I’m Brody Nutt and This Is How I Mesh

Brody Nutt, Intern on the Technical Support Team.

Brody Nutt, Intern on the Technical Support Team.

I am from Overland Park, Kansas, which is a suburban city just outside of Kansas City, Missouri. I ended up in Texas through my studies at Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!) and have enjoyed being here very much. I am currently pursuing a B.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering with a focus in energy systems, and I am also minoring in mathematics. I first became familiar with CFD through my extensive 3-D modeling work at TCU, and decided to apply for an internship with Pointwise in order to gain a better understanding of all that CFD can help accomplish.

At Pointwise, I have been involved in multiple different support related tasks. We are gearing up for the release of Pointwise V18, which has many great new features, all of which I have had the opportunity to test on Mac, Windows and Linux. I have also worked through all of the revised tutorials which will be included as part of the improved V18 Tutorial Workbook. Additionally, I have been tasked with generating grids for two very complex projects: one for the 2nd AIAA Sonic Boom Prediction Workshop, and the other for the 3rd AIAA CFD High Lift Prediction Workshop. Lastly, I have done some brief scripting in order to help with the testing of some of the new V18 features.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Current position: Technical Support Intern
  • Current computer: Apple iMac 27-inch, 32 GB DDR3 RAM, 3.4 Ghz Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M, OS X 10.9.5
  • One word that best describes how you work: Immersed

What software or tools do you use every day?

I use Safari to access the internet. In Safari, I almost always have the YouTrack dashboard pulled up so that I can stay on top of the current bugs and feature requests. Frequently viewing these pages is one of the best ways I have found to learn about and understand Pointwise’s intricacies. Another great set of tools include Pointwise’s User Manual and Tutorial Workbook. These are always open on my desktop for quick reference, and I use Mac OS X’s default PDF viewer, Preview, for this. For keeping track of all my thoughts, I use Apple’s iWork Pages. And of course, I always have a few Pointwise windows open.

What does your workspace look like?

Brody's current workspace.

Brody’s current workspace.

I work in the support area and sit next to Claudio Pita. I often switch between the Mac, Windows, and Linux machines located in our office, so my workspace is really made up of three desks in close proximity to one another. Most often, though, I am working on the iMac machine which I detailed above. Because I keep all of my notes and reference materials on the iMac’s desktop, my workspace is fairly neat and clutter-free, though I do keep some good old fashioned notepads and Pointwise training binders nearby.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on refining a grid that I generated from a preliminary geometry as part of the 3rd AIAA CFD High-Lift Prediction Workshop, taking place in June 2017. This project has allowed me to use some of the meshing techniques that I have recently learned, and allowed me to tweak dozens of different settings and parameters, which has given me a better understanding of all the different functionalities that Pointwise offers.

What would you say is your meshing specialty?

Being a relatively new user, I wouldn’t say that I have a specialty just yet. My two major projects thus far have both involved unstructured meshing with anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion, so at this point I would say that I am fairly comfortable with those techniques, and hope to learn as much as I possibly can about them by the time my internship comes to an end.

Any tips for our users?

Pointwise offers a plethora of invaluable resources and reference materials as part of the software. I would highly recommend working through all of the tutorials in the Tutorial Workbook before beginning your own meshing projects, and I would suggest keeping the User Manual nearby and at the ready at all times. Pointwise also offers over one hundred free videos on its YouTube channel detailing various meshing and CFD topics. And lastly, if you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact Pointwise’s technical support crew at support@pointwise.com or 1-800-4PTWISE.

What project are you most proud of and why?

I am most proud of my project for the Sonic Boom Workshop. I have been able to take a complex geometry and make a very nice mesh. This is largely due to Pointwise’s great features and robust functionality, as well as my usage of the Pointwise reference materials and documentation. Due to the complexity of the project and the fact that I am new to Pointwise, I have run into a handful of setbacks, but have been able to get past them using the tools that Pointwise provides, as well as advice from my mentors in the support crew.

A quad-dominant surface mesh on the C25D flow through nacelle test case for the 2nd AIAA Sonic Boom Prediction Workshop.

A quad-dominant surface mesh on the C25D flow through nacelle test case for the 2nd AIAA Sonic Boom Prediction Workshop.

Are you reading any interesting technical papers we should know about?

I am currently reading two somewhat short papers. The first is titled Three-Dimensional CFD Analysis of Semi-Direct Injection Hydraulic Free Piston Engines that comes from a team at the Beijing Institute of Technology. The other comes from the University of Western Ontario and is called CFD Analysis of Convective Heat Transfer from Ground Mounted Solar Panels. It is interesting to see how various topics from my undergraduate studies and my experiences at Pointwise come together to form some really cool research.

What do you do when you’re not generating meshes?

In my free time, I enjoy learning about and practicing app development for iOS devices, as well as being a proud Apple fanboy in general. Being a mechanical engineering major, I do not get to take nearly as many programming courses as I would like, so I taught myself the Objective-C and Swift languages with the end goal of publishing my own app on the App Store by the time I move on from my undergraduate studies. I have found that the hardest part is generating an original and useful idea, so while I feel that I have built up a good foundation, I am still far from completing this goal. I also enjoy messing around with Arduino microcontrollers, and I am currently working on a summer project of building an RC drone (with much help from the internet).

What is some of the best CFD advice you’ve ever received?

Problems can often compound as you go further and further in the meshing process. For each step, it is important to thoroughly examine what you have before moving on. For example, make sure that your database does not have any major flaws or holes in it before adding the connectors and domains associated with that database.

If you had to pick a place to have dinner, where would you go?

My favorite place to eat locally is The Ranch at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. I highly recommend starting with Queso Blanco as an appetizer, then moving on to the Chicken Fried Steak with Buttermilk Chive Whipped Potatoes for the main course, and lastly finishing with the Pecan Pie for dessert. You will not be disappointed. But when I want something quick, Chipotle is always my first choice.

About Travis Carrigan

A Pointwise engineer helping other engineers solve their meshing problems.
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One Response to I’m Brody Nutt and This Is How I Mesh

  1. Pingback: Summer Internships at Pointwise | Another Fine Mesh

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