The Tools We Use

On this page we collected some of our internal software that may be of use to the wider research community, open-source tools we use, and a collection of tools developed at Michigan primarily by Professor Parsons to support student ship design projects (the NA 470/NA 475 toolset as Alumni refer to them). Most research software is provided under a permissive BSD-style license and it, and the NA 470/475 tools are provided on a strictly as-is basis, with no warranty or suggestion of any fitness for purpose. These are educational tools and are not developed, verified, or validated for use in real-world engineering projects.




An outstanding open-source Python IDE we use to develop most of the software tools and analysis methods in our publication.


A distribution of the scripting programming language Python will an extensive set of built-in libraries and productivity tools. Very useful for using Python out-of-the-box for scientific and engineering applications.


Statistical and fatigue analysis program for tabular data, originally written for wind turbines by Marshall Buhl of the National Wind Technology Center, but useful for a wide range of data.


A visual method for organizing on-line resources, papers, and other ideas. Has an extensive set of presentation and other tools. I have organized my links page with this software. Hopefully stronger tie-ins with Zotero are on the way.


Open-source bibliographic software, similar in some respects to RefWorks or Endnote, but built as a Firefox extension with very strong integration with most online reference sites.

Engauge Digitizer

A little utility for digitizing points off of scanned graphs or other image files