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Benchmark October 2022 - 100 Years of CFD - Special Edition

In this Issue:
(click on the titles to download the individual articles)


View From Your Editorial Team

In this special edition of Benchmark, we cast a reflective gaze on the evolution of ComputationalFluid Dynamics (CFD) over the last 100 years and try to imagine what the future might hold forthe discipline. In truth, the foundations are much older than a hundred years. They stretch backto Isaac Newton in the 17thcentury and George Gabriel Stokes in the 19thcentury, and that’smentioning only a few of the many eminent mathematicians, engineers, and scientists who havecontributed to the making of what we today call CFD.

Of course, we cannot talk about CFD in the modern era without talking about Lewis Fry Richardson(LFR) and his seminal work ‘Weather Prediction by Numerical Process’. Published 100 years ago, in1922, LFR’s work laid the foundations of the modern weather forecast.

LFR was a fascinating character: a Quaker and a pacificist, in 1916 during the first world war, he joinedan ambulance unit on the Western Front. Undeterred by the fighting around him, he undertook hiscalculations from muddy trenches and cold, wet billets in his spare time. At one point he decided toattempt to numerically ‘hindcast’ the weather for an area of western Europe using the publishedweather data for that particular date. His now famous work soon demonstrated the enormity of thetask, and he realised that he would need thousands of computers (people!) to calculate the one-dayweather forecast.

In this issue, Peter Lynch’s article reviews LFR’s work in much more detail and shows (with the benefitof a certain amount of hindsight) how good LFR’s predictions were.

To illustrate the evolution of CFD during the last century, we have constructed a timeline using forwardand backward referencing from various reviews to develop a chronology for the publication dates of keypapers. In fact, there are several strands to the timeline representing the contributions from physical/fluid-dynamic, mathematical, numerical/ computational, algorithmic, and technological (computer)developments.

The development of CFD has been a truly evolutionary process with many, many contributors anddevelopments on different fronts, it is virtually impossible to recognise all of them in a single magazineissue. Necessarily, ours is a somewhat personalised view of the history of CFD and its continuedevolution.

To help develop a more rounded picture of CFD, we have engaged with several of NAFEMS’ commercialand academic partners and collaborators to find out their thoughts on the current CFD challenges andhow CFD might evolve in the coming decades. Their collected views form the basis of two furtherarticles. Our commercial contributors include, amongst others, Siemens, Simulia, and Flow Science.And we have Professors Uwe Janoske (Bergische Universität Wuppertal), Nikos Markatos (NationalTechnical University of Athens), Koulis Pericleous (University of Greenwich), and Spencer Sherwin(Imperial College) to give us the academic angle.

And finally, we have illustrated the magazine with several panels of real CFD cases that demonstrateits importance in the modern world. We hope you enjoy this special edition of Benchmark.

David Kelsall, Steve Howell, Uwe Janoske & David Quinn

Document Details

Date 31st October 2022


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