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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


MECHGM05 Advanced Computer Applications in Engineering

  • To understand the theoretical background to the workings behind commercial FEA and CFD packages
  • To appreciate the structure of programs for potential amendment and development
  • To use commercial software packages for solving problems and assessing their limitations
  • Ability to take a detached view in checking output
Code: MECHGM05
Alt Codes: MECHGR05, MECHM003
Title: Advanced Computer Applications in Engineering
Start: September
End: April


  • Familiarity with undergraduate courses in mechanics of fluids, mechanics of materials, statics, dynamics and basic calculus.
  • All students are assumed to be familiar with the principles of programming.

Method of Instruction

Lecture presentations.


Assessment is entirely by coursework for MSc/Dipl students in Mechanical Engineering, Marine Engineering, Power Systems Engineering and MEng students. There are two pieces of coursework each for Finite Element Analysis (FEA1 and FEA2) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD1 and CFD2).

MECHGM05 Advanced Computer Applications in Engineering


Finite Element Analysis:

  1. Introduction and Review of linear elasticity
  2. Energy formulations and Basic approach to displacement FEs
  3. Plane problems
  4. Isoparametric elements, Solution techniques
  5. Modelling, errors and accuracy
  6. Axisymmetric problems
  7. Plates


Computational Fluid Dynamics:

  1. Introduction and Overview of CFD
  2. Mathematical Formulation of Fluid Dynamics Continuity Equation (Conservation of mass) Navier-Stokes Equation (Conservation of momentum)

Equation of Energy (Conservation of energy) Submodels for Two-Phase Flows and Combustion

  1. Turbulence Modelling

Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) and Large Eddy Simulation (LES)

Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS)

Eddy viscosity concept, k-epsilon models

Second moment closure, Reynolds stress models

  1. Domain Discretisation Grid Generation Types of Grids and their Application
  2. Numerical Solution Methods Finite Differences Finite Volumes

Boundary Elements Spectral Methods

  1. Equation Discretisation Schemes

Upwind Differencing Central Differencing Power Law Differencing Higher Order Schemes Numerical Diffusion

  1. Pressure Correction Algorithms SIMPLE, PISO, other variations
  2. Relaxation and Convergence Overall Methodology Relaxation Techniques Residuals
  3. Commercial CFD Packages and their Applications

Overview, Capabilities, Benefits Limitations, Errors, Accuracy Visualisation of CFD Results


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