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Old   October 28, 2010, 09:50
Default OpenFOAM for education
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Alan Brown
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Has anyone any experiences (good or bad) of using OpenFOAM within a classroom setting? I am looking to introduce some CFD, using simple problems to mechanical engineering students. I have some Fluent experience, but have started to look at OpenFOAM for some of my research, and am considering it for some student lab classes.

Any feedback would be gratefully received.

Alan
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Old   October 28, 2010, 16:35
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Elvis
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Hi,
there is the idea of a special interest group teaching http://openfoamwiki.net/index.php/Sig_Teaching
But I think Professor Janoske has moved from Mosbach to another "bigger" University in Germany.
But there are allready examples of lectures with OpenFoam
http://www.tc1.ch.tum.de/index.php?o...=146&Itemid=65
http://www.ifd.mavt.ethz.ch/education/Lectures/openfoam
http://www.imvt.uni-stuttgart.de/ind..._modellbildung

also look for what Håkan Nilsson did http://www.tfd.chalmers.se/~hani/
http://www.tfd.chalmers.se/~hani/kurser/OS_CFD_2010/ and follow the year before

The SIG teaching should meat at the openfoamworkshop http://www.openfoamworkshop.org/ but this year the SIG Teaching did not come together as you see when you read what happend in Gothenburg. http://www.openfoamworkshop.org/2010...itle=Main_Page

I think in the past the EU gave some funding for Open Foam projects in the context of teaching. Maybe Professor Jasak can tell you if this is still the case http://titan.fsb.hr/~hjasak/. I would contact Professor in the context of teaching anyway, as he is one of the masterbrains of OF and maybe he is willing to share some material for lectures or will even come to your campus if you manage to find the right words.

As you are in Ireland http://www.ucd.ie/mecheng/me_staff.html you might want to contact the group of Professor Alojz Ivankovic in Dublin! ;-) they are very very familiar with OF =>I guess ;-).

Another important supporter in teaching is Professor Eric_Paterson
http://www.personal.psu.edu/egp11/Er.../software.html
he will organise the next OF workshop.

Not to forget Milan, Montreal and Munich ...

Summa summarum: I guess OF has great potential in academics, and there are efforts to create material for lectures and there are most certainly people that are willing to share material for lectures

elvis
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Old   October 28, 2010, 16:36
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Elvis
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Hi,
there is the idea of a special interest group teaching http://openfoamwiki.net/index.php/Sig_Teaching
But I think Professor Janoske has moved from Mosbach to another "bigger" University in Germany.
But there are allready examples of lectures with OpenFoam
http://www.tc1.ch.tum.de/index.php?o...=146&Itemid=65
http://www.ifd.mavt.ethz.ch/education/Lectures/openfoam
http://www.imvt.uni-stuttgart.de/ind..._modellbildung

also look for what Håkan Nilsson did http://www.tfd.chalmers.se/~hani/
http://www.tfd.chalmers.se/~hani/kurser/OS_CFD_2010/ and follow the year before

The SIG teaching should meat at the openfoamworkshop http://www.openfoamworkshop.org/ but this year the SIG Teaching did not come together as you see when you read what happend in Gothenburg. http://www.openfoamworkshop.org/2010...itle=Main_Page

I think in the past the EU gave some funding for Open Foam projects in the context of teaching. Maybe Professor Jasak can tell you if this is still the case http://titan.fsb.hr/~hjasak/. I would contact Professor in the context of teaching anyway, as he is one of the masterbrains of OF and maybe he is willing to share some material for lectures or will even come to your campus if you manage to find the right words.

As you are in Ireland http://www.ucd.ie/mecheng/me_staff.html you might want to contact the group of Professor Alojz Ivankovic in Dublin! ;-) they are very very familiar with OF =>I guess ;-).

Another important supporter in teaching is Professor Eric_Paterson
http://www.personal.psu.edu/egp11/Er.../software.html
he will organise the next OF workshop.

Not to forget Milan, Montreal and Munich ...

Summa summarum: I guess OF has great potential in academics, and there are efforts to create material for lectures and there are most certainly people that are willing to share material for lectures

elvis
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Old   October 29, 2010, 02:41
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Hi Alan828,

from my own experience:
I got in touch with OpenFoam the first time at the University in Trondheim (NTNU).
We basically had a simple introduction to the icoFoam solver and the meshing software Mega.
This was part (indeed just a part) of a semester course giving an introduction to experimental and numerical hydrodynamics. (The course was split in an experimental half and a numerical half). First we got a general introduction to potential theory and RANS codes then we dealt a little bit with mathlab and potential theory and finally the semester project was done with OF.

The course has the number TMR 4300 and the description can be found here:
http://www.ntnu.edu/studies/courses/TMR4300
The Professor guiding us was Bjørnar Pettersen

I also know that the TU Delft is dealing with OF now but there it is part of the aeronautical engineering faculty. They are going to host a OF free of charge Conference next week on Thursday.

regards Colin
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Old   October 29, 2010, 04:12
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Alan Brown
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Many thanks for these replies. There is some great material here. I need to have agood look through the various notes and resources that are linked here, and will se what transpires.

Alan
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Old   October 29, 2010, 12:27
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OpenFOAM is philosophically speaking, THE tool for academics. We're using it in research and teaching. Off course, it has errors like other software and requires a bigger effort from students to get used to it, but it is a good choice.

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Old   October 31, 2010, 09:51
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Hello
The easiest way would be to install Openfoam on a university server, and have the students be thin client users.

Installing Linux and then installing openfoam could be difficult to install on a bunch of students different Linux distributions.
Dual booting Windows and Linux is yet another technical challenge.

However, it is a very good idea, especially since Openfoam is open source.

I am sure both you and the students could handle that, but you need to have a Linux guru on hand to help out.
I would suggest installing to a server, and also providing complete detailed instructions on installing Linux, dual booting Windws and Linux, and instaliing Openfoam, so the students can install on their own personal computers, if they want to. Most of the students will want to install on their machines.

If you are not careful, you and your students will be studying Linux, Linux troubleshooting, Linux installation, and Linux-Windows interoperability rather than Mechanical Engineering. Have your Computer Science Dept involved from the start.
You might also look at Caelinux.com , a linux version with openfoam and 20-30 science programs already installed, or Centosfoam. this would be the easiest way.
Work through the tutorials yourself and add you own comments and instructions to the tutorials to make sure the students can get them to work. Do a pdf and screencast on getting started.

There is a textbook based on openfoam and caeliux:
Mathematical Modeling and Simulation: Introduction for Scientists and Engineers, Author: Kai Velten, 362pg.
ISBN-10: 3527407588

I think your idea to use openfoam is sound.

good luck
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Old   October 31, 2010, 10:42
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Hello
A word of caution on Dual booting Windows and Linux. If it is done wrong you can wipe out the contents of a hard drive and neither Windows or Linux will work.
It would be calamatous to have 25-30 grad students lose their Dissertation or Thesis at one time due to a bad dual boot.

It is however extreamly useful, just make sure you have read all the online how to's and if you use Easy BCD, make sure you know how it works.

Its like a lot of things, do it right and there is no problem. It is not difficult to do right.

Doing a dual boot wrong is analougous to a closed cycle chemical system in a thermal runaway situation and not knowing the strength of materials involved.


For background prerequsites for Openfoam,
I think you might consider two easy to read books; one on Linux (you need to know a little command line) and another on C++. Something like "C++ in 24 hours"..ect..ect.. You need to know a little C++ to input variables and set up your own problems. But you dont really need to be an accomplished C++ programmer or Linux guru. I would at least have them on hand, even if you read them infrequently.
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Old   October 31, 2010, 11:01
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The classical dual boot is more or less out since we can use a virtual machine very easy with VirtualBox or VMWare.

Years ago I had to dual boot for using my CAD program but now it runs fine in a virtual windows machine at the same time as the rest of the work.
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