This Week in CFD

BYU Students Win Best Paper for Formula 1 CFD

Mechanical engineering students from Brigham Young University were awarded Best Paper/Presentation at the PACE Forum for their CFD work on simulating a Formula 1 car’s stability during high speed manuevers.

Open Tenure-Track Position in CFD

Mississippi State University is seeking applicants for a tenure-track faculty position in the Department of Aerospace Engineering.  Applicants with a CFD background are strongly encouraged to apply.

Free Solid Edge CAD for Students

Siemens PLM is offering their Solid Edge Student Edition CAD software for free to students and faculty at recognized academic institutions.

Automatic Meshing from a Photograph

Field Precision, a supplier of finite element software for electromagnetics, announced the addition to their MetaMesh software of the ability to automatically generate a mesh from a photograph.  The technique, which works best for thin geometries like printed circuits or MRI slices, uses lightness values in the photograph to define regions.

Parker Aerospace Puts Underused Workstations to Use

Rather than continue to enlarge their HPC cluster, engineers are Parker Aerospace were able to tap an underutilized resource for many of their compute intensive jobs including CFD.  Using Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008 and workstations from HP, they are able to use underutilized cores on their desktop systems for small to medium sized jobs which frees up their HPC cluster for the larger jobs.  Flow simulation software from ANSYS uses this virtual resource.

Do we need a standardized CAD format?

The Engineering Matters blog asks whether standardizing on a CAD application or a CAD file format are necessary.  The case is made, for the CAD application standpoint at least, that standardizing on a particular CAD system no longer has the advantages that it once did.

Commentary: As someone who’s worked in the field of CFD mesh generation for twenty-four years, dealing with CAD geometry is a huge headache.  You may have heard me quote a statistic from a couple of years ago that the annual cost of CAD interoperability problems exceeds the market capitalization of all the CAD companies combined.  That’s a huge headache.  Dealing with geometric complexity, computational geometry, discrete versus analytic geometry, and feature-based versus direct modeling is hard enough.  Why complicate it further with something as seemingly trivial as moving the data from one app to another.  Yes, we need a CAD format standard.

Applications and News

  • Flow in a pipe valve was simulated using SolidWorks’ FloExpress.
  • Range Software released version 2.3 with CFD capabilities.
  • SGI announced their latest OpenFOAM training schedule.

Romance Overpowers Engineering for Women

In what’s certain to be a controversial topic, or at least one that’s water cooler worthy, researchers at the University of Buffalo have found that women’s romantic interests overpower their desire to study science, technology, engineering or math – the STEM fields.  They use this to explain why the percentage of women in STEM fields has grown slower than their representation in other fields.

I would love to see comments from women, engineers and non-engineers, on this finding.

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