31414 - Thermo-Fluid Dynamics Computational Laboratory T

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Students will learn to solve numerically basic heat and mass transfer problems.

Course contents

Students will acquire a basic knowledge of the main numerical methods that are employed to treat heat and mass transfer problems. The following numerical methods will be presented:

- finite difference method

- finite volume method

- finite element method

Student will solve numerically, by using personal computers of the computer laboratory, the following type of problems: one/two dimensional stationary/transient conduction, forced convection in ducts and thermal entrance regions.

The procedure to obtain dimensionless balance equations will be presented. The dimensionless balance equations will be solved by employing MATLAB (© MathWorks) first by means of the graphical interface PdeTool and then by writing a simple code.

MATLAB licences are free for the students of Università di Bologna.



Lecture notes.


Teaching methods

The first part of the course will be focused on the balance equations typical of heat and mass transfer problems and on the numerical methods that will be employed to solve them.

During the second part of the course, students will solve a number of basic problems of heat and mass transfer in the computer laboratory under the supervision of the professor.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of solving numerically a basic heat and mass transfer problem, similar to those presented during the course,  by employing one of the personal computers present inside the computer laboratory. The student has also to answer one or more written questions. The student cannot employ lecture notes or any other support.

The student will pass the exam if he/she proves to be able of

  • obtaining the dimensionless form of the local balance equation, the dimensionless form of the auxiliary conditions, and the dimensionless form of the geometry
  • solving numerically the problem in its dimensionless form and handling the solution obtained

The student can perform the exam only if he/she took part in a minimum number of classes. The minimum number of classes is communicated at the beginning of the course.

Teaching tools

MATLAB may be downloaded at the page:


Office hours

See the website of Michele Celli