Tuesday, September 8, 2015

An Update on the International Workshops on High-Order CFD Methods

The most recent workshop, the 3rd International Workshop on High-Order CFD Methods, took place on January 3-4, 2015 just before the 53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida (Orlando). The workshop was co-chaired by H.T. Huynh of NASA Glenn Research Center and Norbert Kroll of DLR, and sponsored by NASA,  AIAA, DLR and the Army Research Office.

Participants came from all over the world, including students, researchers and practitioners from academia, industry and government labs. A wide variety of methods were covered by the attendees. The final agenda and other details from the Workshop are contained on the following NASA web site:


There are still many unfinished businesses, including high-order mesh generation, robust error estimates and hp-adaptations, and efficient solution methods on extreme scale parallel computers. Please mark your calendar for the 4th Workshop which will take place in the breathtaking Greek island, Crete, on the 3rd and 4th of June 2016 just before the Eccomas / 6th European Conference on CFD (ECFD VI). ECCOMAS will feature a dedicated minisymposium, during which selected participants  will be able to present their results. The Workshop cases and other details are contained here:

Hope to see many of you in Greece!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Happy Birthday to Academician Zhang Hanxin, China's CFD Pioneer

I did not know anything about CFD when I started college. My childhood dream was to be a fighter aircraft pilot. In the countryside where my parents taught schools (Jiangtou, Leiyang, Hunan), I often saw aircraft flying in the sky, and was fascinated by them. My fascination to aircraft grew even stronger because of a dream. When you are a young kid, the teachers' words are like the Bible. I still remember my physical education (PE) teacher telling us not to wear white clothes at night outside because enemy planes might see us from the sky, and even shoot us. That evening, I had the weirdest dream which I still remember to this day. In the dream, my best friend and I were playing and running in the rice field. Out of nowhere, a plane looking like a soucer appeared afar in the sky. Remembering what the teacher said during the day, I immediately gestured my friend to run for our lives, and we did. The soucer also spotted us, and started to chase and shoot at us. Suddenly, I was shot, and actually died in my own dream. The dream, however, continued with my friend running to my home, telling my parents that I was dead. I got to visualize what's happening lying there dead, without any pain...

I had to give up my pilot dream early in my childhood because I cannot handle spins and had a deep scar in my head. When I was admitted to National University of Defense Technology (NUDT, which, by the way, produced the fastest computer in the world right now according to top500.org), I chose the Department of Applied Mechanics, which had majors in rockets and missiles. I was put in the major of solid rocket engines. During my junior year, I decided to switch major to aerodynamics. Shortly after that, Academician Zhang Hanxin, who is a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, visited NUDT, and introduced me to CFD, which I was immediately attracted to. In my final semester, I spent 3 months doing a senior design project at the China Aerodynamic Research and Development Center (CARDC) in Mianyang, Sichuan to study the artificial compressibility method developed by Professor Zhang. My direct project advisor was Mr. He Fangshang, who told me many stories about Academician Zhang. The favorite one was that Prof. Zhang remembered exactly which pages all the equations were on after he studied a book, for only once. The senior design project was a wonderful experience, which completely hooked me to CFD.

After obtaining my BS degree, I decided to pursue a MS degree at NUDT under the direction of Professor Zhang, who was also an adjunct professor of NUDT. I spent about three or four months in CARDC in 1986 to attend Professor Zhang's lectures on total variation diminishing (TVD) schemes before leaving for Glasgow University in Scotland to pursue my PhD degree sponsored by the Sino-British Friendship Scholarship Scheme. My PhD thesis title was "Total Variation Diminishing Schemes for Steady Flow Computations".

I am indebted to Academician Zhang for first introducing me to CFD, teaching me the basics, and inspiring me with his passion and dedication. His physics based approach to developing numerical methods has a long lasting impact on CFD development. Last month, a CFD workshop was organized in Mianyang, Sichuan, to celebrate Prof. Zhang's 80th birthday. It was a wonderful workshop with many excellent talks by top CFD researchers from all over the world.

Happy 80th Birthday and Best Wishes, Academician Zhang!