This Week in CFD

Welcome to the 400th edition of This Week in CFD where we begin with two very interesting articles about and from CAE industry veterans, Jon Hirschtick and Ron Fritz, respectively. Also, recently shared on YouTube by AIAA is a recording of the panel discussion from earlier this summer on the role of grand challenge problems in assessing and motivating progress toward the CFD Vision 2030. Shown here is a Converge CFD solution for a scroll compressor.


  • CAD luminary Jon Hirschtick (SolidWorks, Onshape) is interviewed on the One Million by One Million blog and we learn that he was once a professional magician.
  • Tech Soft 3D’s Ron Fritz recently wrote two big-picture blog posts, the first on Post-COVID business trends and the second on how COVID changed the way businesses do business. Highlights for me were:
    • Cloud-based solutions will be the norm post-COVID.
    • Customers will want and companies will provide more subscription-based pricing.
    • Use of 3D web-based visualization will increase.
    • The “work from home” genie is out of the bottle.
    • “Companies will also find it difficult to require an employee to travel.”
    • “That reticence [to travel] will fade, but by the time that trend reverses, most [conferences, trade shows, and user group meetings] will be dead and gone.”
SU2 simulation results for tractor-trailer aero. See link below.


  • ANSYS’ Q2 positive results (revenue up 5% to $385 million) was balanced by future caution that small and medium sized customers will slow spending for the rest of 2020. Also, notable:
    • Perpetual license revenue was down 20% while leased (annual?) license revenue was up 13%.
    • “no one needs $100 million worth of Fluent.”
  • Siemens Digital Industries was down 6% (€3.7 billion) but was software was up 11% to slightly over €1 billion.
Water closet simulation visualized with Ceetron Analyzer. Just because. Image from


  • A recording of the panel discussion from AIAA Aviation 2020 on Aerospace Grand Challenges for Revolutionary CFD Capabilities is now available on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. This is highly worth watching unto itself and it will provide great context for the special technical session at AIAA SciTech 2021 on grand challenge problems. Both of these events are sponsored by the AIAA’s CFD 2030 Integration Committee and involve the design of experimental and computation datasets for addressing CFD’s progress toward the 2030 Vision.
  • The NAFEMS World Congress 2021 will be in Salzburg, Austria next year on 14-18 June. The call for papers is open and your abstract is due by 03 November.
  • The 36th International CAE Conference will be held virtually on 30 Nov – 04 Dec 2020. The call for papers is open and your abstract is due by 13 September.

Software & a Job

There’s just something about a structured hex grid. This one is from a GridPro blog post about gridding rocket nozzles. Image from


People don’t mind change, it’s the transition they hate.

This painting has nothing to do with meshing or CFD but it does accurately portray my mood after struggling with WordPress’ new editor this morning. Shiraga’s paintings during the period exemplified below was often done with his feet which is about how clumsy I felt while writing.

Kazuo Shiraga, Work II, 1958. source

Bonus: Air Jordans were inspired by the X-15?

Double Bonus: In the write-up of this documentary about development of the U-2 spy plane we read “This project was likely the first application of an early version of modern day, computer-generated computational fluid dynamics or “CFD”, an aerodynamic engineering diagnostic and testing method now nearly universal in aerospace engineering.” Can someone from Skunk Works confirm, deny, or illuminate that claim?

P.S. If this posts looks funny, it’s because today was my trial by fire as I struggled to learn WordPress’ new editor.

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