This Week in CFD

Each week of CFD news has its own personality. This week it’s about HPC and the cloud. And CFD for bicycles. No explanation. The NASA video about their HPC CFD capabilities is impressive as is a COMSOL simulation of a submarine being pinged. Speaking of wet things, Shown here is a simulation of flow over fish scales done at City University London.


The image and linked content originally shown here has been removed at the request of the author. I have replaced it with this photo of kittens.

Events 1

  • SPHERIC (the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics rEsearch and engineeRing International Community) has launched a series of free online seminars. The first one is scheduled for 12 November.
  • Five Days of Pointwise is a series of videos highlighting new capabilities in Pointwise V18.4 for mesh generation. The series culminates with a live Q&A webinar with our engineering team leaders from Product Development, Engineering Services, and Business Development. (The live Q&A requires advance registration.)
Acoustic simulation of a submarine being pinged. Image from in an article about the imminent release of COMSOL Multiphysics 5.6.

Events 2

  • At AIAA Aviation this past summer, a panel session delved into the creation of grand challenge problems for assessing progress toward the CFD Vision 2030. A video recording of the discussion is available at along with the panelists’ presentations on space, hypersonics, propulsion, aerodynamics, and more.
  • ICYMI, the Exascale Mesh Network (ELEMENT) held a workshop last month to discuss how to accelerate meshing to the exascale range. I’m told that the video recordings of each presentation will soon be posted to the site. Some of the presentation slides have already appeared.
I was recently introduced to the Hype Cycle. Where would you place various CFD technologies on this graph?

Applications & Cloud

I love the look of a structured grid, even those not made in Pointwise. These grids are from a GridPro article about propellers.


Oil flow visualization over sea bass [neither ill-tempered nor mutated] (top) compared with a CFD simulation over the same as part of an effort at City University London to explore whether something similar could be applied to aircraft to reduce drag by delaying transition.

Meshes Are Behind Everything

I have shared Andy Walker‘s artwork here before. Based on photographic studies of landscapes and cityscapes, he hand renders them with triangles. The image below is the “background” of a recent work titled Singel, Amsterdam and illustrates the level of detail in his images. The link will take you to his website where this digital painting is shown in its full-color glory and available for purchase.

Full disclosure. I have one of Andy’s artworks hanging on the wall of my office. (If only I weren’t working from home so I could see it.) For this particular piece shown here, Andy ran a contest to see who could guess in advance how many triangles it would take the render the scene in the original photograph and my guess was fortunate enough to win second prize.

Andy Walker, Singel, Amsterdam. Image from artist’s newsletter. See links above.

Bonus: Is it time to kill calculus?

P.S. If this seems rushed, it was. Sorry about that.

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