This Week in CFD

This week’s CFD news includes both an image of the week and an application of the week – draw your own conclusions. We’re still seeing a lot of online events but I am happy that AIAA SciTech 2022 looks to be an online and in-person event. See you in San Diego. Lots of financial results, lots of meshing jobs. Plus the triumvirate of AI, GPU, and quantum computing. Shown here is a classic application of CFD to wind turbine siting. This is a plot of turbulence intensity over terrain and you can read more about the application here.


IMAGE OF THE WEEK: HP and Siemens worked to optimize this air duct used to cool print heads in a 3D printer. And not surprisingly this duct is 3D printed. [While I find the image sufficiently pleasing to be image of the week, the tongue sticking out of the duct’s exit is kinda creepy.] Image from Modern Machine Shop.


  • It’s difficult to say where on the hype cycle we are with respect to CFD and quantum computing but BosonQ Psi is working on the software now.
  • byteLAKE’s latest article about their AI-accelerated CFD capabilities concludes with “CFD Suite accelerates time to results for conventional CFD solvers by a factor of at least 10x and keeps the accuracy at the level of at least 93%.”
  • George Mason Univ. is receiving USAF funding to install a GPU compute cluster for CFD use.


  • Precise Simulation released FEATool 1.14 and CFDTool 1.7, including MPI parallel support for OpenFOAM and SU2, as MATLAB add-ons.
  • I was invited via LinkedIn to join CFD Expressions, a WhatsApp group intended to bring together CFD students and experienced professionals. I don’t use WhatsApp so I can’t join but maybe the rest of you can.
I am not criticizing the authors of the unnamed journal article from which I grabbed this grid pic. However, the information density contained in it is nearly zero. Many pixels gave their lives to display this image and they died in vain. We in the CFD world must stop glamorizing grid pics. [And as you know, I like a grid pic more than the average guy.] This maxim of mine has a counterpart for geometry models that I’ll share at another time.

Applications, Software, and F-1

  • A recent Simscale article explores “the shift in anthropological habits paralleled by modern engineering developments for both indoor and outdoor spaces.” I’m not smart enough to know what that means but the article clarifies that they’re talking about the use of simulation to model both interior and exterior built environments for comfort and safety.
  • What’s new in Simcenter FLOEFD 2021.1.
  • What’s new in HOOPS 2021 SP1.
  • What’s new in ANSYS Discovery 2021 R1. (No, not really.) Its top 3 new features. But I count four. So confused.
  • What a difference a rear wing makes. (In F-1.)
  • What a difference a floor makes. (In F-1.)


  • PTC reported revenue for Q1 which was more or less than same as Q1 a year ago.
  • Hexagon’s revenue for Q1 was up 10%.
  • ESI’s Q1 was up 1% for a company that is “reinventing itself.”
  • ANSYS‘ revenue was either up a lot or flat. I’m not a money guy (that’d be my brother) so I don’t understand. What’s more interesting is what Monica Schnitger report that ANSYS’ CEO said about others entering the CFD space (i.e. Cadence). “it’s an attractive space, so he’s not surprised at the activity. But it doesn’t bother him, since Ansys has a broad, connected offering that others can’t match. When a large company acquires a point solution, it just adds to the buzz around the solution type (CFD, meshing, etc.) while, in effect, steering companies to Ansys, which can solve huge complex CFD problems and lots of others as well.” That is certainly one way to look at it.
APPLICATION OF THE WEEK: Our friends at Altair used their AcuSolve CFD code to answer the question raised by the film Twister, “Could a tornado make a cow fly?” As a former propulsion guy, you can make anything fly with a big enough engine. And the iconic bit that sticks with me from Twister is not the cow but the SGI laptop.
  • However, CFD can apparently make a whale fly. [Is “will it fly” the CFD equivalent of “will it blend?“]

Meshing Jobs

Mountainous Mesh

Within natural landscapes, painter Elyse Dodge combines realism and abstraction, organic and geometric. In particular she sees grand mountain ranges as facets of slashing color. The contrast between stone and flora creates a compelling visual space.

Elyse Dodge as originally seen on My Modern Met.

If this style looks familiar, be reminded of digital artist Andy Walker who has been featured here previously. Unlike Dodge, Walker reduces the entire scene to triangular facets that he paints digitally.

Note: This has been quite a week for me. I attended a meeting of my Vistage group in person for the first time since October. I ate lunch in a restaurant with a friend for the first time in over a year. And I met for the first time, in 3D (as opposed to 2D online meetings) two of my new colleagues from Cadence.

P.S. Just a reminder that the World Championship Air Race is returning in 2022.

Fun: I am not responsible for a drop in productivity when you start playing with this interactive Joukowski airfoil app. Thanks, Graham.

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2 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. Xavier Q. says:

    I think it is legitimate to say that in the application of the week ,CFD stands for Cow Fluid Dynamics

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