We address the issue of the development of performance models for programs that may be executed on large-scale computing systems. The commonly used approaches apply non-standard notations for model specification and often require that the software engineer has a thorough understanding of the underlying performance modeling technique. We propose to bridge the gap between the performance modeling and software engineering by incorporating UML. In our approach we aim to permit the graphical specification of performance model in a human-intuitive fashion on one hand, but on the other hand we aim for a machine-efficient model evaluation. The user specifies graphically the performance model using UML. Thereafter, the transformation of the performance model from the human-usable UML representation to the machine-efficient C++ representation is done automatically. We describe our methodology and illustrate it with the automatic transformation of a sample performance model. Furthermore, we demonstrate the usefulness of our approach by modeling and simulating a real-world material science program.