How is it possible to efficiently manage the growing complexity and number of regulations and certification procedures facing OEMs and suppliers across industries when they must have early confidence in the safe, clean, and productive performance of their new lightweight, electrified designs?
With this background, the 9th OpenFOAM1 Conference took place earlier in October but before I start sharing with you the key takeaways from industry leaders, let me share a thought-provoking citation of two physicists: “When I meet the Lord, I would like to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I believe he will have an answer for the first.” This well-known saying, credited to one of two physicists, Werner Heisenberg or Horace Lamb, is probably apocryphal, but it literally reflects the difficulties of understanding the convoluted behavior of turbulence in fluid flows. As Dr. Philippe Spalart, former Senior Technical Fellow at Boeing and NASA, presented during his keynote, turbulence is “that elephant in the room that everybody is trying to study”. As if being able to see the full picture wasn’t a big enough challenge already, “Nature doesn’t ask your permission; she does not care about your wishes, and whether you like her laws or not, you are bound to accept her as she is, and consequently all her conclusions”. [i] So, in a nutshell, no matter how many physical models we develop, nature doesn’t care about mathematical equations and continues to keep us on our toes. Because of this conundrum, and the fact that we cannot change the characteristics of nature, the only option we have for better predictivity is to bring human experiences together and build out the technical foundation to eventually be able to see the entire room and what’s behind the elephant standing in it.
Open research and collaboration in different areas of numerics, multiphase & turbulence modeling, supercomputing, and application areas is the way many academic and industrial leaders are defying these challenges using OpenFOAM - the open source CFD code developed, maintained and QA-released every six months and made available to the community by ESI Group.
For a long time, OpenFOAM has been a platform for scientists and engineers to virtually experiment with technological innovations and digitally test flows in real-world scenarios. By making highly scalable solutions accessible to a broad user base globally and across industries, the software has been driving the democratization of numerical simulation and contributes to the understanding that digital model results increasingly serve as the reference, pushing physical test to the back burner.
There isn’t a more economical or sustainable alternative to cost- and time intense physical trials than simulating and virtually testing fluid dynamics problematics.
The community met virtually at the annual OpenFOAM Conference to share insights into the latest results from their work with the software, whether for state-of-the-art industrial applications or research & innovation. The conference featured 40 presentations between plenary and parallel sessions, with GNS Systems and NVIDIA as main sponsors.
Here are some of my key takeaways for the next steps on the path to democratization:
This conference has highlighted that the OpenFOAM platform is propelling forward with several bright lights in its future and a growing community of brilliant minds who collaboratively work on new models that will one day reveal the full picture. We’ve seen amazing progress and achievements in the past decade, and I am excited to see my CFD peers share new applications at next year’s user event.
If this article left you hungry for more, we invite you to watch the recording of the 10th OpenFOAM conference, which was held on november 2022. Click here to access.
You can also sign-up for one of OpenCFD's training courses to improve your simulation capabilities.
To see our training and courses schedule and to book online, click here.