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Viscous Fluid Dynamics App for Mobile Devices Using a Remote High Performance Cluster

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluids and Heat Transfer II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1706.1 - 26.1706.16



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Paper Authors


Jared Rayleigh Wilson

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Jared Wilson received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2014. He is currently working as a mechanical engineer for Leidos Engineering within Oklahoma City designing commercial piping systems for both private and public sectors.

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Kurt C. Gramoll University of Oklahoma

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Prof. Kurt Gramoll is currently the Hughes Centennial Professor of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He has previously taught at the University of Memphis and Georgia Tech. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a PhD in Engineering Science and Mechanics in 1988. His research includes development and implementation of educational technologies for engineering education and training that utilize simulations.

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Viscous Fluid Dynamics App for Mobile Devices Using a Remote High Performance ClusterClassrooms and the learning process are becoming increasingly interactive as students shifttoward mobile learning platforms, yet there is a distinct lack of engineering mobile apps. Thisresearch attempts to address this issue by developing and implementing with an online,interactive mobile app for fluid flow, flowHPC, which enhances the engineering student’s accessto basic fluid flow information. The tool models fluid flow around any two-dimensional cross-section, and allows students to interactively experience many fundamental aspects of fluiddynamics including viscid and inviscid flows, instantaneous drag and lift coefficients, and avisualization of velocity vectors, pressure distributions, and streamlines about a two-dimensionalobject.By taking advantage of a remote, high performance cluster (HPC), the relatively lowcomputational power of mobile devices was alleviated. Educationally, this allows the student toaccess a finite element fluid flow package outside of the class and without any additional cost.This permits anyone with an internet access to solve intensive engineering problems on asmartphone or tablet at their convenience. Since the solution is done at a remote cluster withdozens of CPUs (hundreds of cores), the local client CPU is not relevant other than minordrawing routines.FlowHPC has been developed to allow the user to interactively specify the shape of an objectwithin a 2D flow field as well as the velocity, density, and dynamic viscosity of the flow. Thetool has been used by students in a basic fluid dynamics course to help them determine drag forobjects in solving flow problems. This is used as a second source for drag coefficients, the firstbeing engineering handbooks (or textbook appendices). It has not been used to teach CFD orfinite elements. Student’s positive feedback on using the tool for classroom discussions andassignments in a traditional fluid dynamics class is presented. FlowHPC was constructed as areference tool to help students solve standard fluid mechanic problems.Technically, FlowHPC produces and solves a Galerkin formulation of the 2D primitive variableNavier-Stokes equations, i.e. velocity and pressure. The Galerkin formulation produces a set ofnonlinear equations. After Picard linearization, a sparse linear equation solver, PARDISO fromIntel’s math kernel library (MKL), was wrapped inside a Picard iteration scheme to converge onthe solution.

Wilson, J. R., & Gramoll, K. C. (2015, June), Viscous Fluid Dynamics App for Mobile Devices Using a Remote High Performance Cluster Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25042

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