Nobody Wins Awards for Generating Fantastic Grids

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.”

Change Your Perception of Meshing

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?

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4 Responses to Nobody Wins Awards for Generating Fantastic Grids

  1. Chris Sideroff says:

    Maybe there should be an award for meshing. If everyone recognizes it to be “important”, then why does it need to unglamorous?

  2. John Chawner says:

    One reason for the lack of meshing awards is the fact that meshing is not an end unto itself. They call it preprocessing for a reason – meshes are generated for computing CFD solutions.

    You ever watch those cooking competitions on TV? Notice they’re awarding the meals. No one gets awards for writing a good menu.

  3. Dear Mr. Chawner,
    I want to write a letter in your name with a proposal to make the generator even better.
    But unfortunately I do not know your e-mail address

  4. John Chawner says:


    Thanks for your comment. We’re always interested in making things better.

    My email address is

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