Computational Fluid Dynamics

Computational fluid dynamics is the simulation of moving fluids using computers.  Traditionally developed in the aerospace fields, CFD has been used extensively for aerodynamic simulations with the goal of replacing wind tunnel testing and flight testing for aircraft development programs. CFD has also impacted automotove engineering, process design, and biological fluids.

Computational Combustion

Computational combustion is an important and growing field.  In many applications, combustion simulations involve many of the aspects of computational fluid dynamics, with the added complications of reacting chemistry with associated heat release and prodcut formation.  Combustion simulations must usually track the production and consumption of multiple species as well as the reaction rates and diffusion between these species. Applications abound in the energy industry as well as in engine design for automotive, industrial and aerospace configurations.

High Performance Computing

High performance computing research is concerned with making software run efficienctly on massively parallel computer architectures. Current day supercomputer hardware often contains many thousands of compute cores, and in certain instances may contain of the order of a million cores running concurrently.  Furthermore, emerging computer architectures include many core chips, such as INTEL's PHI architecture which contains over 60 cores on a single chip, and GPU architectures which can contain of the order of a thousand cores within a single GPU card.  Programming mathematical algorithms to run effectively on such architectures is one of the principal objectives of HPC research.  This usually requires complementary expertise in mathematics, computer science and a particular science or engineering application area.

Virtual Reality and Interfaces

Virtual reality and interfaces are used to interpret and understand the results and data generated by numerical simulations in various different fields.  These include visualization as well as immersive techniques and interactive techniques where the user interacts directly with the data through virtual reality in order to obtain a better feel and understanding of the simulation generated results.

Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric science research in computational science includes numerical weather prediction, and climate simulation.  Currently climate simulation is one of the main drivers of HPC usage both nationally and internationally. Atmospheric science simulations rely on computational fluid dynamics for the dynamical core of the simulation, but include a wide variety of parametrizations to include diverse effects such as radiation, aerosols and atmosphere-land-sea interactions.