and wastewater management solutions that treat water at high efficiency and low cost using fully recyclable equipment. To demonstrate its products to its customers, VorTech creates simulations that project the performance of its equipment, and these are based on each customer’s unique environmental factors.

Instead of relying wholly on physical prototypes, VorTech wanted a solution that would help its teams develop virtual pilots of its technology, so the company turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS). VorTech decided to use CADFEM, an AWS Partner, to deliver cloud-native simulations using high performance computing (HPC) solutions from AWS. VorTech also adopted advanced modeling and simulation technology from Ansys Inc. (Ansys), an AWS Partner, giving its teams the ability to recreate fluid-structural interactions with precision. By running its workloads on AWS, VorTech can reduce risk for its customers while meeting the performance requirements for running computationally intensive simulations.

VorTech site

Opportunity | Collaborating Alongside AWS Partner CADFEM to Build a Cloud-Native Environment for VorTech

Water and wastewater management companies face many challenges that make it difficult to treat and maintain clean drinking water. “The increase in the human population means that more volumes of wastewater are being produced, which is coupled with energy intensity and increasing electricity costs, resulting in a significant challenge,” says Sean Mulligan, CEO and founder at VorTech. “Companies are also striving for net zero while dealing with aging infrastructure. They’re forced to do a lot more with a lot less.”

VorTech was founded in 2019, with the mission of helping utility and water companies overcome these challenges through sustainable wastewater treatment processes. Its flagship patented product solution, Vortex Powered Aeration, aerates water through cyclonic flow, a process based on computational fluid dynamics. A variation of the technology also generates renewable energy from low-head hydropower opportunities in water treatment facilities. To add to its sustainability efforts, VorTech designs its products with virtually 100 percent recyclable components.

One of the hurdles that VorTech helps its customers with is planning for the installation and maintenance of its equipment. “The wastewater industry is highly risk averse,” says Mulligan. “We needed to build traction at a faster rate compared with other technologies that exist.” VorTech knew it could demonstrate the value of its products by creating simulations that account for the fluid-structural interactions that might occur. So VorTech turned to CADFEM, an AWS Partner, to architect a cloud-native environment that would scale to compute-intensive workloads. “The capability to create complex simulations 20 years ago would have been virtually impossible, particularly for an early phase startup like us,” says Paul Mannion, computational fluid dynamics lead at VorTech. “Because we’ve had the opportunity to simulate on AWS alongside CADFEM, we’ve been able to accelerate toward our mission from day one.”


The capability to create complex simulations 20 years ago would have been virtually impossible, particularly for an early phase startup like us. Because we’ve had the opportunity to simulate on AWS alongside CADFEM, we’ve been able to accelerate toward our mission from day one.”

Paul Mannion
Computational Fluid Dynamics Lead, VorTech Water Solutions Ltd.

Solution | Helping Customers Reduce Energy Usage by up to 41%

Through its collaboration with CADFEM, VorTech adopted Ansys CFX, Ansys Fluent, and Ansys Mechanical simulations to create digital twins of its customers’ industrial and municipal water treatment plants. VorTech supports the water management community by providing advanced multiphase flow simulations of complex infrastructure projects, such as deep tunnels and pumping stations, to evaluate mixing processes or sedimentary buildup. “We can design systems around what we learn through simulations and optimize client designs at an early stage,” says Mannion. “Our simulations save an incredible amount of capital expenditure, which means that our customers can finish their projects on time.”

VorTech can access these simulations through a customer portal built and provided by CADFEM. Using this portal, VorTech can produce simulations that would typically take weeks to create in a matter of hours. VorTech powers these simulations using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) C6gn Instances, which deliver high price performance for compute-intensive workloads. For a given simulation, VorTech will use between 32 and 96 cores to achieve optimal processing speeds. “Amazon EC2 C6gn Instances have given us a good balance of cost per core hour with maintaining the processing speeds that we need,” says Mannion.

VorTech has the option to archive its simulations locally or by using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), a cloud object storage built to retrieve virtually any amount of data from anywhere. CADFEM also uses Amazon S3 for postprocessing logs. To connect the company’s applications through Message Passing Interfaces, VorTech uses Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA)—a network interface for Amazon EC2 instances—to run HPC and machine learning applications at scale. “The cloud-native customer portal developed by CADFEM is straightforward,” says Mannion. “It provides us with a mature, fully fledged system that we can access on demand when needed.”

Compared with physical prototyping, VorTech can save a significant amount of time and resources by running its simulations in the cloud. On one project, VorTech helped the customer save an estimated £96,000 annually, which represented a 39 percent savings compared with its previous baseline costs. The same customer also saw a 41 percent reduction in total energy usage compared with other facilities it owns. VorTech’s customers can benefit from predictive maintenance insights along with high-quality materials that extend the longevity of traditional plants. “By introducing our products to the industry, we’re promoting sustainability by offering energy savings, reducing maintenance and replacement costs, and maximizing the life span of our customers’ assets,” says Mulligan.

Outcome | Building Water Infrastructure in Developing Countries Using HPC on AWS

VorTech will continue to grow its operations, bringing a carbon-modeling perspective to an industry that relies heavily on plastics. The company has engaged customers in developing areas, such as India, to help build water infrastructure at low total life cycle costs. “As an accomplished AWS Partner, CADFEM set up our portal to access AWS resources, so we don’t have to think about what’s going on in the background and we can focus on our work,” says Mannion. “That’s been hugely valuable for a small startup that needs immediate access to HPC resources. In the future, we want to add more physics into our modeling. We have peace of mind knowing that we can scale using AWS services and collaborating alongside CADFEM.”

About VorTech Water Solutions Ltd.

Founded in 2019, VorTech has a mission to address the world’s water and wastewater challenges by developing and delivering innovative, cost-effective solutions that make a real difference toward improving the sustainability of the industry.

AWS Services Used

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) C6gn Instances

Amazon EC2 C6g instances are powered by Arm-based AWS Graviton2 processors. They deliver up to 40% better price performance over C5 instances and are ideal for running advanced compute-intensive workloads.

Learn more »

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.

Learn more »

Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA)

Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA) is a network interface for Amazon EC2 instances that enables customers to run applications requiring high levels of inter-node communications at scale on AWS.

Learn more »

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