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Teaching Computational Fluid Dynamics (Cfd) To Design Engineers

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Improving Mechanics & Structural Modeling Courses

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1151.1 - 13.1151.11



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Paper Authors


Junling Hu University of Bridgeport

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Junling Hu is an assistant professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Bridgeport, CT. She teaches courses in the fields of CFD, Thermofluid science, thermal management of electronics, welding engineering, and materials science. Her research area is CFD, transport phenomena in welding processes, and thermal management of electronics.

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Linfeng Zhang University of Bridgeport

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Linfeng Zhang is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Bridgeport, He teaches in the areas of biosensors, controls, signal processing, MEMS, alternative energy. He conducts research in chem/bio sensors design, fabrication, and modeling.

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Xingguo Xiong University of Bridgeport

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Xingguo Xiong is an assistant professor in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Bridgeport, CT. He teaches courses in the fields of MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems), Nanotechnology, VLSI design and testing, semiconductor fabrication, etc. His research interests include VLSI, MEMS and nanotechnology.

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

Teaching Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to Design Engineers


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can provide detailed thermal flow information, such as temperature field, pressure field and velocity field, in equipment and process in various industries. Due to the recent rapid growth of powerful computer resources and the development of commercial CFD software packages, CFD has been proven a useful tool for mechanical design engineers.

CFD has also gained broad acceptance in the engineering education. It has been adopted in both undergraduate and graduate level courses in many universities. The teaching of CFD in current engineering education can be classified into two types, one is to focus on the numerical methods with little emphasis on using the software and the other is to introduce a CFD software as a virtual reality laboratory in Fluid Mechanics class without emphasis on teaching software. In the first type, students need strong mathematical background to succeed in the class and also need further training to effectively use modern commercial software for real industrial application. While in the second type, students only learned an abstract form of CFD processes, thus they will not be able to use CFD commercial software without further training in this area.

This paper is about the use of CFD in teaching graduate students at this university who were in a two year design track program. Many of these students did not have a good background in mathematics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and programming, however, most of them were good at computer aided design in ProE and were very interested in learning CFD as a design tool in industries. STAR-CCM+ was chosen as the CFD software to teach students the entire CFD process in a single integrated software environment. After building a geometry model in ProE, students learned to import the CAD model, set up mesh model, physical model and solver, and postprocess the results in STAR-CCM+. Based on projects, CFD numerical methods and fundamentals of heat transfer and fluid flow were introduced to help students understand the CFD process, interpret, and validate simulation results.


Computational fluid dynamics was introduced in the early 1960s as a specialized engineering tool for the aerospace, defense and nuclear power industries. In the 1970s, CFD spread to the automotive industries and in the ensuing decade grew into a common tool in many commercial applications1. Due to the rapid growth of powerful computer resources and the development of general purpose CFD software packages, the last two decades have seen an expanding growth of CFD application in engineering analysis and design. CFD has proven to be a valuable tool to complement experimental findings in flow structure studies2. While part of this growth has been within large traditional fluids engineering industries like the aerospace and nuclear industries, a large part of the growth has been in smaller industries or industries that are not necessarily in the fluids engineering mainstream1,2. For example, CFD technology is now being used to aid in the design of subway tunnels, cooling systems for densely packed electronic enclosures, helping

Hu, J., & Zhang, L., & Xiong, X. (2008, June), Teaching Computational Fluid Dynamics (Cfd) To Design Engineers Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3898

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