I’m Etai Carmel and This Is How I Mesh

Etai Carmel, Software Specialist, Israeli CFD Center.

Etai Carmel, Software Specialist, Israeli CFD Center.

I was raised in Hod Hasharon, a city (then a town) located in the center of Israel. My father worked next to the airport and sometimes would take me to see the airplanes, so I was always fascinated with aviation. Ever since I was a child I have been unable to prevent myself from looking up when an aircraft flies over my head. For that reason, studying Aerospace Engineering was the natural choice for me. I started studying for my bachelor’s degree in the Aerospace Engineering Faculty of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa in 2005. During my studies I started working in the Israeli CFD Center part time. Back then I only did meshing using Gridgen. Pointwise was in its early days (Version 16.0) and everyone around me was using Gridgen, so I became accustomed to it. It took me a while to transition to Pointwise, but now Gridgen seems like something from the 80’s. After completing my studies I continued to work at ISCFDC full time. I took on more responsibilities such as postprocessing and using our in-house CFD solvers: EZNSS, EZAir, and more.

  • Location: Giv’at Ada, Israel
  • Current position: Software Specialist
  • Current computer: HP EliteBook 8570w, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3840QM CPU @ 2.80GHz, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro K2000M, Debian Linux 9
  • One word that best describes how you work: Focused

What software or tools do you use every day?

I use Gmail on Chrome for e-mails. Skype for transferring small files inside the office (or talking to the guy next door when I can’t be bothered with getting out of my chair). For writing reports I use Latex with Gedit as my text editor.

There is a strict ‘no Windows’ policy in ISCFDC (except for code testing purposes), so Outlook, Word and other fancy Windows software is out of the question.

What does your workspace look like?

Etai's current workspace.

Etai’s current workspace.

My workspace is pretty minimalistic. One of the most important pieces of equipment on my desk is my Koss Porta-Pro headphones. I use them to listen to very loud rock music and people in the office usually have to wave their hands in front of me to get my attention.

What do you see are the biggest challenges facing CFD in the next 5 years?

I think that eventually the process of meshing should be completely automatic. We are not quite there yet, but effort should be put into automatically creating structured, or structured like regions where they are needed most (e.g. wake region, boundary layer).

What are you currently working on?

I’m involved with several projects right now. I’m creating a mesh of a micro UAV for a performance study, and am supervising the meshing of a complex geometry fighter aircraft for store safe separation simulations. After the meshing has been completed, I will assemble a case for our main ‘work horse’ solver – EZAir.

What would you say is your meshing specialty?

I’m most experienced with overset meshing. Meshing for an overset solver means you mesh each geometrical component separately, but you have to take into consideration the interaction of the various component in terms of overlap and grid cell size.

Any tips for our users?

Don’t do things “by the book.” There are usually several ways to accomplish a task and if the “formal” approach takes too long or doesn’t seem right to you, don’t fight it – take a different approach. For example, if you try to create a database surface using Pointwise’s database creation tool and you don’t get quite what you want, try to create a domain instead and import it as database.

What project are you most proud of and why?

I once had to create a mesh for an F-15 fighter. The mesh was intended for use with our oldest in-house solver, EZNSS. This solver has a lot of limitations in regards to grid topology, so I had to use a lot of tricks to get around these limitations.  You can see the result here: http://iscfdc.co.il/?q=media-gallery-F15

What CFD solver and postprocessor do you use most often?

I use our in-house codes, EZNSS and EZAir for conducting CFD simulations and use Fieldview for postprocessing.

Do you plan on attending any conferences or workshops this year?

I’m attending the 2016 Pointwise User Group Meeting and Distributors Meeting which will be held in Fort Worth, Texas September 21st to 23rd.

What do you do outside the world of CFD?

I play the drums. I have an electronic Yamaha drum set so I don’t bother the neighbours. I also enjoy hiking.

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

Check the surface mesh. When a hyperbolic extrusion fails near the wall, or when you just can’t get rid of these pesky negative Jacobians using the elliptic solver – chances are there’s something wrong with your surface mesh. Spending a little time thoroughly examining the surface mesh will save you a lot of time creating the volume mesh.

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

There is an excellent Vietnamese restaurant in Tel Aviv called Vong with a wide vegan variety. I’m always happy to eat there.

About Travis Carrigan

A Pointwise engineer helping other engineers solve their meshing problems.
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