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Is a phd mandatory to be a decisive CFD expert?

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Old   September 16, 2012, 02:37
Default Is a phd mandatory to be a decisive CFD expert?
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I hold a Bachelors degree in Mechanical engineering and I am interested in Fluid mechanics and CFD methods of investigation.So I am planning on going to Grad school. My question is-Do I need a PHD to be a Really good CFD person or can I do it with just a masters Degree alone?

I need to decide if I should apply to universities with the Intent of going all the way to a PHD or stop with my masters.I am not keen on spending 3-7 years in school so I hope to stop with maters.
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Old   September 16, 2012, 04:56
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Originally Posted by sraman123 View Post
I hold a Bachelors degree in Mechanical engineering and I am interested in Fluid mechanics and CFD methods of investigation.So I am planning on going to Grad school. My question is-Do I need a PHD to be a Really good CFD person or can I do it with just a masters Degree alone?

I need to decide if I should apply to universities with the Intent of going all the way to a PHD or stop with my masters.I am not keen on spending 3-7 years in school so I hope to stop with maters.
The answer is not simple... my idea is that the PhD is mandatory if you want to do research in CFD. I don't think the term "expert" can be really meaningful in classical sense for CFD, often you are at the boundary of the state-of-the-art, you need always to read and learning something new ...

On the other hand, if you want just to run some CFD code in industry then you must gain "experience", PhD can be just a plus...
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Old   September 16, 2012, 06:25
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I agree, if the term expert for your means researcher, then yes, you need a phd. But since I assume you are looking more for a career in the application of CFD and since you hinted that you are not too enthusiastic about going to school for another 5 years, then a masters will be enough.
A Phd takes a lot of commitment!
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Old   September 16, 2012, 16:49
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You do not need a PhD to be a really good CFD person.
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Old   September 17, 2012, 03:15
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You do not need a PhD to be a really good CFD person.

...but if you want to be a CFD researcher, it is a must. It all depends on how you define "CFD person / professional" and what your own personal goals are.
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Old   September 17, 2012, 08:53
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But it also depends on how you define "CFD researcher." I know many people who have contributed to the development of CFD algorithms, software, physical models, etc. who do not have a PhD. Certainly, work toward a PhD gives you an opportunity to do research in the purest sense. It's the difference between pure and applied research.
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Old   September 17, 2012, 13:20
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agreed. in the end, it all depends on what you want to do and how much effort you put into it. but in general, it will be difficult to be accepted in the scientific (basic) research community without a phd. but if applied science is more your goal, a master's (from a good school) should be sufficient.
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Old   September 17, 2012, 14:48
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Henry Weller still has no PhD and is well accepted in the scientific cfd world :-)
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Old   September 17, 2012, 16:46
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Henry Weller still has no PhD and is well accepted in the scientific cfd world :-)
The exception confirms the rule
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Old   September 17, 2012, 18:42
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It is an excellent question, which is my opinion is really a case by case.

Based on my experience (and the limited Australian industrial job market), CFD is considered here as a tool for the engineer to complete a job. It is challenging for a CFD expert to market its expertise if he does not also have a very good knowledge of at least one application field (which can be ventilation, hydraulic, mining, etc). Under these conditions, I think that a master is sufficient (or a very industrially focused PhD).

It is obvious very different in academia and other countries (US, UK, Germany, France, China, India), where CFD is recognised as a skill.

The above being considered I think that a PhD is an excellent experience (I have one), a unique opportunity to focus on a single subject for 3 years, and it feels good to know your subject back to front at the end of it.

Good luck.
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