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Introduction to Practical CFD

Why is CFD needed in industrial applications?
What are the differences between the various meshing schemes?
What are the challenges faced in turbulent flow simulations?
How do you assess the accuracy of your numerical solutions?
What are the best practices in CFD simulations?

Get the answers to these questions and more with this industry-leading, code-independent e-learning course.

Introduction to Practical CFD

This 3-session, live online course will cover a range of topics including:

  • Definition, Role, & Basic Formulation;
  • Governing and Model Equations;
  • CFD Process (Geometry & mesh generation, setup, initialization, boundary conditions, solving, monitoring, analysis, and visualization, assessing accuracy of numerical solutions)
  • Turbulence and Heat Transfer Modelling
  • CFD Best Practices

You can either attend the live sessions or take the course on-demand at your leisure.

NAFEMS e-learning gives you the best of both worlds, giving you real, practical knowledge that you can use day-to-day to improve your analyses.

What will you learn?

  • The basics of CFD
  • Finite Difference vs. Finite Volume vs. Finite Elements
  • Pressure vs. Density-based solvers; Implicit vs. Explicit
  • Turbulence and Heat Transfer Modelling
  • Various errors and uncertainties and how to reduce them

What questions will this course answer?

  • What are the differences between various differencing and meshing schemes?
  • What are the basics of turbulence modelling?
  • What are errors and uncertainties in CFD and how do you reduce them?

Who should attend?

  • engineers who are new to CFD simulation
  • engineers who need a refresher on CFD
  • managers working with CFD simulation engineers

This course offers 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. Many of the governing equations will be presented for illustration purposes but will not 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.

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

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 @ .

Course Program

Note: This is a three-week course. Each session represents one 2.5-hour* session each week. The length of each session can vary, depending on Q&A, homework responses, and other contributing factors.

Session 1 Computational Fluid Dynamics: Definition, Role, & Basic Formulation

  • Definitions
  • CFD Process
  • Overcoming Challenges with CFD
  • Use and role in industry
  • Using CFD as a tool
  • The Basics of Formulations
  • Strategy
  • Approximation & Order of Accuracy
  • Explicit vs. Implicit
  • Differencing:
    • Finite Difference
    • Finite Volume
    • Finite Elements
  • Governing Principles:
    • Governing laws
    • Assumptions
    • Simplification and model equations

Session 2 Governing Equations

  • Non-dimensionalization Flow Classification
  • Major Formulations
  • Turbulence:
    • Understanding Turbulence
    • DNS & LES, RANS
    • Turbulence Modeling
  • Heat Transfer:
    • Convection (Forced & Natural)
    • Thermal Boundary Layer
    • Conjugate Heat Transfer
    • Conduction & Radiation

Session 3 Computational Fluid Dynamics Process

  • CFD Process
    • Geometry
    • Meshing
    • Setup
    • Boundary Conditions
    • Solving & Monitoring
    • Visualization
  • Numerical Solutions Accuracy
  • CFD Best Practices
  • CFD Trends


PSE Competencies addressed by this training course 

IDCompetence Statement
CFDco5Review the terms in the differential form of the governing equations for fluid flow and explain their physical significance.
CFDkn2State the Navier-Stokes equations.
CFDkn4List typical boundary conditions for incompressible and compressible flow boundaries.
CFDkn5State the principles of best practice in CFD.
CFDkn7List the main sources of error and uncertainty that may occur in a CFD calculation.
CFDkn8List and define the key terminology used in CFD applications.
CFDkn9Identify sources of archived experimental data for CFD validation.
CFDkn9List and define the range of common numerical grids found in CFD modelling.
CFDco2Compare and contrast the finite difference , finite volume and finite element discretisation methods.
CFDco9Explain the basis of common solution algorithms in steady flows.
CFDco11Discuss the issues and conditions of numerical stability in the numerical solution of unsteady flow problems.
CFDco12Review the issues associated with the estimation of total uncertainty in a flow simulation.
CFDco13Review the range of idealisations that are required in applying CFD methods.
CFDco14Review the pros and cons of gridding approaches commonly applied in CFD methods.
CFDap1Demonstrate the ability to examine a range of flow phenomenon and employ appropriate fluid modelling approaches.
CFDap3Demonstrate the ability to apply boundary conditions correctly for external and internal incompressible flow problems.
CFDap4Demonstrate the ability to select appropriate numerical grids for incompressible and compressible flow problems in complex geometries.
CFDap6Use best practice CFD methods to determine the steady state pressure and velocity distribution for incompressible laminar and turbulent internal flows using RANS approaches.
CFDap7Employ best practice guidelines for the validation of a CFD model.
CFDap8Demonstrate the ability to prepare a comprehensive report on a CFD analysis.
CFDsy1Formulate an analysis strategy identifying, geometry simplifications, physical modelling assumptions, boundary conditions, material properties for laminar and turbulent flow problems.
CFDsy3Formulate a plan to address the uncertainty in input data or modelling when using a CFD code for a design study.


Event Type eLearning
Member Price £236.57 | $295.00 | €278.91
Non-member Price £356.86 | $445.00 | €420.73
Tutor: Kamran Fouladi


Start Date End Date Location

Session Times


Session Times



Introduction to Practical CFD


Three-Session Online Training Course

2.0 hours per session
PDH Credits - 6

Attend the live sessions, or view the recordings at your convenience.

Not Available to Attend this Time?

Would you like us to notify you when the next course is open for enrollment? If so, add yourself to the eLearning Waitlist

Please click here to view the FAQ section, or if you need to contact NAFEMS about this course.

Engineering Board PDH Credits

*It is your individual responsibility to check whether these e-learning courses satisfy the criteria set-out by your state engineering board. NAFEMS does not guarantee that your individual board will accept these courses for PDH credit, but we believe that the courses comply with regulations in most US states (except Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, and New York, where providors are required to be pre-approved)

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) 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.

For NAFEMS cancellation and transfer policy, click here.