This Week in CFD

This week’s CFD news includes a couple of “must read” articles. When someone claims to have resolved the grand challenges of the CFD Vision 2030, it’s worth reading how. There’s also an article on digital engineering that ensures we don’t forget about its analog component: people. Plus we have all the usual suspects including plenty of open positions, software releases, and event news. Shown here is a teaser from an on-demand webinar about Cadence CFD’s Nonlinear Harmonic method that provides high-fidelity results at a fraction of the cost of time domain methods for turbomachinery flows. Register here to learn more.

Is digitalization the key to future prosperity? This article from The Engineer begins with what I think is the key premise, “the primary barriers to the adoption of a digital way of working are not technological, they are human in nature and include: awareness, skills, management support and, most importantly, culture.” In the end, CFD can be reduced to people and the same can be said for digital engineering, digital enterprise, digital twins, model-based engineering, etc.

On that same topic, industry veteran Ken Wong was recently interviewed by Revolution in Simulation. Listen as he talks about the power of simulation. In case you’re not familiar with it, “ provides professional resources and a collaborative community to help increase the value of engineering simulation software (CAE) investments through the Democratization of Simulation.”

Cadence Pointwise Meshing Version 18.5 was released earlier this week with major updates to automatic surface and volume meshing, the suite of features we call Flashpoint. Customers can download and begin using V18.5 today.

More automatic mesh generation now available in Cadence Pointwise Meshing V18.5.

Being an aero guy, my Venn diagram’s intersection with electromagnetics was in the field of radar cross section (which is some real spooky stuff). That exposure made me aware of the methods for solving Maxwell’s equations and now this article provides a nice compare and contrast on the finite element method versus finite difference time domain versus method of moments. [The latter not to be confused with method of characteristics which was the genesis of my CFD career.]

The SIAM International Meshing Roundtable is not too far off (Feb 2022). Registration info is promised in December. Because SIAM has decided that this event will be hybrid, they are asking folks to complete a short survey to get a better feel for how people want to participate.

“This work resolves the Grand Challenges of fluid dynamics described in NASA Vision 2030.” OK, that’s definitely an attention getter. The authors are describing their work on computing turbulent solutions to Euler’s equations with a slip boundary condition resulting in a Theory of Everything ToE for slightly viscous incompressible fluid flow. Real Flight Simulation in the Digital Math framework (appears to be based at least in part on FEniCS). [I’m ‘this close’ to going e.e. cummings on camel case names.]

MUST READ: Screen capture of an animation from the Real Flight Simulator article showing the benchmark case from the 3rd AIAA CFD High Lift Prediction Workshop. This entire approach is very interesting and borders on being contrarian which isn’t a bad thing. Image from

I’ve always used the phrase “getting hit by a bus” to illustrate a project’s personnel-related risks. It turns out, that’s a real thing in the project management world. The “bus number” is the number of team members whose loss would endanger a project. Obviously, you want that number to be as high as possible.

If you’re interested in learning more about preCICE (“preCICE is a free/open-source coupling library. It enables creating partitioned multi-physics simulations by gluing together separate software packages”) here’s the paper you want to read: preCICE v2: A Sustainable and User-Friendly Coupling Library.

Speaking of preCICE, here’s what’s new in their v2.3 release.

For those seeking new opportunities:

  • Siemens Digital Industries needs Software Engineers.
  • Cadence CFD seeks an Account Technical Executive. [Now c’mon people. This position has been open for a while and we’re still trying to find the right person. If you’re thinking this is “just” as sales position, let me assure you that it’s technical and you’ll need to know your stuff. Plus you’ll get to work with Travis Carrigan and Rick Matus and not me.]
  • The Cadence CFD team in Brussels has several open positions.
  • Bosch seeks a research engineer for simulation and optimization.
  • The University of St. Andrews has an opening for a lecturer in fluid dynamics.
  • Amazon seeks an HPC specialist for CFD.
  • AP Dynamics needs a CFD engineer.

Altair launched the 2021.2 version of their simulation software.

Gexcon launched FLACS-CFD 21 (“simulates the dispersion of hazardous materials, fire, and explosion”). Their tagline is interesting: “consequence modeling software for safety professionals.”

Flow Science launched FLOW-3D 2022R1. [News arrived via email as I was writing this blog post.]

Sometimes you find fluid dynamics in places where you least expect it, like 1,500 meters below Louisiana. These 16 meter tall ripples are evidence of a tsunami that followed the Chicxulub meteor impact. Image from FYFD.

Thermoanalytics is celebrating 25 years of business. Congratulations.

SPHERIC 2022 (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics rEsearch and engineeRing International Community) will be held in Xi’an, China on 28 Mar – 02 Apr 2022. The call for papers has already closed.

Cadence is happy to be the main sponsor of the Automotive Aerodynamics & Thermal Management International Forum coming up later this month.

Included solely for the eye candy, NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility project has this poster contest for students in grades 6-12. The deadline has past and we’re promised news about the winners by December 1st.

Invisible Geometry

I’m going to resist the temptation to blather on and on about Sean Scully’s Backs and Fronts (shown below) and instead let a BBC writer explain how this particular painting rescued abstraction from minimalism by peeling “back the superficial veneer of things to reveal the invisible geometry that pulses beneath.”

Of course, that statement has an obvious analogy with CFD and meshing – peeling back the CFD to see the mesh that pulses beneath. And yes, like the CFD Vision 2030 Study says, the mesh should ultimately be invisible to the user.

Sean Scully, Backs and Fronts, 1981. My photo from the recent exhibition, Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Bonus: The 2022 International CFD Challenge on Violent Expiratory Events is ongoing and the opportunity to participate seems to have passed. Results will be shared in a virtual workshop in June 2022. It just so happens that I’m doing an experimental study of violent expiratory events today 🙁

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