The module descriptors for our undergraduate courses can be found below:

  • Four year Aeronautical Engineering degree (H401)
  • Four year Aeronautical Engineering with a Year Abroad stream (H410)

Students on our H420 programme follow the same programme as the H401 spending fourth year in industry.

The descriptors for all programmes are the same (including H411).


Applications of Computational Fluid Dynamics

Module aims

This module introduces the key numerical methods used for solving the governing equations of fluid dynamics for aerodynamic design. Basic numerical and aerodynamic concepts are explored using existing open-source and commercial computer programs to simulate and analyse aerodynamic flows. Through the use of project-based learning, via a combination of lectures and practical assignments, the course will build on prior knowledge of aerodynamics in order to design, set-up, perform, validate and assess the accuracy of simulations via computational codes.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, you should be able to: 1. Explain the basic principles for the computational aerodynamic analysis and design of aeronautical configurations, their limitations and range of applicability.  2. Utilize state-of-the-art linear and CFD codes to perform flow simulations about aerofoils, wings and aircraft, and post-process and interpret the results of these simulations.  3. Obtain valuable aerodynamic analyses using computational aerodynamics combined with solid knowledge and sound judgement.

Module syllabus

1. An introduction to computational aerodynamics and its goals.  2. Computer codes: verification, calibration and validation.  3. Linear models: Panel codes and viscous-inviscid interaction methods. Vortex-lattice methods.  4. Introduction to CFD: Governing equations and boundary conditions. Review of basic numerical methods: finite differences, finite elements, and finite volumes. Stability and convergence.  5. Pre-processing: Geometry and grids. Grid quality.   6. Simulation of inviscid flows. Treatment of shocks: artificial viscosity, Riemann solvers. Boundary conditions.  7. Simulation of viscous flows and turbulence modelling.  8. Post-processing and flow visualization.  9. Applications and an introduction to a selection of state-of-the art CFD codes.  10. Computer sessions on the use of the selected state-of-the-art codes. 


It is advisable but not mandatory for students to complete the Autumn term AERO70008/96014 Computational Fluid Dynamics module if selecting this module.

Teaching methods

The module will be delivered primarily through large-class lectures introducing the key concepts and methods, supported by a variety of delivery methods combining the traditional and the technological. The content is presented via a combination of slides, whiteboard and visualizer.Learning will be reinforced through tutorial question sheets and computational laboratory exercises.


MCQ Quiz - 20%

Assignment 1 – 40%

Assignment 2 – 40%

Module leaders

Professor Spencer Sherwin