34598 - Laboratory of Computational Heat Transfer and Fluid Dynamics M

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students interested in numerical methods for thermal fluid dynamics problems. Basic mathematical knowledge is requested.

Course contents

The course is centred on finite-volume method for thermal convection equations. After a short introduction on governing equations for thermal fluid dynamics, the concept of discretization will be introduced. The main discretization methods will be overviewed, with particular attention to finite-volume method. The method is then applied (through the open source Open Foam code) to the following classic case studies for thermo-fluid dynamics:

  • Unsteady conduction with heat generation.
  • Convection within a channel with rectangular section in laminar regime.
  • Flow around a cylinder in laminar regime and in the transitional regime from laminar to turbulent.
  • Flow around a wing profile in turbulent regime.

Particular attention will be devoted to the methods of validation and post-processing of the results. The simulations will be validated by comparing the numerical results with those present in the literature.


This method will be applied to some typical test-cases, by means of Open Foam, an Open Source Code for Thermal Fluid problems. Validation methods and post-processing techniques will be shown.


S. V. Patankar. Numerical Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow. Hemisphere publishing corporation, New York, 1980.

Teaching methods

The course will be held at a laboratory in the Engineering Faculty where students will find hardware and software facilities needed for problem solving.

Assessment methods

Final test is oral, centred on arguments shown and cited in the referenced book.

Teaching tools

Basic knowledge of matlab and C++ on linux.

Office hours

See the website of Beatrice Pulvirenti