This Week in CFD

nparc-inletThis week’s two-week backlog of news includes, perhaps appropriately, a ton of good reading. A lot of reading about meshes and some bigger issues like consolidated CAE toolsets versus best in class tool chains. Plus there’s a look to the way-back of CFD with a story that recalls the PARC flow solver. Anyone else remember that?

Reading, Lots of Reading


Turbulent flow over an airfoil computed using STAR-CCM+. Image from See link below.

  • What we learned in turbulence modeling class this semester. [Notable because I don’t normally see CFD stuff posted on Medium.]
  • ICYMI, here’s the 2017 year-in-review article from the AIAA’s Meshing, Visualization, and Computational Environments technical committee. [Full disclosure: Pointwise is an active participant in this TC.]
  • Within the context of both the NASA CFD Vision 2030 Study and the ASSESS Initiative the topic of consolidated versus “best in class” tools has arisen. Would future CAE users benefit more from all design and simulation software being bundled into a single application or environment? Or from the ability to use so-called “best in class” tools, independent tools that must interoperate? Our friends at Siemens PLM make the case in this white paper for consolidation.
    • Of course, the answer is “both” because we can’t assume CAE users are a homogenous lot. Some will benefit from consolidated systems while others will benefit from a toolchain of “best in class” solutions.
  • On a related note, shares an article about Altair’s products under the title of CAE Portfolios with a Breadth of Fidelity.
  • Thermal engineers, it is said, are frustrated with their simulation software with only 1/3 of them feeling satisfied. So what’s to be made of the fact that 40% of them have never even tried switching to a different software? (Chief concerns are reported to be the time required to prepare geometry, build models (meshes?), and solve. Conclusion – the whole process is too slow.)
  • How do I mesh thee? Let me count the ways. See Know Your Mesh from the TENZOR blog. [I’m curious where that Pointwise mesh came from.]
  • Stephen Ferguson on the Simcenter Blog shares his Top Tips from a Recovering Simulation Engineer. [He had me at #1. It’s all about the mesh.]



Hybrid mesh for an inlet used for a WIND-US simulation. See article link below. Image from

  • SU2 v6.0 “Falcon” is due for launch on 14 February. [Sorry, no URL.]
  • NASA Spinoff features the story of the NPARC Alliance and the WIND-US flow solver. [This brings back many fond memories for me as one of my first CFD jobs as a young engineer was to apply the PARC flow solver (which existed well before the NPARC Alliance came into being) to inlet and nozzle flows. Oh the many trips to AEDC.]
  • ANSYS launched Release 19 with too many new capabilities to list here.
  • Our friends at ANSYS are also running the Discovery Live Engineering Design Competition and offering valuable prizes and recognition for the best videos that illustrate insights obtained from use of Discovery Live. Due date is 28 February.

Events and Hardware

football-field-cfd-simulation-using-ansys-discovery-live (1)

I like football and I like CFD so of course I’m going to share ANSYS’ blog post about whether the Patriots are using “real-time CFD simulation to raise their field goal percentages.” How might things have been different in the Super Bowl (indoors) had a few kicks been made early on. Image from

  • The International Conference on Fan Noise, Aerodynamics, Applications and Systems (Fan 2018) will be held 18-20 April 2018 in Darmstadt.
  • Intel offers something called Intel Select Solutions for Simulation and Modeling that supposedly make it easier to configure systems for CFD and similar applications.
  • Inside HPC shares a video of a NASA engineer presenting results from porting the FUN3D CFD solver to GPU architectures.
  • Airbus, ONERA, and DLR have joined forces to “create the best CFD code ever.”

News from Pointwise

  • shared our announcement of Project Geode, a geometry kernel for simulation tasks such as mesh adaptation. [Think of it as CFD meets NURBS.]
  • We are very happy to have provided many of the grids to be used for this summer’s 4th AIAA Propulsion Aerodynamics Workshop. [Unfortunately, the workshop conflicts with a wedding I’ll be attending.]

Grid Sculpture

I’ve always liked Sol LeWitt’s work (not just because of his Syracuse University ties) but because I find it a bit playful. And the fact that he’s a conceptual artist means that his designs can be executed by anyone (I have tried at least one on the computer). But I didn’t know that he produced sculptures until I was poking around the Nasher Sculpture Center‘s website for a future, first time visit. They have in their collection a piece very similar to the one shown below. I anticipate when I see the real thing that the effect will be the contrast between the unstructured nature of the interaction of the shapes and shadows (especially if it is lit properly) and the structured nature of the main elements.


Sol LeWitt, Modular cube/base, 1968. Image from See link above.

Bonus: Fold a circle into an ellipse.

This entry was posted in Applications, Events, Hardware, News, Software and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply