This Week in CFD

This week’s CFD news is “just the facts” and no games. I’m hoping to get some comments about whether simulation is a “risk-free space” and your wrong beliefs about meshing. Emerging technologies is an inadvertent subtheme in this edition which provides something for everyone to debate. And there’s a good number of CFD jobs out there so I’m hoping someone who loves CFD and mesh generation will be intrigued by our Account Technical Executive position (think tech sales). Shown here is a screen capture of a video from FieldView CFD showing Mach 1.4 cavity flow.


  • From the Department of Shameless Plugs comes this reminder of a white paper we published earlier this year on Preparation of Geometry Models for Mesh Generation and CFD. The goal was to provide a broad overview of the various geometry modeling techniques one may encounter and some of their relative pros and cons when it comes to downstream use of the models they generate. We do ask that you give us a wee bit of information in exchange for the download.
  • It’s interesting to read “the tyranny of physical prototypes” in the article The Simulation Risk-Free Space of Vehicle Design. I’ve heard similar phrasing about CAD as it pertains to simulation and I’m guessing somewhere someone has used “the tyranny of meshing” in the context of CFD. Ignoring whether simulation is a “risk-free space” [it isn’t], I see automobiles now becoming systems on the order of aircraft which have been systems for decades.
  • If you agree that “Legacy, On-Premise CAE is Too Costly, Too Risky, and Too Slow” as the photo in this article says, you should read about the combination of OnScale and Onshape.

CFD for…

Simulation of hovering XV-15 rotor blades using Q-criterion shaded by contours of Mach number from Assessment of Detached Eddy Simulation and Sliding Mesh Interface in Predicting Tiltrotor Performance in Helicopter and Airplane Modes by our friends at Flexcompute.

Meshing & Computing

  • OK, this is something I can get into. FEA for All lists 7 wrong beliefs about meshing that you may have. #4 Everything is about size of the mesh. [It’s never about size.]
  • CFD with zero carbon footprint.
  • Whether it’s in the context of business or parenting, the goal of a leader is to be eclipsed by the next generation. Sometimes the bar is low, like in my case where my kids and my team at work passed me by decades ago. But even when the bar is high, it happens. As in this case in which a co-worker’s son co-authored Emerging Technologies for Quantum Computing. [Is there any irony in the fact that quantum computing, itself an emerging technology, has its own emerging technologies?]

Software & Jobs

Screen capture from a video by Red Fluid Dynamics about designing Sequoia Surfboards using CFD.



  • Gartner’s hype cycle for this year’s emerging technologies has three main themes, one of which is “engineering trust.” When I look at the individual technologies I see a lot of AI stuff and I have a hard time mapping any of them to engineering trust. Maybe you’ll see it more clearly.
  • Our friends at Coreform ranked 594th on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies.
  • While this article targets CFD for racing bicycles, the warning therein pertains to making aerodynamics claims based on limited datasets. [I like the faux headline “This wheel is about as fast as anything out there.”]
  • There’s a new CFD book on the market from Missouri S&T’s Joseph Smith: CFD for the Chemical and Petrochemical Process Industries.

Structured Yet Unstructured

If the colors are arranged by chance, why do I see patterns? Is it because chance is overlayed on a regular grid? This painting by Ellsworth Kelly reminds me of what you see when the numerical precision is off and you compute cell area on a regular grid and then apply a color map.

Later today I’ll be having lunch at The Modern in Fort Worth and afterward I’m going to do a little mental palette palate [Duh. C’mon, John. Jeez.] cleansing by walking the galleries where I’ll see a huge piece by Kelly in his more well-known minimalist style.

Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance VI, 1951. source

[Later that day.] Just to let you know I’m not faking it…

Ellsworth Kelly, Red Panel, Dark Blue Panel, Dark Green Panel, 1986. Slightly over 9 meters wide. Flanked by paintings by Sam Francis (left) and Morris Louis (right). Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
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