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Bringing Research And New Technology Into The Undergraduate Curriculum: A Course In Computational Fluid Dynamics

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.127.1 - 3.127.9



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Paper Authors

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Ravi G. Mukkilmarudhur

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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 1602

Bringing Research and New Technology into the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Course in Computational Fluid Dynamics

Homayun K. Navaz, Brenda S. Henderson, and Ravi G. Mukkilmarudhur Kettering University


As technology advances in the industries which graduating engineers wish to enter, technology in the undergraduate curriculum must also advance. A course in computational fluid dynamics was recently developed which meets the challenge of bringing advanced topics to undergraduate students. This paper addresses techniques used to enable undergraduates to enter the work force with the ability to solve and physically understand fluid dynamics problems requiring commercially available computational fluid dynamics codes and related software. Student projects involving grid generation, the solution to two-dimensional and three-dimensional problems, and the solution to multi-dimensional species flow problems are presented. Additionally, final term projects obtained from the students’ cooperative employers are discussed.


Advances in engineering technology has led to the development of commercially available software packages which allow for the solution of complicated engineering problems. Graduating engineers must be prepared to successfully use these tools upon entering the work force. A fundamental understanding of the mathematics, physics, and numerical considerations behind the development of these codes is often only possible when the user pursues advanced engineering degrees beyond the baccalaureate level. Undergraduate students often use software packages blindly assuming the computer will never produce incorrect solutions. Students need to understand the phenomenon modeled by the software packages and to have expectations of the problem solutions in order to detect unrealistic and incorrect results sometimes produced by inexperienced software users. Educators must also enable the students to develop a fundamental understanding of the behavior of the equations solved by the software packages without going into the details required in most graduate classes. The students must also develop the ability to run the necessary software packages including any required preprocessing and post processing software. These abilities must be developed to some degree in a single course since most undergraduate engineering curricula have few free electives.

Bringing advanced topics into the undergraduate curricula has been pursued at other institutions in an effort to enable students to work in areas which, in the past, were typically reserved for individuals with advanced degrees. Some topics are reserved for graduate work simply because of the lack of time in the undergraduate curricula. Examples of these programs may be found in Goddard (1995) and Wendlandt and Harrison (1995).

In this study, a course in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which is normally only available

Mukkilmarudhur, R. G., & Navaz, H. K., & Henderson, B. S. (1998, June), Bringing Research And New Technology Into The Undergraduate Curriculum: A Course In Computational Fluid Dynamics Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--6946

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