Computational Fluid Dynamics and High Performance Computing

In Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), numerical methods are used to solve the mathematical equations governing fluid flow. On computers, the physical events that occur in the flow of fluids around and within designated objects can be simulated. CFD is fundamentally interdisciplinary and the development of CFD algorithms draws from extensive experience in mathematical, computational, and engineering knowledge. CFD has become an indispensable tool for engineering. Advances in CFD algorithms have increasingly enabled the simulation of complex flow phenomena. Furthermore, advances in high performance computing (HPC) have drastically reduced the turn-around times for complex simulations. HPC refers to the use of massively parallel supercomputers for running advanced application programs efficiently and reliably. However, next-generation computer architectures are both a blessing and a curse; the promise of increased computation power allows for high-fidelity modeling and simulation, yet the hardware is becoming increasingly difficult to use effectively. For example, one of the most vexing problems with future computer architectures is that the ratio of compute capability to memory bandwidth is projected to continually increase. It is becoming increasingly difficult for algorithm developers to optimize large scale applications for modern computer architectures due to the increasing complexity of these architectures. Our research on CFD and HPC will help address challenges such as multi-scale and multi-physics modeling, model validation and verification, new programming models, handling large data, and visualization. Equally important, we will educate the next-generation of CFD engineers and scientists.

Our research thrusts focus on developing HPC-CFD algorithms and applying them to aerospace engineering.

Specifically, we aim to:

  1. advance state-of-the-art HPC CFD algorithms on energy-efficient parallel computer architectures for applications to aerospace propulsion system design and analysis, including airfoil design, engine fan systems, and gas turbine combustor systems.
  2. design, analyze, and optimize next generation low-emission and high-efficiency gas turbine combustor systems and turbomachinery with geometric complexity.
  3. achieve full engine simulations with large eddy simulation on leadership computing facilities.
  4. develop new programming models that allow engineers to efficiently program next-generation supercomputers.