This paper deals with a software package for the numerical analysis in transient and steady-state modes of power electrical networks or variable speed drives with arbitrary topologies. The package is composed of a series of units, each representing a specific cell in the network : voltage supply, electrical machine, mechanical system, transmission line, circuit-breaker, phase shifting transformer, static converter with control and command organ, regulator, etc. SIMSEN is highly flexible and efficient. It is implanted on microcomputer or on workstation. The network or the variable speed drive to be simulated is assembled using a graphic input interface by adequatly choosing and linking the building units, so as to fulfill a desired topology. An existing system may be easily extended or modified. A simple procedure can be used in order to define a new unit or to modify an existing one. The initial conditions of operation can be partly or entirely specified by the user. A transient mode of operation may include several successive perturbations. The simulation results are displayed through an efficient graphic interface. An original feature of SIMSEN is its ability to analyse electrical networks involving semi-conductors (diodes rectifiers, thyristor or GTO current converters, voltage inverters, etc.). Thus, systems having a complex structure can be simulated. Practical examples of applications to such systems constitute the main part of this paper : constant or variable speed groups involving induction and synchronous machines, HVDC networks, reactive power static converter SVC. These examples show how SIMSEN can be used for an optimized design of complex networks.