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Old   May 3, 2005, 12:17
Default Career Advice
Andy Smallbone
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I am seeking some career advice from anybody in the CFD/combustion industry, I am considering attending a two day short course in CFD (~£1000, rather a lot for a recently completed PhD student) and am wondering if it would actually improve my employability enough to warrant the cost.

I am keen to work in the area of predictive combustion modelling, for the last 5 years, I have been developing more reliable predictive combustion and autoignition/knock models for commercial/reference fuels in spark ignition engines. The project was very successful, I earned a PhD and the findings were sold to many of the major european automotive companies. More recently my work has been successfully extended to predictive HCCI/CAI combustion processes.

My problem is that I developed software in 1D, however it seems that industry mostly uses 3D CFD for their combustion modelling – I feel that this fact is limiting my current job prospects.

Since, I would of course need to purchase some CFD software, which code would you recommend? Are there any that are free to those who are only learning, if so where can I obtain it? I would appreciate any help given.
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Old   May 4, 2005, 08:20
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I think it add something to both your experience and resume. I have no experience in combustion modeling. I used FLUENT for my years.
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Old   May 4, 2005, 09:32
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Márcio Ricardo
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Did you take a look at OpenFOAM? I'm not sure if it includes combustion models, but, since the source code is available, you surely can add them to the software.
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Old   May 4, 2005, 16:35
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My former Phd colleagues can be divided into two groups. First group does a cut and started in even completely different working field. In this case the employer expects from the Phd to be able to solve complex high level problems. The employer does not expect that you have every special education you may need. Often the employer pays the required special education.

The second group continues more or less what they have done in their Phd thesis. Clearly in this case the employer buys not only you but also your know-how. The more you have the better are your chances. However, combustion is a wide field. Combustion problems may include radiation, multiphase, surface reaction and complex turbulent flows. Any of this topics can fill some short course which is worth 1000 pounds, dollar, euro or whatever. Can an employer expect that you are expert in any of this fields at the start of your career?

The value of special FLUENT, STAR CD, FIRE or whatever course is also limited for you, because it has less value for all companies using an other code. Okay you have demonstrated that your are able to learn to drive a commercial code. But not more.

Final remark: I am not from UK. My experience may be country specific.

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