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Civil engineering

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 This page is writted by a non english speaker; please excuse the bad grammar (And correct it!).

Applications in Civil Engineering are countless.

Some books for civil engineers directly exclude chapters with important topics like flow of water with fast variation on space and/or time. For example, "Open Channel Hydraulics" (V. T. Chow) has a chapter that only says something like "not much to say about...".

There are only two practical ways to know how work the water on this cases:

  • Making a physical scale model.
    • This can be done only with structures expensive enough to admit making a scale model. But the main volume of structures are cheap, or so small that a scale model need to take in account the surface stress, and the scale model need to ignore some characteristics of flux.
    • Because of this, handbooks usually offer standard structures that have to be strictly copied, with poor degrees of freedom for designers. Alternatively, calculations use large security coefficients for overcoming uncertainities.
  • Running a CFD simulation.
    • Many CFD simulations run too slowly on desktop computers (2005). They take hours or days even for simple cases. This is because PC computers are still weak to do real time/interactive calculations.
    • But this is changing with modern video cards; Graphics cards compatible with DirectX 9/OpenGL 2 are supercomputers. They have orders of magnitude more power than PC chips, and are programmable -See GPGPU-. This make tempting to the common civil engineer to start programming simulations. This has to be explained better.


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