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Practical Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

NAFEMS e-Learning Course  

Practical CFD - Four-Week Online Training Course - one 2-hour session per week 


Course Overview

Fluid mechanics is the study of fluids (gases and liquids) either in motion or at rest and it is divided to major disciplines: fluid statics (fluids at rest) and fluid dynamics (fluid in motion). Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is one of three branches of fluid dynamics dedicated to study of fluids in motion.

Experimental and theoretical (analytical) fluid dynamics were two widely practiced branches before 1970’s and 1980’s. Theoretical fluid dynamics involves solution of differential equations while Experimental fluid dynamics involves building a physical model and testing that model in a wind tunnel or other facilities. However, with advent of digital computer, a third approach was born.

The differential equations describing fluid dynamics problems are generally a system of non-linear partial differential equations with irregular boundaries, which are often too difficult to solve without the aid of computers. Additionally, experimental fluid dynamics often has to deal with challenges such as instrumentation, intrusive measurements, testing at small scale, high cost of model and testing, long fabrication lead-time, and limited information.

CFD is computer-based simulation of predicting what will happen when fluids (gases & liquids) flow and complements experimental and analytical approaches by providing an alternative cost-effective mean of simulating real-life flow problems.

CFD has now become a leading research, educational, and design tool. It is being used to better understand physical events and processes and perform numerical experiments (analogous to wind tunnel tests). As an education tool, CFD is used to understand concepts of fluid flow and expose students to expanded range of flow problems. Most importantly, CFD has now become a design tool by providing capabilities to facilitate design optimization, reduce design bottlenecks and improve engineering performance, enhance communications, and answer what-if questions.

Computational Fluid Dynamics has become an essential tool to predict fluid motion, which may include heat and mass transfer, phase change, and mechanical movement of boundaries. CFD is now routinely used to solve complex flow problems in the aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronics, environmental, biomedical industries.

The course is completely code independent.

A full set of notes in PDF format will be available for download. Each session is presented live and is available for review via a streamable recording.

Personal passwords are provided to allow you to access e-learning backup material via our special bulletin board. Reading lists, homework submissions, supplementary data are all stored as files on the bulletin board.

Interaction via the bulletin board is strongly encouraged to obtain the most from the e-learning class. Typically the board runs for 4 weeks after the last live class sessions, giving you plenty of time to catch up with homework, review and ask questions.

Note: homework is purely voluntary!

Course Process and Details 

This e-learning course runs over a four week period with a single two hour session per week.

This course offers the attendees the fundamental knowledge for using CFD in real life engineering applications. Through a simple and moderately technical approach, this course describes the steps in the CFD process and provides benefits and issues for using CFD analysis in understanding of complicated flow phenomena and its use in the design process. Best practices for reducing errors and uncertainties in CFD analysis are also presented in the course. Many of the governing equations will be presented for illustration purposes and they would be dealt in depth in this course. Strong effort is made for the course to be  CFD software neutral. However, examples from some of the more well known and popular software will be used throughout the sessions. 

  • Interaction is encouraged throughout the course. Students are welcome to send in problems from industry and these will be discussed as time permits.

  • Full notes are provided for the students, together with personal passwords for e-learning backup material, bulletin board access, etc.

Students will join the audio portion of the meetings by utilizing the VoIP (i.e. headset connected to the computer via headphone and microphone jacks) or by calling into a standard toll line. If you are interested in additional pricing to call-in using a toll-free line, please send an email to: e-learning @ .

Who Should Attend?

The target audience for this course is engineers and managers with limited CFD knowledge who are interested or considering to incorporate CFD in their design practices. The material that is presented is independent of any particular software package, making it ideally suited to current and potential users of all commercial and non-commercial CFD software systems.

E-learning classes are ideal for companies with a group of engineers requiring training. E-learning classes can be provided to suit your needs and timescale. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Course Program

Note:This is a four-week course. Each session represents one 2-hour session each week.

Session 1 - CFD: Definition, Role, & Basic Formulation

  • What is CFD and why is it needed?
  • CFD use and its role in industry
  • Basic Formulation
    • Finite difference
    • Finite volume

Session 2 - Governing Equations

  • Governing equations
  • Simplification & model equations
  • Turbulence
  • Heat Transfer


Session 3 - CFD Process

  • The CFD Steps
  • Geometry & mesh generation
  • Setup, initialization, & boundary conditions
  • Solving & monitoring
  • Analysis & visualization
  • Assessing accuracy of numerical solutions


Session 4 - Best Practices & Chronicle

  • Use of CFD for engineering estimates
  • Presenting computational results in a useful fashion
  • CFD Issues
  • A brief history of CFD
  • CFD future

Feedback from former e-Learning students:

"This course did everything right. From organization to presentation to interaction, this is a good model for what online training should be."  B.T.  

"Super! Doesn't get better than this. Good idea to start having e-Learning courses." R.P.

"I'm really happy not to pay a big fraction of my annual training budget to airlines and hotels. A BIG plus to e-learning." V.G.

Special Note(s):

Telephony surcharges may apply for attendees who are located outside of North America, South America and Europe. These surcharges are related to individuals who join the audio portion of the web-meeting by calling in to the provided toll/toll-free teleconferencing lines. We have made a VoIP option available so anyone attending the class can join using a headset (headphones w/ microphone) connected to the computer. There is no associated surcharge to utilize the VoIP option, and is actually encouraged to ensure NAFEMS is able to keep the e-Learning course fees as low as possible. Please send an email to the e-Learning coordinator (e-learning @ ) to determine if these surcharges may apply to your specific case. 

Just as with a live face-to-face training course, each registration only covers one person. If you plan to register a large group (10+), please send an email to e-learning @ in advance for group discounts.


Upcoming Sessions:

    Course Tutor:
    Kamran Fouladi

    Kamran Fouladi - NAFEMS Tutor

    Read Kamran Fouladi's bio on the NAFEMS Tutors Page