Although I did not watch the Academy Awards™ on television last night (I am more of a book geek than a film geek), it was impossible not to hear about them. The predictions, gossip and instant reviews of the ceremony were everywhere because of the coverage on multiple TV channels, Facebook, Twitter, and the newspaper.
One place where they’re not handing out awards is in the field of mesh generation. If you’ve seen our current advertising, you’ve probably seen Ruth. She generates meshes for a living. And if her experiences (albeit fictional) are anything like mine, she’s been called every name in the book — from a nurse among doctors (because all the CFD folks have Ph.D.s), a boy among men (me, not Ruth), the village idiot to the lovable “mesh monkey.”
Ruth understands that mesh generation, unlike the Oscars™, is decidedly unglamorous. She understands that meshing serves the needs of the CFD analysis, which in turn generates answers that serve the needs of the organization. But she also understands that mesh generation has a tremendous impact on the analysis, from convergence to accuracy and the ability to impact the design in a timely manner.
I’m currently listening to Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth on audiobook. It’s the story of 12th century England and the building of a cathedral amidst the chaos of the times. There’s a section in which the master builder, Tom, revels in the joy of placing one stone on top of another in an orderly fashion to create something strong and beautiful that serves a higher purpose. That’s similar to how we approach mesh generation. We love doing this – the geometry, the math, the computer science, the CFD, the applications. And we realize that we’re serving a higher purpose – the application of CFD to engineering problems. I suppose that will have to be reward enough.
What pet names do you have for the person who generates your meshes?