Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 423: Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics

Quarter Offered

None : MW 9:30-10:50am ; N. Patankar


What it’s about

Computational fluid dynamics is an important tool to investigate fluid flow problems in industry and academia. This course can be taken without prior background in computational techniques. A background of fundamental fluid dynamics, partial differential equations, linear algebra and a programming language is desirable. The primary focus of this course is to gain a solid foundation of numerical methods for convection-diffusion problems. The emphasis is on the physical meaning underlying the required mathematics. A control volume method, which is a robust physically intuitive numerical approach, widely used in industry and academia alike, is taught.


An outline is given below:

Introduction: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) – a research, modeling and design tool, historical perspective, commercial CFD packages, mathematical description of physical phenomena, a brief discussion of discretization methods – finite difference, finite element, control volume methods.

Introduction to control volume method – the focus of this course.

Numerical solution of diffusion-type equations: Steady one-dimensional conduction, unsteady one-dimensional conduction, two and three-dimensional situations.

Numerical solution of convection-diffusion-type equations: Steady one-dimensional convection-diffusion, discretization equation in two and three-dimensions.

Numerical solution of fluid flow equations: Discretization of continuity and momentum equations for fluid flow, pressure-based algorithms – SIMPLE & SIMPLER.


There will be homeworks, a term project and in-class exams.


Suhas V. Patankar, Numerical Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow, Hemisphere Publishing Corp., 1980.