Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics (MA030455)


Course Memo

Fluid flows are ubiquitous in engineering. Fluid mechanics provides the theoretical foundation to a broad spectrum of engineering applications that range from tiny laboratory-on-a-chip devices to the largest thermal and hydroelectric power plants. The rich dynamics of fluid motion leads to numerous effects that engineers may wish to exploit or suppress. Mathematical description of fluid flows most commonly involves non-linear partial differential equations that make analytical solution impossible or impractical. Therefore, approximate solution using numerical methods has been widely implemented since the advent of digital computers. Nowadays, the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a well-established discipline. CFD is widely used in science and engineering alike. It accelerates optimal design and offers important insights in the flow dynamics. The course will introduce the students to important theoretical and practical aspects of the CFD. It will explain how to describe the fluid flow by partial differential equations with suitable initial and boundary conditions, and how to transform those equations into computer algorithms. A brief overview of general-purpose numerical methods will be provided, with comments on their relevance to the CFD. Then, specialized methods for different types of flows will be introduced. Computer practice classes will allow the students to acquire basic skills of programming simple methods from scratch, get acquainted with existing CFD software packages, develop intuition for distinguishing physical effects from numerical artifacts, and learn to use the CFD wisely.