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 enginners directly exclude chapters with important topics like flow of water with fast variation on space and/or time. By example, "Open Channel Hydraulics" (V. T. Chow) have a chapter that only says someting 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.
- This cause existence of handbooks with standar structures to be strictly copyed, with poor degrees of freedom to designers, or use of big coefficients of security to overcome uncertainties.
- Running a CFD simulation.
- Many CFD simulations run too slow in today 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.