Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics

Target group

Members of the Doctoral School of (Bioscience) Engineering


All PhD students


The course discusses the numerical methods and the turbulence models as implemented in the commercial package Fluent. There is intensive training with the package. The course does not treat methods for development of algorithms and models. There is no programming involved.
The course follows the book “An Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics: The Finite Volume Method” of H.K. Versteeg and W. Malalasekera (V&M), Pearson Education Limited, Second Edition, 2007. The book can be obtained from a bookshop or from internet, but purchase of the book is not necessary. The methods and the models are described in condensed form in the user’s guide of the package Fluent. In addition, short course notes are distributed by the lecturers.


Prof Dr Ir Joris Degroote, Prof Dr Ir Bart Merci and researchers from their teams


Course week: 19-23 September 2016

Monday 19 September 2016

09:00-10:15 Lecture 1: Grids and spatial discretisation (Chapter 11 V&M)
Body fitted grids, block structured grids, unstructured grids, cell-centred and vertex-based finite volume formulations

Lecture 2: Equations + Transport mechanisms (Chapter 2 V&M)
Conservation equations for mass, momentum and energy, equations of state, relation between physical behaviour and mathematical properties of partial differential equations, role of characteristics in hyperbolic equations

13:00-14:15 Lecture 3: Equations + Transport mechanisms (Continued)

Exercises 1+2: Introduction to Ansys Fluent and WorkBench

Drawing, meshing, boundary conditions and settings


Tuesday 20 September 2016

09:00-10:15 Lecture 4: Finite volume methods for diffusion problems and convection-diffusion problems (Chapter 4 and first part of Chapter 5 V&M)
One-dimensional steady diffusion, two-dimensional steady diffusion, one-dimensional steady convection-diffusion, central differencing, upwind differencing, hybrid differencing, two-dimensional steady convection-diffusion
10:30-11:45 Lecture 5: Higher-order differencing for convection-dominated convection-diffusion (Par 5.9 and 5.10 V&M)
Quadratic upwind differencing, stability problems of higher order differences, TVD-schemes
13:00-14:15 Lecture 6: Solution of discretised equations (Chapter 7 V&M)
Tridiagonal matrix algorithm, line-by-line iteration in two and three dimensions, point-iterative methods, acceleration by multigrid techniques

Exercises 3+4: Thermal problem

Numerical diffusion, grid alignment and grid convergence

Wednesday 21 September 2016

09:00-11:45 Lectures 7+8: Turbulence modelling (Chapter 3 V&M)
Transition and turbulence, descriptors of turbulent flows, free turbulent flows, boundary layer flows, Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, eddy viscosity and eddy diffusivity, standard k-ε model, wall functions, wall damping. Introduction to advanced RANS turbulence models: RSM, RNG k-ε, k-ω, SST, ASM, NLEVM. Introduction to LES and DNS
13:00-17:15 Exercises 5+6+7: Backward facing step
Laminar and turbulent flow, choice of turbulence model and wall treatment

Thursday 22 September 2016

09:00-11:45 Lectures 9+10: Pressure-velocity coupling (Chapter 6 V&M)
Risk for pressure oscillations. Pressure-velocity coupling in a convective system. Momentum interpolation, SIMPLE-algorithm

Exercises 8+9+10: Steady supersonic flow over an airfoil

Adaptive refinement, separation prediction

Friday 23 September 2016

09:00-11:45 Lectures 11+12: Unsteady flows of compressible and incompressible fluids (Chapter 8 V&M)
Explicit, implicit and semi-implicit time stepping

Exercises 11+12: Pressure waved in a tank

Transient flows with density based stepping methods, subcritical and supercritical, implicit and explicit time integration, time step size selection


Lectures: Ghent University, Department of Flow, Heat and Combustion Mechanics, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, Technicum Building 4, 3rd floor, lecture room 3.1 Stromingstechniek)

Exercises: Ghent University, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Jozef Plateaustraat 22, Plateau, PC room B




Maximum 25 participants are allowed

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools

Registration procedure

Registration by e-mail to Prof. Degroote (please mention your student nr):

Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Presence + practical exercises during the course week