Company:Altair Engineering

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Short description: American multinational company
Altair Engineering, Inc.
Founded1985; 39 years ago (1985)
  • James R. Scapa
  • George Christ
  • Mark Kistner
HeadquartersTroy, Michigan, United States
Key people
James R. Scapa (Chairman & CEO)
Matthew Brown (CFO)[1][2]
RevenueIncrease US$572.2 million (2022)[3]
Increase US$12.3 million (2021)[4]
Increase US$−8.8 million (2021)[4]
Total assetsIncrease US$1.16 billion (2021)[4]
Total equityIncrease US$613.2 million (2021)[4]
Number of employees
2,800+ (2021)[4]

Altair Engineering Inc. is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Troy, Michigan. It provides software and cloud solutions for simulation, IoT, high performance computing (HPC), data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Altair Engineering is the creator of the HyperWorks CAE software product, among numerous other software packages and suites. The company was founded in 1985 and went public in 2017. It is traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the stock ticker symbol ALTR.[5]



Altair Engineering was founded in 1985 by James R. Scapa, George Christ, and Mark Kistner in Troy, Michigan. Since the company's outset,[6] Scapa has served as its CEO (and now chairman).[7] Initially, Altair started as an engineering consulting firm,[8] but branched out into product development and computer-aided engineering (CAE) software.[9] In the 1990s, it became known for its software products like HyperWorks, OptiStruct,[10] and HyperMesh,[11] which were often used for product development by the automotive industry.[12][13] Some of Altair's early clients included the Ford Motor Company, General Motors,[9] and Chrysler.[14] Its software also aided in the development of the Young America[15] and AmericaOne racing yachts,[9] the former of which was used to compete in the 1995 America's Cup.[15]

Its software also found uses in other sectors, including aerospace (NASA),[16] aviation (Airbus),[10] consumer electronics (Nokia),[16] and toy manufacturing (Mattel), among others.[9] In 2002, Altair software aided in the design of the Airbus A380 by weight optimizing the aircraft wing ribs.[10] Also in 2002, Altair opened offices in Seongnam, South Korea and Shanghai, China ,[17] adding those locales to its international footprint alongside India where it had begun investment in 1992.[11]

Early 2000's and 2017 IPO

In addition to its software production, Altair hires out engineering consultants to its corporate clientele.[9] Its consultancy services accounted for the majority of the company's revenue until 2004, when the sale and licensing of software overtook that.[18] In October of that year, General Atlantic invested $30 million in Altair.[19] Also in 2004, Altair partnered with General Motors and the United States Department of Defense on the design and construction of a new military vehicle.[20]

Altair also branched out into the life sciences, finance, and pharmaceutical industries with its high performance computing software, PBS Professional,[18] which it had acquired the rights to in 2003.[21] In June 2006, Altair acquired the French CAE software company, Mecalog, and its Radioss technology suite.[18] In 2007, it spun off a new wholly-owned subsidiary called ilumisys, which would focus on light-emitting diode (LED) lamps[22] designed to be used as direct replacements for fluorescent light tubes. Ilumisys' operations were moved to Michigan in 2011,[23] and it was rebranded as Toggled in 2012.[24]

In the early 2010s, Altair's product design division (Altair ProductDesign) began creating prototypes of various vehicles including a hydraulic hybrid transit bus known as BUSolution[25] and an electric concept car called the Avant GT.[26] By 2013, the company had offices in 19 countries worldwide and 1,800 employees.[27] That year, it also bought out General Atlantic's equity stake in the company.[28]

On November 1, 2017, Altair went public with an IPO on the Nasdaq stock exchange and began trading under the stock ticker symbol ALTR. The company raised $156 million with share prices starting at $13.[28] In the years leading up to the IPO, Altair acquired 11 different companies with strategic assets and expertise in fields like material science, electronics, industrial design, rendering, and others.[11] The company then made its products available to qualified startup companies through its Startup Program, formed in 2018 and relaunched in 2021.[29][30]

By 2019, the company had acquired a total of 30 businesses. It also began making efforts to incorporate artificial intelligence technology into its new software packages.[7] That year, it opened a new office in Greensboro, North Carolina after acquiring the data analytics company, Datawatch, which had offices in the area.[31]


In June 2020, the company announced that it would be providing software updates for all of its products. The updates were implemented to improve workflows and provide access to a broader set of tools for data analytics, machine learning, and physics.[32] In January 2021, Altair announced that it would collaborate with Rolls-Royce Holdings on a project using AI and machine learning to improve the aero jet engine design process.[33] In November 2021, Altair's PBS Professional workload manager was selected by the Argonne National Laboratory to be used across the organization's high performance computing (HPC) systems, including the Polaris and Aurora supercomputers.[34] That same month, Altair was also included on Inc. Magazine's 2021 Best-Led Companies list.[35] In December, Altair was named as one of Investor's Business Daily's Best 100 ESG Companies.[36] In March 2023, Altair rebranded its AI and data analytics product now known as Altair RapidMiner.[37] In May 2023, the US Court of Appeals issued a favorable ruling in a copyright infringement case pertaining to SAS software. This decision not only upheld Altair's dedication to safeguarding intellectual property but also emphasized the significance of copyright protection within the software industry. The verdict reinforced Altair's commitment to maintaining the integrity of its software assets and set a precedent for copyright enforcement in the sector.[38]


Altair develops and provides software and cloud services for product development, high-performance computing (HPC), simulation, artificial intelligence, and data intelligence.[39][40][31] The company also offers its customers access to software applications from over 55 different software companies through its Altair Partner Alliance.

Altair SmartWorks
An IoT product development solution.
Altair Panopticon
A data visualization and monitoring software.[41]
Altair HyperWorks
A computer-aided engineering (CAE) program that enables finite element analysis, modeling, and simulation.[42]
Altair HyperMesh
A finite element pre-processor.[43]
Altair OptiStruct
Topology optimization tool that provides structural analysis and performance validation.[44]
Altair SimSolid
A mesh-less structural analysis tool.[45]
Altair Knowledge Works
Software that allows users to pull data from a variety of sources, transform it, and make machine learning models based on it.[32][33]
Altair PBS Works
Is a workload management tool that leverages high-performance computing.[46]
Altair One
A collaboration platform to access all Altair's simulation, HPC, digital engineering and data analytics capabilities.[47][48][49]
Altair Monarch
Self-service data preparation solutions.
Data science platform.

Corporate acquisitions

Since 1985, Altair has acquired over 30 businesses, business units, and software packages.[7] The following is a list of selected corporate acquisitions:

Year Company Business type Location Ref.
2006 Mecalog Group CAE software Antony, France [18]
2008 solidThinking Industrial design software Vicenza, Italy [50]
2010 SimLab Corporation Feature-based modeling technology Rancho Santa Margarita, California [51]
2011 Acusim Software, Inc. Computational fluid dynamics technology Mountain View, California [52][53]
2014 EM Software & Systems (EMSS) Electromagnetic technology software Stellenbosch, South Africa [54]
Visual Solutions, Inc. Mathematical modeling, simulation, and model-based embedded system development Westford, Massachusetts [55]
2016 CEDRAT S.A. Low frequency electromagnetics simulations for electric motor design Grenoble, France
Magsoft Corporation (CEDRAT subsidiary) New York
2017 MODELiiS Electronic design automation (EDA) technology Grenoble, France [56]
Runtime Design Automation High performance computing Santa Clara, California [57]
Carriots S.L. IoT application enablement platform (AEP) Madrid, Spain
Componeering Inc. Composite structural analysis and design technology Helsinki, Finland
2018 TES International Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technology Michigan
SimSolid Structural analysis simulation Canada [58]
Datawatch Corporation Data analytics technology Bedford, Massachusetts [59]
FluiDyna GmbH NVIDIA CUDA and GPU-based Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and numerical simulation technologies Madrid, Spain
CANDI Controls, Inc. (Intellectual Property Assets) Cloud-based SaaS; platform connects edge gateway computers to IoT devices Oakland, California [60][61]
2019 Polliwog Co. EDA technology Seoul, South Korea [62]
SEAM Software
(from Cambridge Collaborative)
Noise and vibration predictive technology Concord, Massachusetts [63]
DEM Solutions Discrete Element Method software used for the simulation and bulk and granular material Edinburgh, UK [64]
newFASANT Computational and high-frequency electromagnetics Alcala de Henares, Spain [65]
2020 WRAP Software
(from WRAP International)
Spectrum management and radio network planning Sweden [66]
S&Wise Co., Ltd. Polyurethane foam processing solution Seoul, South Korea
Univa Workload management, scheduling, HPC, and AI Hoffman Estates, Illinois [67]
M-Base Engineering + Software GmbH Supplier of material database and material information systems Aachen, Germany
Ellexus Input/Output (I/O) analysis tool Cambridge, England [68][69]
2021 Flow Simulator
(from GE Aviation)
Flow, heat transfer, and combustion design software Evendale, Ohio [70]
S-FRAME Software Structural analysis and design software British Columbia, Canada [71]
World Programming Data Science and Data Engineering Specializing in Analytics Hampshire, United Kingdom [72]
2022 Cassini Next-gen cloud native technology for Industry 4.0 Hyderabad, India [73]
Powersim Simulation and design tools for power electronics Rockville, Maryland [74]
Gen3D Additive manufacturing design software Bath, England [75]
Concept Engineering Electronic system visualization software Freiburg, Germany [76]
Altair RapidMiner Data science Data Analytics and AI platform Dortmund, Germany
2023 OmniV Digital Engineering UK [77]

See also


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  2. "ICAT signs MoU with Altair to work in simulation and testing space". ET Auto. 28 March 2019. 
  3. "Altair Engineering 10-k 2022". 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Altair Engineering, Inc.2021 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 28 February 2022. 
  5. "Altair Engineering Inc. (ALTR) Stock Price, News, Quote & History - Yahoo Finance" (in en-US). 
  6. Bennett, Jeff (3 April 2002). "CEO has low-key style". Detroit Free Press. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ray, Tiernan (21 December 2019). "Computer simulation enters the AI age: the Altair story". ZDNet. 
  8. Snavely, Brent (10 February 2014). "James Scapa, Altair's quiet risk taker". Detroit Free Press. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Bennett, Jeff (3 April 2002). "Computer-aided prototyping is a growing field". Detroit Free Press. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Konrad, Alex (9 April 2013). "Altair Engineering and the Evolution of Everyday Things". Forbes India. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Talgeri, Kunal (29 August 2019). "How Altair engineering has evolved, from software to sparks". Forbes India. 
  12. "Firms order entry level Cray systems for 1st time". Chippewa Herald-Telegram. 30 July 1991. 
  13. "The High-Tech Supplier Invasion". Detroit Free Press. 10 November 1997. 
  14. Menn, Joseph (21 August 2000). "The Man With the Money". Los Angeles Times. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 McKesson, Mike (6 April 1995). "Ford finds a place in the water". Lansing State Journal. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Tippoo, Sofia (10 November 2002). "Altair-ing the world of product design". Times of India. 
  17. Moore, Roberta (24 June 2002). "Altair expands to Korea, China". Detroit Free Press. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 "From humble beginnings come Big things". The Oakland Press. 6 August 2006. 
  19. Dietderich, Andrew (27 June 2006). "Altair Engineering to acquire French company". Crain's Detroit Business. 
  20. "Altair Engineering To Present Military Vehicle to Media". The Auto Channel. 9 November 2004. 
  21. "On the Eve of Exascale, Argonne Lab Turns to Altair PBS Pro After 20+Years of Rolling Their Own Workload Manager" (in en-US). 2021-11-10. 
  22. Szczesny, Joseph (1 May 2007). "Altair spins off subsidiary". The Oakland Press. 
  23. Yung, Katherine (29 August 2010). "Emerging light market a good fit for state". Detroit Free Press. 
  24. "Altair LED Lighting Subsidiary Ilumisys Rebrands as TOGGLED". WWJ-TV. December 11, 2012. 
  25. Barry, Keith (9 November 2011). "New Hybrids Will Pump it Up". Wired. Retrieved 2 May 2021. 
  26. Ashe, Suzanne (16 September 2011). "Altair ProductDesign joins Studio X-Gene on Avant GT concept". CNET. 
  27. "James R. Scapa reorganizes Altair Engineering Inc. on a yearly basis to keep it moving forward". Smart Business Online. 30 October 2013. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 Roof, Katie (1 November 2017). "Altair Engineering soars 41% in public debut". TechCrunch. 
  29. "Altair launches simulation startup scheme for startups" (in en-GB). 2018-08-08. 
  30. "Altair's Global Startup Program to support new technology and emerging markets" (in en-GB). 2018-07-31. 
  31. 31.0 31.1 Warfield, Andy (14 October 2019). "Tech company taking more space in Triad downtown building". Triad Business Journal. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 Saini, Ruchika (8 June 2020). "Altair announces software updates for its entire line of products". Graphic Speak. 
  33. 33.0 33.1 Fretty, Peter (9 March 2021). "Rolls-Royce and Altair Collaboration Leverages AI". IndustryWeek. 
  34. staff (2021-11-10). "Argonne Selects Altair Workload Manager for Polaris, Aurora" (in en-US). 
  35. "Meet the Top 250 Best-Led Companies in America" (in en). 
  36. "Altair expands data analytics abilities with World Programming buy" (in en-GB). 2021-12-17. 
  37. "Altair Releases Altair RapidMiner". 
  38. "The US Court of Appeals Rules 'Copyright Infringement of SAS Software' in Favor of Altair". 
  39. "Accordo tra Altair e Hewlett Packard Enterprise per il supercomputing" (in it-IT). 2022-01-25. 
  40. Warfield, Andy (14 October 2019). "Altair moving into larger office with and eye toward growing Greensboro data extraction and preparation team - Triad Business Journal". 
  41. King, Timothy (2020-04-21). "Altair Unveils Collection of New Features in Altair Panopticon Platform" (in en-US). 
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  43. "Meshing Gets a Makeover with Next-Generation HyperWorks". 
  44. staff (2019-03-29). "NVIDIA GPUs Speed Altair OptiStruct structural analysis up to 10x" (in en-US). 
  45. "Meshing Gets a Makeover with Next-Generation HyperWorks". 
  46. "Huawei to Resell Altair PBS Works for High-Performance Computing". Digital Engineering 247. 27 June 2018. 
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  50. Frausto-Robledo, Anthony (24 July 2008). "solidThinking acquired by Altair Engineering, releases version 7.6 globally". Architosh. 
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  53. Newton, Randall (11 January 2011). "Altair Engineering acquires Acusim Software for CFD". 
  54. "Altair To Acquire South African Electromagnetic Software Firm". Dec 10, 2013. 
  55. "Altair To Acquire Mass. Modeling Software Maker". TechCentury. 18 July 2014. 
  56. "Altair acquires MODELiiS". Scientific Computing. 24 May 2017. 
  57. Black, Doug (2018-12-13). "Video: How Altair Powers HPC with PBS Works" (in en-US). 
  58. "Computer simulation enters the AI age: the Altair story" (in en). 
  59. "Computer simulation enters the AI age: the Altair story" (in en). 
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  61. "CANDI Controls - Headquarter Locations, Products, Competitors, Financials, Employees". 
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  63. "Altair expands solver portfolio with SEAM acquisition" (in en-GB). 2019-04-13. 
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  65. "Altair Acquires newFASANT, Expanding High Frequency EM Portfolio | 2020-01-06 | Microwave Journal" (in en). 
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  67. Miller, Ben (14 September 2020). "Hoffman Estates computer company Univa purchased by Altair". Chicago Business Journal. 
  68. Chawla, Vishal (2020-09-21). "Why Altair Acquired Analytics Firm Ellexus" (in en-US). 
  69. "Ellexus - Headquarter Locations, Products, Competitors, Financials, Employees". 
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  72. Programming, World. "Altair Acquires World Programming to Advance Organizations' Digital Transformation". World Programming Ltd.. 
  73. "New Electronics - Altair acquires Cassini" (in en). 18 February 2022. 
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  75. "Altair acquires Univ of Bath startup for additive manufacturing" (in en-US). 2022-06-06. 
  76. DEVELOP3D (2022-06-14). "Concept Engineering acquired by Altair for electronics engineering" (in en-GB). 
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