This Week in CFD

The CFD news rolls in faster than I can compile it all and share it here. There are so many bookmarks in Chrome that someday they’ll become self-aware. But all that CFD makes for good reading. Several big events are coming up in turbomachinery, meshing, and CFD – and some are going to be held in person. Notable reading covers MBSE, AWS, and AI. And for people of a certain vintage, the history of Cray is a wonderful bit of computing nostalgia. Shown here is a Lagrangian simulation of the Southern Ocean by Riley Brady from the cover of Geophysical Research Letters.

CFD for…

Flow over an espresso cup: Inferring 3-D velocity and pressure fields from tomographic background oriented Schlieren via physics-informed neural networks. [They wanted to charge me $35 for the full paper but at least this espresso-sized image is freely available.]


Just a random faceted selfie. source


  • Any book with a title ending with “…for Dummies” speaks to me. So here’s Model Based Systems Engineering for Dummies from the folks at Siemens. (Registration required.) [I love Jeremy Irons’ line from Margin Call – “Speak [to me] as you might to a young child. Or a golden retriever. It wasn’t brains that brought me here; I assure you that.” It’s not brains that got me here either.]
  • Please pardon the repeat because I feel as though I posted this before, but checkout this material from byteLAKE about AI for CFD
  • If you have not yet discovered it, check out Tony Hirt’s CFD-101 on the FLOW-3D website.
  • In the mood for more CFD reading? Checkout the ERCOFTAC Knowledge Base.
Simulation of bubble characteristics in fluidized beds from a webinar describing how to use Tecplot with Barracuda. Image from

Computing and More

  • This overview of AWS ParallelCluster 3 that promises to simplify the running of CFD solvers on cloud-based HPC resources makes me realize just how long it’s been since I ran a CFD code on a supercomputer.
  • Speaking of AWS, here’s a guide to using FieldView on AWS.
  • A History of Cray was a bit of a walk down memory lane for me beginning with the X-MP followed by the Y-MP.
  • This week’s cover image is a cropped version of the cover of Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 48, Issue 19. The work is by Dr. Riley Brady and here’s the tweet where I discovered it.
  • The Beauty of CFD appears to be a site where you can buy CFD flowfield images.
As I learn more about Cadence’s core business [which I call ‘the secret life of electrons’] I find the Venn diagram overlap with CFD and mechanical simulation. Did you know that printed circuit boards (PCBs) can have multiple layers? I had no idea. But the different heating within each layer can cause all sorts of thermal stress which is bad.

Grid Lines

Again, you must be thinking “C’mon, is this what you call ‘art’?” The short answer is ‘yes’ and the long answer is “Especially within the larger context of what Ellsworth Kelly was expressing in his series Line Form Color.” And yes, I have been a little obsessed with Kelly’s work recently because he really makes me think about how to express big ideas with very little mark-making and how the complex is hidden within the simple.

You can read more about Kelly in this NYT article.

Ellsworth Kelly, Grid Lines from Line Form Color, 1951. source

Bonus: How a NASA Scientist and CFDer won the Virginia lottery. This story proves that you never know how and when someone from your past will appear in your life again.

Double Bonus: Fluid Dynamics Shows Why You Should Wear Masks Outdoors To Prevent Coronavirus Exposure. Like we’ve all been waiting for fluid dynamics to weigh in on this issue.

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