This Week in CFD

This week’s compilation of recent CFD news includes a major announcement in the world of CFD visualization, a big article comparing and contrasting open source and proprietary CAE software, a slew of job openings, and a tiny paper on reading papers. Plus all the other software and application news that time permitted including. Shown here is a CFD simulation of ship propellers done with the FINE/Marine flow solver.

Let’s begin with job openings.

Brand new: Intelligent Light’s Kombyne is an “in-situ visualization and analysis tool for HPC simulations.”

Not really CFD but I was made aware of MathType, software for writing math equations for documents and online content (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, HTML). They make an interesting statement: “forget about having to learn LaTeX to write math on a computer.” You may find it hard to believe, but there was a time when I wrote plenty of technical documents with equations using LaTeX and I found its equation editor to be both easy to use and quite capable.

CFD for… an off-road supercar based on a Porsche which appears to be good for driving in the desert judging by the photos [how often does that need arise?], an Aston Martin Valhalla [a fancy car], assessing whether the circulation of air in your office is sufficient for a safe post-pandemic return, effects of wind on buildings, and heat transfer from printed circuit boards.

ITI released CADfix 12 Service Pack 2.

The Computational Chemistry Consortium (C3) “is dedicated to leading the advancement of combustion and emissions modeling. C3 brings together industry, academic, and government partners to refine existing computational chemistry tools and to develop new models, tools, and mechanisms.” They recently met at Convergent Science’s offices.

Most of you probably already know How to Read a Paper but this 2-page paper about reading papers by Keshav was worth reading for me.

Now that’s what I call architecture. Gives me ideas for remodeling the Cadence Fort Worth office. Image from a firm called MESH who “solves critical geometry problems in industry” including AEC. Image from

Enjoy this 10-minute video from Pointwise users Branch Technology as they describe their innovative Cellular Fabrication technology for architectural free-form constructions.

An interesting comment on machine learning from the journal Physical Review of Fluids. “We suggest that when ML is integrated in such efforts, there are at least three important aspects to address: (i) the physical content and interpretation of the result; (ii) the reproducibility of methods and results; and (iii) the validation and verification of models.”

For those of you wishing for a trip to Romania, coming up in 23-27 May 2022 is Research Workshop on Use of Computational Fluid Dynamics for Design and Analysis: Bridging the Gap Between Industry and Developers. Abstracts are due by 17 Sep.

There’s a lot new in Ansys 2021 R2. Here are the highlights. [Anyone remember when ANSYS became Ansys?]

There’s a lot of CFD in the Summer 2021 issue of Engineering Reality Magazine (Hexagon MSC Software) but it shouldn’t surprise you that I’m showing this mesh image from MSC Apex. Registration required. Image is a screen cap from the PDF of the magazine that has been enhanced to help bring out the mesh details.

“Open source is free like a puppy is free.” [That’s my quote, not one from the article.] Digital Engineering takes on the use of FOSS in CAE with Open Source Meets Simulation. To be clear, the Pointwise software has always been developed to interoperate with all types of software, open source, proprietary, in-house, etc. And we have been long-time supporters and participants in open source software events in the CFD world. With those caveats out of the way, the article can be summarized as “open source software is a lot less expensive and a lot harder to use.” Open source CFD codes, like OpenFOAM and SU2, are also very good. And a lot of the business opportunity for FOSS CFD codes involves providing for-fee consulting and maintenance services or just out-right fundraising [which sounds a lot like licensing but with extra steps.] Before anyone attacks that last attempt at wit, I realize also the value proposition of having access to the source code so that one knows what the code is doing. But I’m a guy who never raises the hood of his car so…

Speaking of OpenFOAM, did you know the OpenFOAM User Guide is hosted online at

The SolidWorks blog helps us compare and contrast geometry modeling techniques: parametric vs sub-D.

Visualization in Tecplot of coolant flows. Image from

It’s easy to fall back on the work of Agnes Martin when I’m looking for painting with a grid motif. But I’m mostly familiar with her work on canvas and when this watercolor on paper appeared in my RSS feed I was quite delighted. The rich and uneven application of blue enlivens the rigid grid beneath and frees the stars, the white dots, from their otherwise orderly arrangement.

Regarding Martin in general, I like to compare and contrast her work with the work of Georgia O’Keeffe. Both were influenced by the same natural settings but their expressions of that influence vary widely from a pictorial sense. I sometimes think that if you unfurled the content of an O’Keeffe painting of a flower or a mountain range you’d end up with a Martin, like mapping a structured grid from 3D to 2D space.

Agnes Martin, Stars, 1963. source. For those of you who keep score by dollars, this watercolor recently sold at auction for nearly $1.7 million.
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