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A New Approach To Teaching Compressible Flow

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.26.1 - 4.26.10

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Paper Authors

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Raymond Berg

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Homayun K. Navaz

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Brenda S. Henderson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1302

A New Approach to Teaching Compressible Flow

Brenda S. Henderson, Homayun K. Navaz, and Raymond M. Berg Kettering University


At Kettering University, a new course in modern compressible flow was introduced at the undergraduate and graduate level for mechanical engineering students. The course incorporated analytical, computational and experimental techniques and analysis. Students learned fundamental concepts in gas dynamics, as well as developing the ability to solve basic problems using commercial CFD codes. Threaded throughout the course were segments where the students learned experimental techniques and analysis, and used those techniques to validate analytical and computational results. Toward the end of the course, the students selected an applied research project, and conducted an experimental investigation involving flow-induced noise generated by flow over a component similar to that found on the exterior of a vehicle. This paper addresses the process and techniques used to conduct this type of course. Samples of the students’ work are also presented.


Kettering University, formerly GMI Engineering & Management Institute (GMI), is the nation’s only engineering university employing a mandatory, full-time cooperative education work experience. The university ranked first in BSME graduates in the period 1997-1998 per statistics gathered by ASEE(1), and currently has over 700 employer sponsors. Kettering’s cooperative employers have recommended that M.E. graduates have experience in the virtual prototyping and design techniques of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), so that student experience in the undergraduate program matches the expectations and tools available when those students reach responsible positions in the workplace. This has been implemented through gradual incorporation of a “continuous thread” of design synthesis, computational modeling, experimental validation, and undergraduate participation with faculty and industry in sponsored research in the thermal fluids sciences courses.

Several sections of undergraduate fluid mechanics and heat transfer have been conducted at Kettering with open-ended CFD design synthesis and modeling projects, including industry sponsor participation. The thrust of this pilot program was improving the competitiveness of the students and their employers through virtual design and optimization. Kettering has also developed an elective course in applied CFD involving student research, as discussed by Navaz and Henderson(2). Kettering has been implementing the integration of research experience in the undergraduate curriculum as called for by the National Science Foundation(3). In addition, the ASEE’s “Green Report”(4) stressed the need for industry participation in the educational process

Berg, R., & Navaz, H. K., & Henderson, B. S. (1999, June), A New Approach To Teaching Compressible Flow Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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