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It is our pleasure to announce James Bertwistle as the winner of the 2015 CD-adapco Calendar Contest. This year again, contestants from all around the world submitted images of exceptional quality. James’s entry, which represents the Wind Effects around Tall London Buildings, scooped the first prize owing to its beautiful and accurate representation of urban wind flow, as used in environmental impact assessments for new building developments during the planning application process.

CD-adapco calendar contest winner James Bertwistle and his team at WSP

James is an expert user of STAR-CCM+®, having started working at WSP nearly 10 years ago as a graduate from the University of Leeds CFD Masters course. He is now the Associate Director of WSP’s Computational Fluid Dynamics group in the UK, leading a team of CFD modeling engineers specializing in performance-based design for the built environment.

I met up with James to find out exactly how he applies simulation to real-world engineering problems.

Spend time in the boardrooms or around the water coolers of Houston, and the subject will soon turn to the day’s oil price. Due to a combination of anemic global economic growth and, among other things, the supply side revolution of North American Shale, the oil price has plummeted by almost 30% in the past 3 months. As I write this blog WTI* is trading at a 5 year low, leaving the industry contemplating the considerable challenge of operating at $70 per barrel.

Engineering Design in a time of Falling Oil Prices

While each company’s view on how to tackle this new paradigm will differ, for many it will be to continue the day job (deliver quality, innovative products and solutions), but at reduced time and cost, without compromising safety.

It’s my belief that first principles approach, based engineering simulation tools  such as those we (CD-adapco) deliver, will be a key enabler, as companies will increasingly rely on simulation based design exploration.  The initial driver will be to reduce engineering cost and time, but they’ll also benefit from simulation as an innovation enabler. 

As an engineering educator, do you wonder how to meet the needs of industry today while researching and developing technology for future generations?  As a professional, do you stay awake at night wondering if tomorrow’s engineers will be prepared for engineering success on your real-world applications?  Countries around the world are forecasting a shortage of engineers in the coming years and there is speculation today’s engineering graduates are lacking the necessary skills and abilities needed to be successful in current and future engineering environments.

How do we meet the needs of industry in the 21st century while researching and developing technology for future generations? How do we prepare tomorrow’s engineers for engineering success on real-world applications? The answer is simple: we must all work together. By “we,” I mean academia, industry and (for the purposes of this Blog) CD-adapco as an engineering tool provider.

Academia and industry have been successfully collaborating together for over 100 years. When industry and academia work together to push the boundaries, they form a powerful team capable of driving innovation and economic growth. Moving forward, there needs to be more open communication and collaboration between industry and academia to understand and address the qualities and skills engineering graduates should possess when transitioning from academia to industry. This means collaboration needs to expand from research labs and into the classroom.

Bridging the Gap Between Academia and Industry

The other day, my designing skills were put to the test. A tad too far. I was using the 3D-CAD modeler in STAR-CCM+. I mean my final design objective was nothing compared to what some of the STAR-CCM+ users are able to build: did you ever see this STAR-Bike built in 3D-CAD?!

 

STAR-Bike image

It’s been said that education and competition are two of the most important ingredients in life. There is no doubt that education (whether it be formal or informal) is a primary key to success, and the roots of education reside in competition. Throughout your educational career, you will continuously compete and I can guarantee - it won’t stop when you graduate! Whether you are in a contest to be the fastest runner on the playground, the National Spelling Champion or up against a number of other MBAs for a plum job at a Fortune 500 company, competition will always play a part in your life.

To recognize and encourage the innovative use of our software, the CD-adapco Global Academic Program is announcing the first ever STAR-CCM+ SIMULATION APP CONTEST! Using the Simulation Assistant in STAR-CCM+, we challenge you to develop an App which captures best practices.

2D simulation is a great way to test out designs and boundary conditions, personally I use it all the time when I am setting up a complex case for the first time or just playing with a new feature.
Historically in STAR-CCM+ there wasn’t a pipelined way to build and run 2D meshes, but now with version 9.06 there are two new features that will put that problem to rest.

2D Mesher in STAR-CCM+

Being able to plot solution quality metrics while your simulation is running, that is, live-processing as opposed to post-processing, is one of the most distinctive functional aspects of STAR-CCM+. This lets you critically interrogate your results and make changes on-the-fly, thereby increasing your productivity. There are many very capable 3rd party plotting tools available. However working with them requires exporting and importing data, adding several steps to your workflow and making it difficult to automate. Still, there’s an argument to be made that plotted results need to be legible and, to a degree, customizable. With this release, we have targeted visual plot quality as an area for improvement.

residence time on several axial cross sections for flow in a simple curved tube

When we initially consider the analysis of unsteady phenomena in turbomachinery, aeroelasticity and aeroacoustics, we’re quickly confronted by the simulation cost – transient analyses by their very nature will simply take longer to run compared to steady ones. And for these types of problems, where the simulation objectives (understanding of flutter and limit cycle oscillations for example) demand a time-dependent treatment, the time steps need to be small and the physical time required can be long. Not that this isn’t challenging enough, usually, the entire machine needs to be modeled at a high level of spatial fidelity, thereby driving up the size and cost of the analysis even further. But, all is not lost– enter the Harmonic Balance method, first introduced with STAR-CCM+ 4.04 in 2009, capable of delivering at least a 10-fold reduction in your time to a solution. And, that’s not the only benefit to be had with this approach – it’s possible to mesh just a single blade passage through all the blade rows in your machine and obtain a solution which varies from blade-to-blade, capturing critical blade row interactions.

Harmonic Balance post-processing

Overset Mesh is one of the coolest technologies in STAR-CCM+ as it allows objects to move around your computational domain freely without tying your mesh in knots, be that an overtaking car, an excavator arm, or the complex multiple motions involved in a production line. The motion does not even have to be prescribed, the Dynamic Fluid Body Interaction (DFBI) model allows you to solve for motion, in six degrees of freedom or less, based on the forces and moments acting on a body, such as a boat on a free surface, or a ball in a ball valve. To date, however, there has been one major constraint when using Overset Mesh, namely that all gaps had to be resolved with at least 2-4 cells, however small the gap, for Overset Mesh to work correctly. This limitation meant that for some cases with very small gaps, users had to choose between excessive cell counts or increasing the gap size in an unphysical manner.

No Need to Mind the Gap

The upcoming release of STAR-CCM+ v9.06 removes that constraint with the introduction of gap handling for Overset Mesh via the new “Zero Gap” Interface type.

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Brigid Blaschak
Communications Specialist
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Stephen Ferguson
Communications Manager
Tammy de Boer
Global Academic Program Manager
Sabine Goodwin
Senior Engineer, Technical Marketing
Joel Davison
Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Prashanth Shankara
Technical Marketing Engineer