This Week in CFD

This week of CFD news slowly slides into the weekend with this edition which begins with a fantastic article about wind tunnel testing (not CFD!). Lots of event news in which we see things straddling the line between in-person and online. You should read the opinion piece from Aviation Week about the future of computational modeling. And don’t blame me if you get trapped fiddling with the in-browser fluid simulation. Shown here is one image from the paper Improving CFD Prediction of Drag on Paralympic Tandem Athletes.

Not to be overshadowed by CFD, the folks at Boom Supersonic bring us the article What Is Wind Tunnel Testing which includes some fantastic photos of models inside wind tunnels.

YF-12 model inside the 10×10 foot supersonic wind tunnel at NASA Lewis in the 1960s. Image from who appear to have gotten it from the National Archives. See link above. [I consider the summer of 1983 the start of my professional career when I was a summer hire working in the 10×10 building and doing CFD to support tests. Oh the stories. #okboomer]

Events continue to plan for a hybrid format (part in-person, part on-line) such as Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXPERIENCE World 2022 on 6-9 Feb in Atlanta. The call for speakers is open. On the other hand, the NAFEMS World Congress just announced that they’re changing to a completely online format.

VINAS Users Conference 2021 (an online event) is coming up on 6-8 October. VINAS is the Pointwise channel partner in Japan so our friends there should attend and learn about not just meshing but an entire CFD ecosystem.

Evaluating and comparing OpenFOAM to commercial CFD tools? Check out this YouTube video in which Jousef Murad interviews Jozsef Nagy on the topic.

Revolution in Simulation shares this 1 on 1 interview with Monica Schnitger. “I’m always surprised at the reluctance to use more cloud capacity —we bank there; why can’t/don’t we do more CAE there? Perhaps the one good thing to come out of the COVID epidemic is the realization that we can work with remote resources — I don’t see that reversing.”

Going into the cloud for your CFD can be daunting. Fortunately, Alberto Passalacqua shares his experiences running OpenFOAM on Azure from which we can all learn.

Opinion pieces on CFD and simulation are not too rare but when they get published in Aviation week that’s impressive. Venkat Raman (U. Michigan) writes about how computational modeling is evolving (for the better) and the implications on that for education in Future Aerospace Enterprises Will Demand More Advanced Modeling And Simulation. To quote: “understanding data provenance, usage and limitations have to be at the center of the aero curriculum. Data-based modeling that is supported by insight into physics as well as understanding of computing hardware are necessary. Since many of these applications involve operation under uncertainty, a move away from deterministic to statistical thinking should be encouraged.”

CFD image from Venkat Raman. Image from See link above.

Nice case study here from our friends at Flexcompute on How to design an airplane, build a 3D model, and perform RANS CFD in 30 minutes using ESP, Pointwise, and Flow360.

Not exactly sure what’s going on in this fluid simulation but it’s in the browser which is pretty cool. Just don’t blame me for how much time you waste with it.

Fluid simulation in liquidfun-wasm. See link above.

A great introduction and discussion of Higher Order Elements is available from Tecplot.

Glad to see a full technical paper published in the clear. This one is on drag calculations for tandem cyclists and includes a lot of grid and turbulence model dependencies.

CFD simulations of tandem cyclists from a paper by Mannion et al. See link above.

I don’t usually post news about webinars but this once from Hexagon caught my eye because of the image. Bonus points for the mesh. Demerits for the rainbow color map. But I did learn about “vehicle pass-by noise.” Ensuring vehicle pass-by noise compliance with acoustic simulation

Vehicle pass-by noise simulation from Hexagon (presumably with Actran). See link above. Image from

Vehicle aerodynamics optimization can be challenging and the adjoint methods employed by our friends at Siemens appear to be helping as descried in Adjoint shape optimization for improved car aerodynamics.

Surface sensitivity of drag with respect to shape displacement in the normal direction. Image from See link above.

Ever wonder what happens when you mesh? Onscale provides an answer. “We established that mastering meshing requires the fervent eye of an artist and the lucid logic of a scientist.” [A mad scientist, perhaps.]

You looking for a job? Cadence seeks an Account Technical Executive for CFD in Fort Worth. (This is a tech sales position so we’re looking for something who is or can become a technical expert in our CFD and meshing products. Talk the talk and walk the walk.) Speaking of the CFD team, working here will give you the opportunity to meet our colleague Marc Tombroff who was recently profiled in This Is How I Mesh.

Otto Von Guericke Universitat Magdeburg has an opening for a PhD candidate for work in DNS simulations and genetic programming.

Unless you’re already happily employed, this Whirlpool job as a Simulation Based Design Engineer (including CFD) in Italy is open.

Unless you missed all the news last week, you know that SimScale and Simerics announced a partnership that puts the latter’s software in the cloud exclusively on the former’s platform.

Personal connections are what make the CFD world such a thriving and energizing field. Case in point, Michael Emory from Cascade Technologies. While I was aware of the company, he and I only met at the 2nd AIAA Geometry and Mesh Generation Workshop back in 2019. As an alert reader he knew exactly what type of image could catch my eye and wow, did he succeed. Using only an adaptive Voronoi mesh, they have recreated the iconic image from Hokusai’s famous work, the Great Wave off Kanagawa. Absolutely brilliant.

Cascade Technologies’ Stich Mesher, The Great Adapted Wave off Kanagawa. Image from Used with permission.

Now go back and read the first letter of each paragraph (not including the opening). Happy Weekend!

Update 23 Sep 2021: For those of you who’ve never been Rick Rolled.

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