This Week in CFD

shuttle-ETJobs, internships, and events seem to be the order of the week with lots of hiring and lots of announced CFD and meshing conferences. From the long-read department comes several articles on shape optimization, open-source, and geometry modeling issues. And there’s a nice article on something from the CFD toolchain that gets less recognition than meshing: overset grid assembly, this time in the form of NASA’s Pegasus 5. The image here is from that article.

Good Reads

  • The GridPro blog shares Shape Optimization for CFD-101 in which various approaches (parameter based, deformation, morphing, topology, etc.) are described. [This article applies yet another name to design software focused on simulation, “upfront CAD,” to be added to preCAD and aCAD (analysis CAD).]
  • On a related note, see the Aerodynamic Shape Optimization: A Practical Guide from CAESES.
  • Research seems to indicate that crowds of people move in ways that can be modeled accurately with hydrodynamic theory [but this article from Psychology Today lacks any of the details of that theory.]
  • Research from MIT on the conversion of a 3-D model to a constructive solid geometry feature tree: InverseCSG.
  • SimScale asks How Reliable is Open Source Software for CAE? [My answer is “very” and “not at all.” Those answers are the same for proprietary software. The answer also depends heavily on whether the user has performed the requisite V&V. Also, IMO “open source,” in all its various incarnations noted in the article, is not a religion; it’s a business model.]
  • Learn more about Pointwise’s mesh curving and degree elevation technology in the on-demand webinar High-Order Mesh Generation.

CFD-computed streamlines around an F-1 car from an article about Renault’s approach to aerodynamics. Image from



Simulating daylight in the cloud. [Sounds contradictory.] Image from



NASA CFD simulation of the Orion Launch Abort System in which Pegasus 5 was used to pre-process the overset grids (aka overset grid assembly or “hole cutter”). Image from


Computing & Visualization

  • Los Alamos National Lab has launched the Efficient Mission Centric Computing Consortium (EMC3) with the goal of building ultra-scale systems that aren’t just “Linpack killers” but are actually focused on solving sparse, unstructured problems.
  • Airbus has launched the Quantum Computing Challenge and one of the five problems is CFD, specifically “This challenge aims to show how established CFD simulations can be run using a quantum computing algorithm or in a hybrid quantum-traditional way for faster problem solving and how the algorithm can scale in line with the problem complexity including computational resources.”
  • Here’s Visualizing Data’s best of the visualization web for November 2018.

CFD for…

Disrupting the Grid

According to the exhibition write-up from the Nina Johnson Gallery from which I discovered Joshua Abelow‘s geometric paintings, he likes to setup a system of producing art and then disrupt that system by breaking the context. The grid-based work shown below is one of the less disruptive so I urge you to click the link and see more of Abelow’s work. I can’t help but see the planform of the B-2 in the lower left.

Who isn’t trying to disrupt the system of creating a grid?


Joshua Abelow, Untitled, 2017. Image from See links above.

Bonus: What do shoelaces have to do with finding the area of a polygon given its vertices?


What’s the area of this polygon? Image from See link above.

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