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CFDTutor - A CFD Teaching Program
Posted Mon June 23, 2003 @09:06AM
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News The IITZeus Group of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay has launched a technical product, CFDTutor on 7th June 2003. This is tailor-made to suit pedagogical requirements in the analysis of fundamental fluid flow problems in engineering. It can also serve as a 'virtual laboratory' tool for institutions which cannot bear the expenses of a full aerodynamic experimental installation.

The product is the first commercial spin-off of pioneering research & development, spanning a whole decade, by the aforesaid group in the field of CFD. This is for the first time that IIT is venturing to offer its product in the market. The marketing will be handled by GNG India.

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CFD stands for Computational Fluid Dynamics or simply, the use of computers to solve standard engineering problems related to fluid flow. This application-oriented technique is not new, though still in the developmental stage as far as industrial application & academic research in India is concerned. It is of pivotal importance in the field of computer aided engineering (or CAE) & can save remarkable amounts of experimental effort, man-hours & capital in the high-end engineering sector, especially: aerospace, automotive & chemical industry. Besides, it also finds application in the field of structural design in civil engineering.

There are many firms (all foreign), which sell proprietary CFD software. Almost all of them cater only to the industry and develop software meant for large firms, which is sold at an extremely high cost. CFDTutor is the first software product of its kind which has been developed keeping in view the educational value of CFD. A direct ramification of this move will be the introduction of 'Computational Fluid Dynamics' as a course in many engineering colleges. This will help to give a much better understanding of basic fluid flow engineering to students of mechanical/chemical/civil/environmental/aerospace engineering fields, thereby enhancing R&D and vocational prospects for Indian engineers.

CFD is an application-oriented field. Albeit, there are many high-end engineering firms interested in using CFD for their engineering designs, the biggest shortcoming is the lack of trained manpower to execute CFD programs and understand the results produced by such complex software. The software CFDTutor is an ideal solution for this purpose, as it enables direct & hugely simplified user-interaction to analyse flow field problems.

It is note worthy that the Department of Aerospace Engineering of IIT Bombay has also taken up the job of disseminating technology to teachers/professors of other engineering colleges, in this niche area, through various programmes to improve the quality of technical education in India. The objective is to impart technical training & complement it with the educational tool, provided on a low-cost commercial basis, for trying out and experimenting with at their respective colleges.

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