This Week in CFD

OpenSBLIAre things starting to return to normal? This week’s CFD news includes a live, in-person event next February and three job openings. There’s some really cool CFD software news including Karalit’s IB code and the integration of Fluent with ANSYS’ Discovery. Most amazing of all (and it’s not CFD) is a simulation of a winning, rim-bouncing basketball shot by Altair. Shown here is a visualization of Q criterion colored by velocity computed with OpenSBLI.


  • The AIAA CFD 2030 Integration Committee will be maintaining a list of CFD workshops on its website at (Workshops in this context means benchmark challenges and not how-to, instructional events.)
  • SC20 (aka Supercomputing) will be a 100% virtual event.
  • The 2nd High-Fidelity Industrial LES/DNS Symposium (HiFiLeD) will be held in Toulouse on 10-12 Feb 2021. Your 1-2 page abstract is due by 16 Nov 2020.
  • Pointwise Mesh Generation Foundations, a multi-part, 14-hour, online training course is now available for you to take anytime, anywhere.

Velocity contours in a parking garage as simulated by FDS (left) and Caelus (right). Image from Read the full article here.



  • New [to me] is Alya, “a simulation code for high performance computational mechanics” from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. [I should stop writing ‘new to me’ as it implies something notable, that it’s unusual something could be new to me, as though I have encyclopedic knowledge of every bit of CFD software out there.]
  • OpenSBLI is “an open-source code-generation system for compressible fluid dynamics (CFD) on heterogeneous computing architectures.” Read about it in the technical paper OpenSBLI: Automated code-generation for heterogeneous computing architectures and then download it from
  • Beta CAE released v20.0.5 of their software suite.
  • KARALIT CFD v4.0 was released offering “direct cfd,” that is CFD without meshing or preprocessing. [Ouch, it hurt to type that.] As DEVELOP3D wrote, KARALIT has an interesting Q&A on their website describing their approach.
  • Not CFD but perhaps still relevant to this audience is OpenPIV, a YouTube channel I stumbled across about a software platform to analyze PIV data.
  • DEVELOP3D shares how ANSYS Discovery is an evolution of Discovery Live which allows the high-end Fluent solver to be run in the same environment.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 between motorcycle operator and passenger, it has been proposed that the operator wear a so-called “backrider shield.” This apparently is sufficiently controversial that someone used CFD to make the case that not only would the device be ineffective for virus transmission but it could make the motorcycle unstable. Image from

Jobs & Biz

  • EnginSoft USA has an open position for a CFD Consulting Engineer in their Texas office.
  • Argonne National Labs has an open post-doc position for CFD of multi-phase flows and machine learning.
  • The University of Pennsylvania has an open post-doc position for CFD and biological physics.
  • PTC’s revenue dropped 2% in the quarter ending in June relative to the prior quarter but they still put $35M to the bottom line.

Visual vs. Tangible

Mervyn WilliamsStudy III is an example of a painting I like but can’t explain why. It’s a case of “come for the grid and stay for the… what?” The regular yet off-kilter grid? Its contrast with the subtleties of watercolor? How the whole painting balances on the blue circle?

Williams said “I have a strong imagination. It is only by realising a visual idea in tangible form that one can test the strength of what one is visualising.” Kinda like generating a mesh (something purely visual or intermediary) and testing its strength (accuracy) with the results of a flow solution (the tangible) on that mesh.

Yeah, I kinda pushed that analogy a bit. No apologies.


Mervyn Williams, Study III, 1977. source

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6 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. Greg says:

    I vote: Keep the “New [to me]” if it doesn’t appear to be a whole new thing. I, for one, like knowing whether something is *actually* new (first release within the last month/week) or whether it’s been around for a while – which your *to me* statement covers.

  2. Cesar Rivas says:

    John, BETA CAE also announceed the version 21 of their suite.

  3. Alya was the software used to benchmark the x86, PowerPC and ARM clusters in a paper that you highlighted in last week column 😉 Its feature list is pretty impressive but it’s not well known, especially in the US…

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