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When my son graduated from University a few years ago with his shiny new degree in Accounting, he was eager to land his first “real job.” One that didn’t involve wearing a paper hat or asking if you’d like fries with that.

After a several interviews it became clear that he was lacking a key skill that most hiring managers were looking for: exposure and/or experience with the commercial software the company was using for their accounting process. It was shocking to learn that he had never been exposed to any of the commercial tools that are heavily used in the industry for which he was preparing to enter. Although he graduated with a strong understanding of accounting principles, future employers expected that knowledge to be coupled with hands-on experience with their standard tools.

Ah, summer holidays, the beach, the sun, brain-matter replaced from thoughts of velocities, pressures and optimizations with pina coladas… Except that I went camping close to a river. Of course, you know what happens when a CFD engineer watches a river for too long? He sees streamlines, algae flowing around bridge pillars in neat flow paths, and immediately spots a leaf following the path of least resistance… and wonders what the residence time of that leaf is. So this all got me thinking about work again.

Wild River image

Before I left for my holidays, I was trying to showcase the recirculation zones in our latest invention. Nothing would portray them as badly as I felt they were. I tried vectors, I tried streamlines, I tried scalars and overlaying various field functions on various derived parts. Nothing would do it. I'm not a Colorful Fancy Designer, I'm Dr Mesh and my speciality is meshing, so I really need to learn about these post-processing things. I read with eagerness the posts from Matthew Godo.

I ran across an article the other day that made me, ahem... perk up. CFD was used to simulate roasting coffee beans! Coffee is something I know AND care about. But why would CFD be needed for something as "non-techie" as roasting beans? Like everything else under the sun, it comes down to plain ol' chemistry. The final flavor profile of the bean will vary widely based on temperature and roast time.

Obnoxious Latte

I spent most of my career in industry running free, open source CFD tools and it was not until I started using STAR-CCM+®  a few years back that it finally dawned on me : free simulation software often comes with a hefty price tag. I understand that this may sound like a contradiction in terms, after all it doesn’t get any cheaper than downloading a code with one click of a mouse and having the freedom to use, modify and share it without spending a dime. But there is a far- reaching hidden cost that must be factored in when considering the true value of your simulation software: your time spent making it work. And how much is that time worth?

My involvement in the World Cup is a little more personal since my first project at CD-adapco involved the aerodynamics of soccer balls. The 2010 World Cup ball, the Adidas Jabulani, had its fair share of criticism due to its shallower seams and 8-panel design leading to erratic flight paths. The ball was difficult to control for the players and rumors have it that some goalkeepers still have recurring nightmares of the ball. In 2010, CD-adapco teamed up with Wilson Sporting Goods to study the aerodynamic behavior of soccer balls and the impact of the newer panel designs.

I am not a soccer fan, but all the men in my life are fanatics and thus World Cup fever has taken over the Goodwin household. You might be surprised at what happens when an uninterested CFD engineer is forced to watch soccer...

During the opening session of the STAR Global Conference earlier this year, Didier Halbronn, CD-adapco Vice President of European Sales, spoke about our ongoing commitment in the field of multi-disciplinary design exploration (MDX). In this blog I want to highlight a couple of new features in v9.04 of STAR-CCM+ that approach this in different ways.

CFD optimization CFD

In an effort to make STAR-CCM+ even faster on a broader range of problem types STAR-CCM+ v9.04 (which is released next week) will offer Concurrent Per-Part Meshing (which is a bit of a mouth full, so we'll call it CCPM instead).

Now, I'm sure you're asking yourself, ‘What’s the difference between CPPM and regular parallel meshing?’

Concurrent Per-Part Concurrent

...you can't beat the gas mileage!

It all started in 1982 when Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins built a solar-powered car and drove it across the entire continent of Australia. Driven by the success of their vehicle, aptly named "Quiet Achiever", they encouraged others to push the limits of alternative energy vehicles. Five years later, the very first World Solar Challenge was born. Every other year since, teams from across the globe - prominent universities and private organizations alike - converge in Darwin, Australia to make the 3.000 km trek south to Adelaide in their solar-powered vehicles using regular ol' public roads and minimal camping gear for the seven-day journey.

Emilia III

One of the great things about working for CD-adapco is that I get to see a lot of cool animations that illustrate the exciting capabilities that are coming soon in STAR-CCM+. The frustrating part is that usually I can’t share these with you until just before the new feature is released. Which is why today I’m excited to show you two of my favorites, which I find myself watching over and over again. Both videos illustrate the new contact model for the DFBI (Dynamic Fluid Body Interaction) solver in STAR-CCM+ v9.04, which allows you to directly model contact and collisions between moving bodies and boundaries.

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Brigid Blaschak
Communications Specialist
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Stephen Ferguson
Communications Manager
Sabine Goodwin
Senior Engineer, Technical Marketing
Joel Davison
Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Prashanth Shankara
Technical Marketing Engineer
James Clement
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager