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Integration of High Performance Computing into Engineering Physics Education

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Engineering Physics Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

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Paper Authors


Evan C. Lemley University of Central Oklahoma

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Professor Lemley teaches thermo-fluid engineering and works with undergraduates to perform fluid dynamics research that is mostly focused on small scale flow problems. He is currently an Assistant Dean of Mathematics and Science and a Professor of Engineering and Physics at the University of Central Oklahoma, his home institution for more than fifteen years. Previously, Professor Lemley worked as a mechanical engineer in the power industry. His bachelor’s degree is in physics from Hendrix College and his M.S.M.E.
and Ph.D. were earned at the University of Arkansas.

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Aric Martin Gillispie University of Central Oklahoma


Adam Dorety University of Central Oklahoma

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Adam Dorety is currently a senior at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). He is involved in Fluid dynamics research observing entropy loss through tee junctions for low viscosity and reynolds numbers fluids. He is also a past UCO chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers chair, vice-chair and treasurer. He began his research on the Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) as well as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). He hopes to graduate in 2016 and join the workforce. His experience with undergraduate research has undoubtedly strengthened his commitment to mechanical engineering.

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Andrew Meier The University of Central Oklahoma

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Shahram Riahinezhad

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Computational skills are foundational in engineering physics education. Computational exercises, labs, and projects often employ instructive small-scale problems. These small- scale problems serve to introduce content and process, and as such, serve the purpose for which they were intended. Small-scale problems do not serve to introduce students to solving problems at industrial-scale or with research-quality as required in the workplace or graduate laboratory This paper describes the integration of industrial-scale and research-quality high-performance computing (HPC) into a senior/graduate level fluid dynamics course.

This paper focuses on a combined senior level-graduate level course (enrollment of 12) in fluid dynamics at the U__, a predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI) . A HPC cluster, B___ has been deployed recently at the U__. The first author operates and administers the B__ cluster and serves as instructor of the fluid dynamics course, providing an opportunity to advance the course outcomes to include a high impact project that takes advantage of distributed computing. These projects will be transformative for the students and expose them to HPC “at scale.” The projects require the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) on a HPC system; intentionally exposing students to a new way of doing things. The issues that students must confront include: 1) complex geometric modeling that result in very large file sizes, 2) meshing geometries that are large or require many nodes, 3) transitioning files generated on a desktop computer to a HPC environment, 4) understanding navigation and use of an HPC system, 5) understanding the use of parallelism in a distributed computing environment, 6) quantifying results, and 7) visualizing results.

The goal of this work is to impact the student’s long term ability to deal with computationally intensive problems. Although we cannot determine the impact long term yet, we are using a rubric to gauge the immediate impact and surveying the students to determine their perceptions.

Lemley, E. C., & Gillispie, A. M., & Dorety, A., & Meier, A., & Riahinezhad, S. (2016, June), Integration of High Performance Computing into Engineering Physics Education Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25426

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