MSc/PhD course in CFD with OpenSource software, 2010

Also, have a look at the homepages of the previous years: 2009, 2008, 2007

Basic information

The course homepage is

The course is open to master students at the two master programmes at Applied Mechanics (Solid and Fluid dynamics, and Vehicle Engineering), and PhD students enrolled anywhere. Anyone who doesn’t belong to any of those groups must pay a fee of SEK 10000 to cover the faculty financing we don’t get in that case.

Some notes for students at the master programmes Solid and Fluid dynamics, and Vehicle Engineering: You will take this course under course code TME205, which means that you will be graded U/3/4/5. It also means that you can not use that course code for any other course, or if you have already used that course code you can not take this course. Further, make sure that you will not register for more credits than the total credits of your programme (plan your coming courses and master thesis project!!!). We are not allowed to examine more credits than that, which would mean that you are not allowed to take the course. Slightly complicated, but those are rules set up by Chalmers, in accordance with decisions taken by the Swedish government. Please see the formal syllabus of TME205.

If you are interested in taking the course you should contact me at so that I can maintain an e-mail list that will be used for further information until the course starts. Getting closer to the start of the course I will ask for a verification (registration) that you will take the course for sure.


·        You should have a background in Fluid Dynamics, and ideally some CFD experience and/or a course in CFD.

·        The course contains a lot of Linux and C++ programming. In order to be able to follow the lectures, you should make sure that you understand and can use the basic Linux commands presented at the link below.

·        It seems like we will not have access to a computer lab during the course, which means that it is HIGHLY recommended that you make sure that you can run OpenFOAM from your own laptop. See instructions at the link below.


Install Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, OpenFOAM-1.7.x, and OpenFOAM-1.5-dev on your own laptop

Basic Linux commands


The course gives an introduction to the use of OpenSource software for CFD applications. A major project work in OpenFOAM (see the short description below) forms a large part of the course. The project may be defined according to the student's special interests. The result of the project should be a detailed tutorial for a specific application or library of OpenFOAM. The tutorials will be peer-reviewed and graded by the students, and the tutorials thus form a part of the course. The tutorials will be made available as OpenSource, as a contribution to the OpenFOAM community. To pass the course the student must do the project and peer-review the tutorials from the other projects. There will also be some compulsory minor tasks.

The students will learn on the following subjects:

OpenFOAM (Open Field Operation and Manipulation, is developed and distributed by OpenCFD ( OpenFOAM is an object oriented C++ toolbox for solving various systems of partial differential equations using the finite volume method on arbitrary control volume shapes and configurations. It includes preprocessing (grid generator, converters, manipulators, case setup), postprocessing (using OpenSource Paraview), and many specialized CFD solvers are implemented. The features in OpenFOAM are comparable to what is available in the major commercial CFD codes. Some of the more specialized features that are included in OpenFOAM are: sliding grid, moving meshes, two-phase flow (Langrange, VOF, Euler-Euler) and fluid-structure interaction. The strength of OpenFOAM is however the object-oriented approach to generating specialized solvers, utilities and libraries, using a flexible set of C++ modules. OpenFOAM runs in parallel using automatic/manual domain decomposition, and the parallelism is integrated at a low level so that solvers can generally be developed without the need for any parallel-specific coding. Due to the distribution as an OpenSource code it is possible to gain control over the exact implementations of different features, which is essential in research work. It also makes development and tailoring of the code for the specific application possible. In addition to the source code, OpenFOAM gives access to an international community of OpenFOAM researchers through the discussion board at the OpenFOAM home page.

Schedule and Preliminary Contents

tar xzf slides_template.tgz
cd slides_template
latex slides_template
xdvi -paper a4r slides_template
dvipdf slides_template
acroread slides_template.pdf

Student contributions:

Student contributions:

Student reports/tutorials

Here the final, peer-reviewed, student reports/tutorials are listed. The code and cases should work for OF-1.5-dev, OF-1.6.x, or OF-1.7.x on the student computers in the Mechanical Engineering building at Chalmers, at the time of the presentation days of this course.

Project suggestions

(Most of these topics have been discussed a lot in the forum, so it should be possible to find all the answers there)


There is no requirement to buy any book. You have to find the information you need to solve your project and the tasks.

The C++ part of the course is based on C++ Direkt, by Jan Skansholm, Studentlitteratur, which is in Swedish. Any introductory C++ book should be fine. Anyone who is doing CFD is recommended to have the introductory book on CFD by Versteeg and Malalasekera. Another useful book is J.H. Ferziger and M. Peric Computational Methods for Fluid Dynamics 3rd ed. Springer 2002. There is also a lot to find on the Internet, for example:

More information

See the homepages of the course given 2007, 2008 and 2009 for more information. The course for 2010 will develop from the one given in 2009. You can also contact me at

Master Thesis propositions

Design and build a lab rig, and perform laser measurements, for research on convective cooling of generators. (talk to Håkan)
The Dellenback OpenFOAM case-study (talk to Håkan)
Studie av Winter-Kennedy metoden för att bestämma volymflödet i vattenturbiner
Master Theses at Volvo Technology.