This Week in CFD

This week’s CFD news has something for fans of origin stories; read about how CFD Support came to be. There’s also a lot of good reading about HPC, some positive business news, and signs that we might start having in-person conferences in the not too distant future. Shown here is a reminder that Milton Van Dyke’s classic book An Album of Fluid Motion is now freely available online as a PDF. Click through for the link.

Pointwise & More

  • ICYMI, a recording of the Pointwise webinar with Flexcompute on high-fidelity CFD in minutes is now available for on-demand viewing.
  • And all the videos from the Five Days of Pointwise which demonstrate the new capabilities in Pointwise V18.4 are available for viewing.
  • There’s now a native interface from Pointwise to AzoreCFD.
  • ScienceDirect has published a special edition of select papers from the 2018 International Meshing Roundtable and they’re available now in the clear for a limited time.
  • Thank you to alert reader Claudio for finding and helping translate this announcement of the release of Pointwise V18.4 written in Spanish.
  • This is worth your time to read. Lubos Pirkl shares the story of how his company, CFD Support, came to be.
    • In his story, Lubos shares that “standard OpenFOAM showed itself to be absolutely incapable of delivering what was expected – a workflow to compete with professional commercial codes.” Read the article for the details of what he was saying but to me it goes back to the old adage that a program is not a product.

Cars, Boats, and Planes

  • I’ve made it clear that I know nothing about cars but this article about aero mapping a Formula Student car during cornering using Fluent seems pretty interesting.
  • I’m also not a huge fan of boats [actually boats are OK, it’s the deep water around them that’s scary] but the use of CFD for racing yachts is really cool as discussed in this article about INEOS Team UK.
  • I am a huge fan of aircraft, so here’s a reminder that the Formula Air Grand Prix is out there trying to get started. No sign of when their first race might be. But I pray that it will fill the void I feel from the loss of the Red Bull Air Races.
There’s just something about structured grids that I find visually appealing. These are GridPro grids for a 30P-30N multi-element airfoil from a paper by Carrese et al on optimization of high-lift systems.

Computing & Viz

Mesh image from Tech Soft 3D’s blog post about their acquisition of Ceetron. Image from See link below.



Owls use wing-warping to maintain steady flight in the presence of strong wind gusts. [Actually, according to the article we only know that one owl does this, one named Lily. Maybe she’s the Michael Jordan of owls.]

Events and Jobs

CFD for…

I can’t read the full article because it’s behind a paywall so maybe one of you can translate this for me: “Fraunhofer modelling points to weathervaning downwind PivotBuoy avoiding destabilising ‘tower shadow’ effect.” Image from [Pivot Boy would be a great name for a rock band.]

Some Things Related to OpenFOAM

  • A reminder that the OpenFOAM Journal has launched. (Registration required.) From their website:
    • “The OpenFOAM® Journal aims at publishing works related to the OpenFOAM® computational library, with focus on the benefit for the OpenFOAM® community, is free to publish and open-access. Each publication has an associated discussion forum, to increase the interaction between the readers and the authors, and the overall impact of the contributions. Moreover, authors will be encouraged to provide supplementary information that will allow the reproducibility of the published information.”
    • See a video explainer here.
  • From the “New to Me” department comes NablaFlow, provider of cloud-based, HPC-enabled CFD simulations. Their NablaCore solver is based on OpenFOAM. They offer a specific version, ArchiWind, for simulation of flow around buildings for pedestrian comfort.
  • I’m not an OpenFOAM user nor am I taking sides but someone penned what’s basically an editorial on LinkedIn about how open is open source? I would be very much interested in your opinions if you’d share them in the comments.

Simplifying the Complex

I was browsing the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s website thinking about when I might be able to go visit the new wing they just opened. When flipping through the collection I came to an immediate halt upon seeing Madeline O’Connor’s Shrike.

Shrike is a great example of reducing a work to its simplest form without losing any of the complexity. The gallery wall is activated as part of the work from the shadows cast by the triangular forms (or are they squares piercing the wall?). There’s a visual rhythm induced by the repetition. And what’s with the black one? I’d love to see this in person.

A little Googling reminded me of a previous encounter with O’Connor’s work at the McNay in San Antonio. Check out Cross/Plus.

And yes, Shrike looks like a bunch of mesh triangles and Cross/Plus looks like a rendering of a cross field.

Madeline O’Connor, Shrike, 1993. Image from See links above.

Bonus: Everyone interested in fluid flows should immediately download the PDF of Milton Van Dyke’s wonderful book, An Album of Fluid Motion. Parabolic Press asks that in exchange for getting this book for free you make a donation to the Sierra Club. I am particularly attracted to the images supersonic flows, probably because of my early internship at NASA Lewis’ (now Glenn) 10×10 supersonic wind tunnel which can achieve speeds up to Mach 3.5.

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