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On the Implementation of Open Source CFD System to Flow Visualization in Fluid Mechanics

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Simulations and Visualizations

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.995.1 - 25.995.11



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Paper Authors

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Ricardo Medina California State University, Los Angeles

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Ashkan Motamedi California State University, Los Angeles


Murat Okcay Interactive Flow Studies Corporation

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Murat Okcay, CEO, obtained his doctorate in mechanical engineering, specializing in fluid mechanics, in 1993 from Bristol University, England. After several years as a lecturer teaching fluid mechanics in the classroom and laboratories at the University he joined Smiths Industries Plc. and has continually pushed the envelope in the field of fluid mechanics as a Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, publishing papers and receiving patents for his designs. He was then recruited by Allied Signal, in the U.S., as a Project Engineer during which time he completed his master's of business administration (MBA) at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He then moved to Minneapolis working as a Sales Manager at TSI responsible for sales and marketing of research-grade PIV products in the U.S., Canada and Brazil. As the PI, he directed an NSF SBIR-funded project with Phase I and Phase II grants. During Phase II, the company generated more than $0.25 million income from sales and received Phase 2B funding. He published several papers in this field. He not only has strong business background and technical expertise in mechanical design and teaching fluid mechanics, but he also provides his vision, strategic direction, very broad experience, nationally and internationally, and industry contacts to Interactive Flow Studies.

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B. Uygar Oztekin Interactive Flow Studies Corporation


Gustavo Borel Menezes California State University, Los Angeles

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Gustavo Borel Menezes is an Assistant Professor of civil engineering at California State University, Los Angeles, where he has been since 2009. During 2007-2009, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Spelman College. He received a B.S. from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in 2001, and an M.S. from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, in 2004. He received his Ph.D. in infrastructure and environmental systems in 2007 from UNC Charlotte. His research interests are in the area of geoenvironmental engineering, focusing on fate and transport of contaminant in the subsurface. His recent work looks into characterization of transport under unsaturated and low conductivity condition using steady-state centrifugation method. He is an Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Energy Engineering and a board member of the International Society for Environmental Geotechnology (ISEG).

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Arturo J. Pacheco-Vega California State University, Los Angeles

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Arturo Pacheco-Vega completed his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering at the University Iberoamericana in Leon, Mexico. After receiving master's degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Guanajuato in Salamanca, Mexico, and at the University of Notre Dame, he received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in early 2002, funded by a Fulbright-CONACYT-Garcia Robles scholarship. From 2003 to 2008, he was a tenured full-time Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP) in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Currently, Pacheco-Vega is a tenured faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles. His research is situated broadly in the fluid mechanics and heat transfer fields. His current interest is in simulation, optimization and control of thermal systems, and the applications of soft computing techniques in complex systems.

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2012 American Society of Engineering Education Conference   Abstract Submission  On the Implementation of Open Source CFD System to Flow Visualization in Fluid Mechanics Ricardo Medina1, Ashkan Motamedi2, Murat Okcay3, Uygar Oztekin3, Gustavo Menezes1,*, Arturo Pacheco-Vega2 1Department of Civil Engineering 2Department of Mechanical Engineering California State University-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90032 3 Interactive Flow Studies Corp. P.O. Box 748, Waterloo IA 50704 * AbstractThe study of fluid mechanics is essential to many industrial and commercial applications. It is, therefore, necessary that engineering students have a good understanding of the concepts behind the design and use  of  fluid  flow  systems.  Although  theory  is  absolutely  necessary  to  understand  real‐life  problems involving fluids, experiments form an  excellent supplement to provide students with opportunities for visual appreciation of the complexity of flow phenomena, allowing such knowledge to be less abstract. However,  the  ever  increasing  challenge  of  designing  more  efficient  engineering  systems  that  address environmental  concerns,  and  energy  demand,  requires  students  to  have  access  to  additional  tools. While experimental data are useful for specific scenarios, engineering design of fluid flow systems often require sets of iterative calculations in which a design is tested under different conditions of operation. A  cost‐effective  solution  is  the  use  of  computational  fluid  dynamics  (CFD)  simulations.  CFD  is  a  fast growing  branch  of  fluid  mechanics,  in  which  one  seeks  solutions  of  mathematical  models  of  physical systems  by  numerical  integration  of  the  governing  equations.  In  this  contribution,  we  present  an approach  that  combines  CFD  analysis  with  laboratory  experiments,  to  supplement  the  traditional teaching method based on a theoretical approach, with the aim to provide a well‐rounded experience for the students to learn and apply fluid mechanics concepts in the design of engineering systems. The integration  of  theory,  physical  experiments,  and  mathematical/numerical  models  is  done  via  an  open source CFD system, called OpenFoam. The OpenFoam software, grounded on finite volumes technique, will  be  linked  to  an  educational  interactive  flow  visualization  set  comprised  of  two  systems: (FLOWCOACH and ePIV, currently used to provide students with opportunities for visual appreciation of the of flow phenomena. A main advantage of using OpenFoam is that building the geometry and setting the  boundary  and  initial  conditions  is  straightforward.  Assessment  of  the  accuracy  of  the  OpenFoam scheme is carried out by direct comparison of for the solution to two fluid‐flow problems; named, flow around  a  square  obstruction  and  flow  in  an  divergent  channel,  against  two  well‐known  CFD  software: Gerrys and COMSOL Multiphysics.  

Medina, R., & Motamedi, A., & Okcay, M., & Oztekin, B. U., & Menezes, G. B., & Pacheco-Vega, A. J. (2012, June), On the Implementation of Open Source CFD System to Flow Visualization in Fluid Mechanics Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21752

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