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History of CFD

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The purpose of this section is to provide a concise review of the history of CFD. A general Historical perspective summarizing the key milestones in CFD is presented. The Hall of fame includes short biographical scketches of the people who made significant contributions to CFD along with a summary of these contributions. The Famous achievements in CFD presents a list of crucial problems that were solved using CFD techniques.


Here are a few milestones in the early history of CFD:

  • 1910 - Richardson, 50 page paper to Royal Society, hand calculations with human computers, 2000 operations per week...
  • ~1960 - Scientific American articles on CFD
  • 1965 - Marker and Cell methods - Harlow & Welch
  • 1965 - Use in research and "grand challenges" (NASA, Los Alamos...)
  • 1970 - Finite difference methods for Navier-Stokes
  • 1970 - Finite element methods for stress analysis
  • 1980 - Finite volume methods (Imperial College)
  • 1985 - Use in "aero" industries (Boeing, General Electric, ...)
  • 1995 - Use in "non-aero" industries (GM, Ford, Astra, Ericsson...)
  • 2004 - OpenFOAM released under GPL license (free & open-source)


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