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A.M.Yang November 8, 2001 08:21

Trends of CFD
What are the main trends of CFD ?

Jonas Larsson November 8, 2001 08:31

Re: Trends of CFD
In terms of research or in terms of industrial use?

A.M.Yang November 8, 2001 08:36

Re: Trends of CFD
Both areas

Jonas Larsson November 8, 2001 10:19

Re: Trends of CFD
That's a pretty wide question, too wide to get a good answer I'm afraid. Anyway, here are a few key-words from my point of view (industrial CFD user with a research background in CFD):
  • <LI>CFD is spreading to new application areas - electronics cooling, biotechnology, medicine and mechanical industries where CFD has not been used before. The major growth is seen in these new areas, although CFD use also grows in more classical CFD areas like aerospace.

    <LI>The use of CFD in industry is changing from being a mostly post-design analysis tool to being a tool used in the design process.

    <LI>Linux clusters are replacing high-end Unix compute servers as the leading compute platform for large-scale CFD computations. Smaller CFD users are using windows more and more. The use of Linux clusters has made simulation time less of a problem - the bottelneck is now to be able to do pre- and post-processing on the huge cases you can run on your cluster.

    <LI>Traffic at CFD Online grows by 30% annualy. The growth rate shows no sign of slowing down - no effect of the economic down-turn, except in the number of new job-ads, which has decreased significantly after Sept 11. Commercial traffic grows much quicker than academic traffic and the strongest growth can be seen in the automotive sector.

    <LI>Turbulence research and development of numerics has stagnated somewhat - 10 years ago a lot of people were doing research in these areas. Without having solved all the proplems in these areas funds have now instead been directed towards even more difficult areas like combustion, two-phase flow, free-surface, aeroacoustics.... I'm not sure if this is good or bad.

    <LI>At last the CFD world is starting to unite behind a common data-format - CGNS.

    <LI>The larger CFD companies are starting to become "medium-sized" companies - up until recently CFD was an area with many small research-oriented start-up companies. The transition to "medium-sized" will change things - development will stagnate somewhat but quality-control etc. will hopefully improve drastically.

    <LI>Several smaller application-oriented CFD companies with products tightly integrated with design-tools are growing very rapidly.

Li Yang November 8, 2001 11:12

Re: Trends of CFD
Dear Jonas,

Thank you. It is really insightful. But what is CGNS ?


Li Yang

Jonas Larsson November 8, 2001 11:15

Re: Trends of CFD
It is a new standard format for storing CFD data - the standard is being pushed mainly by ICEM, Boeing and NASA. Most larger CFD code vendors have announced that they will support it (Fluent, Star-CD, CFX, Numeca ...)

You can find more info about CGNS on

cfdkid November 8, 2001 13:19

Re: Trends of CFD

Boeing has announced that 30,000 jobs will be cut. ICEM was acquired by Ansys last year. Do you still think that CFD is booming?
Automation reduces the number of jobs. You didn't mention that CFD is using expert system to design airfoil so the airfoil designers are no longer needed.

Jonas Larsson November 8, 2001 14:28

Re: Trends of CFD
The commercial CFD market is growing by 20% annually - this is a fact and not a guess.

Before Sept 11. there was a huge lack of aerospace engineers (at least in Europe, where I live).

I am working with turbomachinery blade-design myself and I can assure you that I don't feel at all worried about loosing my job to an expert system.

Traffic at CFD Online reached an all-time-high in October, with more than 450,000 read web-pages. One year ago the traffic was about 300,000 read web-pages per month.

I don't think that Ansys bought ICEM because they think that CFD is not important, on the countrary I think that Ansys sees CFD as a very important area for the future, and an area where they need to strengthen their expertise. I wouldn't be surpriced if Ansys also bought a CFD-code company soon.

Yes I still think that CFD is booming.

Anindya November 9, 2001 02:01

Re: Trends of CFD
The job cuts at Boeing are mostly non-tecnical and at Seattle only. That is what I heard from a Boeing recruiter who came to my University. They are still actively recruiting a lot of engineers and cfd specialists. As Jonas mentioned lot of research in CFD is now in the areas of chemical mixing analysis and two phase flows. So CFD is still Booming in my opinion.


gossip November 9, 2001 03:10

Re: Trends of CFD
Ansys cooperated with powerflow ? What's with this ?

I heard, cfx should be sold :) What about a combination of ansys and cfx ?

or: Ansys + starcd ? but developement of star depends too much on universities; not the very commercial way of ansys in the last year..

or: Ansys and tascflow ? Only turbomachinery..Is there enough potential with vibrating turbomachinery-components ? perhaps noise...

or ansys and fluent ? fluent is also "very commercial", wide spread, much potential, fluent also wants (!?) to become the leader in turbomachinery with the new gambit-turbo.

A.M.Yang November 9, 2001 04:33

Re: Trends of CFD
Dear Mr. Larsson :

Thank you very much for your wonderful remark!

yfyap November 10, 2001 21:21

Re: Trends of CFD
cfd is used to solve PDEs for fluid problems numerically. let's say that we wake up one day and find that these PDEs have been solved analytically, what would happen to cfd?

An Modh Coinniolach November 11, 2001 13:19

Re: Trends of CFD
It would become really useful in the design process.

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