This Week in CFD


ANSYS CFD solution as it appeared in Businesweek.

ANSYS CFD solution as it appeared in Businesweek.

  • ANSYS got a big write-up in Bloomberg Businessweek maagzine. ANSYS anticipates an 11% jump in income this year to almost a billion ($900 million). [Oddly, the token competition the article cites is SolidWorks. No offense, but comparing SolidWorks’ simulation to ANSYS’ doesn’t seem like apples to apples.]
  • CFD and Ferrari Formula 1
  • OpenFOAM was used to simulate the dredging behavior of a draghead.
  • The International Journal of Chemical Engineering solicits articles for an issue on Advances in CFD 2013.
  • Avionics cooling with CFD

Two Announcements from IDAJ

Japan’s IDAJ Co. LTD made two big CFD announcements recently. IDAJ will be distributing CONVERGE CFD in Japan, Korea, and China. Widely used for in-cylinder flows, CONVERGE CFD is said to completely eliminate all user meshing time. [What is the fun in that?]

IDAJ has also become the largest shareholder of the UK’s ICON Technology and Process Consulting Ltd. Although ICON is a general CAE consulting firm, they are well known for their open-source CFD technology (ICON FOAMpro) and their open source CFD conference.


Can I See Your CFD License and Registration?

ticket_copIndustry analyst Monica Schnitger wrote on the topic of CAE Competence Management: Are We Ready? that perhaps we as an industry should start considering whether creating an online database of CAE software certifications is the next logical step in ensuring that CFD (and other computational methods) are being applied correctly.

In other words, your employer (or customer) can verify via some database maintained somewhere that you indeed are a “certified OpenFOAM level 3 analyst,” for example.

In answer to Monica, no we’re not ready, if only from the standpoint of the impracticality of creating a central clearinghouse of all these certifications.

The idea of certifications isn’t the issue. There’s plenty of precedents from the IT field. Organizations like CompTIA offer certification in many IT disciplines and of course there’s Microsoft with their MCSE or whatever acronym they’re using today. And on the CAE side of things there’s NAFEMS.

The value of certification isn’t the issue either. Monica’s article cites a story about analysts at the same company using the same tool and all getting different answers. I’ve heard similar stories from the CAD world about how something like 70% of a company’s CAD files don’t adhere to their own CAD standards (meaning that this isn’t just a CAE issue).

So what do I take away from all this? I can imagine CAE software vendors providing software training that’s geared more toward certifying a user’s level of expertise with a specific version of a tool at a specific time. I can imagine users retaining those certificates and noting them on their resume. I can imagine employers asking “I see you know OpenFOAM. What the highest level of training you passed?”

But I think we’ll also agree that any organization using CAE needs to maintain some in-house best practices on how specific tools are applied. That includes performing verification and validation and training employees on the process of how their toolset should be applied.

News in Brief

  • WA Consultants urgently needs a CFD analyst in Convetry, UK.
  • The 2013 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Study seeks your input. If you’re dealing with CAD models and CFD (or any other CAE discipline) they want to hear from you.
  • 3D printing is quite the rage. [Unless you believe this.] All the kids are doing it. Did you enter the 3D Printing Design Contest at 3DVIA? See the winners here.
  • From the “I can’t remember whether I posted this before or not” department comes this article about Eulerian Video Magnification. What might this do for experimental fluid dynamics?
  • Beta CAE shipped ANSA v14.0.2.
  • SpaceClaim was voted NASA Tech Briefs product of the year for 2012.
  • CFD Technologies [the Pointwise distributor in the UK] will begin selling and supporting the CoolSim data center design optimization software in Europe.
  • modeFrontier is now integrated with STAR-CCM+ for CFD optimization studies.
  • Symscape shares this preview of the ribbon GUI coming in Caedium v5.


I’m not exactly certain what’s going on here, but Triangulation (triangulating a photograph) is an online HTML5 experiment at the Form Follows Function website that’s just interesting to play with.


Can your water do this? Watch what happens when you excite a stream of water with a 24 Hz sine wave.


Scent of Light is a lamp crafted to look like smell. Not fluids related, but definitely a curiosity.


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2 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. jstults says:

    That includes performing verification and validation and training employees on the process of how their toolset should be applied.
    Bingo! In fact, maintaining and expanding that validation database, and understanding how very general purpose tools are best applied towards a specific niche can be a great source of competitive advantage. The issues raised by the ‘CAE competence management’ article are best addressed by educating decision makers rather than credentialing analysts. Decision makers should expect to see grid convergence and calibration/uncertainty results right along with the colorful fluid dynamics.

  2. John Chawner says:

    Thanks for the comment and glad you agree about V&V. Over the years I’ve seen applied CFD go from something almost ad hoc to a very rigorous process. Of course, the degree of rigor varies from organization to organization. I do think there’s some value on both sides of the line, though. It would be nice to know that users are keeping up to date on the tools. (Doesn’t SolidWorks have some sort of “certified professional” exam?) That’s in addition to the end user’s organization keeping up on how those tools are applied (i.e. best practices).

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