This Week in CFD


  • Software Cradle released SC/Tetra 11.
  • COMSOL released Multiphysics 4.4.
  • WindSim made their solver more accurate for wind farm simulations such that annual energy production can be improved 3-10%.
  • ANSYS 15 was released.
  • Lifecycle Insights delves into Exa‘s CFD products. [Because I know L-B vs. N-S is a hot button issue, I’ll quote from the article: “@exacorp briefing > Lattice-Boltzman method generates larger but more accurate #CFD #simulation results than Navier-Stokes (6/10)” Anyone care to take the bait?]
  • ESTECO released modeFRONTIER 4.5.
  • Included in ANSYS 15 is parallel export of FieldView’s FVUNS files.
  • ReFRESCO is used to simulate the flow around a ship’s propeller including energy saving devices placed in front of it. [I was unfamiliar with ReFRESCO so here’s its product description.]
CFD simulation of a ship's propulsor computed using ReFRESCO. Image from

CFD simulation of a ship’s propulsor computed using ReFRESCO. Image from

People and Jobs

  • A worldwide consultancy is looking to hire a Process Engineer with CFD experience for their London location.
  • Volt needs to hire a CFD Analyst/Engineer in Chicago.
  • Altair has an opening for a CFD Development Director in California.
  • Students from the Univ. of Texas at Austin won the Student Cluster competition at the recent Supercomputing conference with a GPU-based system. Competitors must build a system that consumes no more than 3,000 watts using only donated equipment.


  • Pieterjan Platteeuw of CNH Belgium N.V. won CD-adapco’s 2014 calendar contest with his image of a combine harvester.
  • By moving to a cloud-based HPC service, bicycle maker Trek reduced their CFD run times from 13 hours to 40 minutes.
  • In the paper Streamlining Aerodynamic CFD Analyses from the NAFEMS World Congress 2013, Altair describes a vertical application targeting simulation of automobiles in a wind tunnel. [PDF]
  • The use of CFD in testing a truck’s adherence to mileage and emission standards may be growing.
The winning entry from CD-adapco's 2014 calendar contest.

The winning entry from CD-adapco’s 2014 calendar contest.


News in Brief

  • TotalSim is now offering a “bespoke CFD hardware solution.” For example, a 192 core cluster with 1,024 GB RAM can be had for slightly over £48,000.
  • Back issues of CD-adapco’s Dynamics magazine are available online.
  • ANSYS merged with Reaction Design, makers of CHEMKIN-PRO.
  • TraceParts, an online provider of 3D content, announced their 7th Christmas tree modeling contest in which contestants must create and render a tree in 3D modeling software using parts downloaded from TraceParts. Images (< 1MB) are due 18 December. [I’m not certain what to make of this statement: “The designer´s name will neither be published on our website nor in any of our social media channels.”]
Cascade Technologies produced this video of liquid jet atomization. (Click for video.)

Cascade Technologies produced this video of liquid jet atomization. (Click for video.)

Your Next Boss

You might want to review the list of winners of Aviation Week’s Twenty20s Awards, Tomorrow’s Engineering Leaders, because someday one of them might be your boss.

These twenty students, from B.S. to Ph.D. candidates, were recognized not only for academic performance  but for their activities outside the classroom.

[It’s frustrating that the linked PDF of a press release is the only documentation I can find online about the nominees. You’d think there would’ve been follow-up on a web page with more details about the students and their research interests. If you search online you can find details from the students’ individual schools citing their recognition.]

Extraterrestrial Flagellation

Who would’ve thought that a comet’s tail oscillates in a way that looks a lot like the flow behind a sphere?

We think of space as a vacuum but even the solar wind can cause a comet's tail to fluctuate as seen in this NASA video. Click for animation from Popular Science.

We think of space as a vacuum but even the solar wind can cause a comet’s tail to fluctuate as seen in these NASA images. Click for an animation from Popular Science.

In case you wonder why I post something each week that’s supposed to be beautiful, consider this quote from a Nobel prize winner: “knowledge without imagination is barren.” Read more about why science needs imagination and beauty.

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