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Integration of Computational Fluid Dynamics into an Introductory Fluid Mechanics Course

Wismer, Samantha and Dosse, Lee and Barry, Matthew (2022) Integration of Computational Fluid Dynamics into an Introductory Fluid Mechanics Course. ASTFE Digital Library. pp. 441-447. ISSN 2379-1748

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Traditional didactic collegiate thermal-fluid engineering courses, in particular those without a laboratory component, lack the opportunity for experiential learning, among other beneficial aspects of hands-on learning. The process of conducting experiments and comparing results to theoretical predictions provides invaluable educational experiences, of which include but are not limited to the introspective questioning of established paradigms, the conversion of short-term memories into long-term memory recall through practice, and the ability to be actively engaged in learning through partner or group activities. In an attempt to overcome this deficiency, the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software was integrated into a lecture-based junior-level introductory Fluid Mechanics course. The use of ANSYS CFX, a commercially available CFD software, was used to complement the presentation and instruction of the subject of differential description of fluid motion, namely the Navier-Stokes equations. Students used ANSYS CFX to not only generate visualizations of flow and pressure fields, but also to validate analytic solutions for potential and laminar viscous flows for various geometries, boundary conditions, and fluid properties, after a brief introduction to the theory of the Finite Volume Method. Student perceptions on the use of ANSYS CFX toward their learning and engagement were quantified through mixed-method open- and closed-ended survey questions, which were coded and analyzed to provide qualitative and quantitative feedback. The results of the survey are intended to guide the implementation of CFD into a junior-level mechanical engineering course, with an emphasis on increasing student engagement with the material and satisfaction.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wismer, Samanthasew105@pitt.edusew105
Dosse, Leelad132@pitt.edulad132
Barry, Matthewmmb49@pitt.edummb49
Date: 2022
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: ASTFE Digital Library
Publisher: Begel House Inc.
Page Range: pp. 441-447
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1615/tfec2022.emt.040708
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Engineering Education, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Active Learning
ISSN: 2379-1748
Official URL:,5d2da3f6...
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2022 19:08
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2022 19:08


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