The CFD Bare Minimum – An Initial Roadmap To Begin Practicing CFD


"All About CFD..." - Navigate the World of CFD Through our INDEX
“All About CFD…” – Navigate the World of CFD Through our INDEX

Whenever a practitioner can’t explain pre-processing and solution choices while also establishing a thorough V&V, the CFD is not valid regardless the results. Meaningful CFD is rarely the outcome of following a youtube “how to push the button per application”.

Nevertheless, I came to acknowledge and appreciate the motivational power of “hands on” introduction to CFD in attracting potential CFD practitioners to the depth of CFD through.

Here’s a set of CFD online resources regarding basic CFD related concepts which are unnecessarily linked to a specific commercial code but goes all the way to basics with respect to CFD (numerical schemes, modified equation, CFL, Von Neumann analysis, numerical diffusion, pressure-velocity coupling, types of meshing, turbulence modelling, etc’…), along with application-specific resources, and some “hands on” practical resources. I highly recommend to follow all types of routes, if one wants to achieve both the breadth and the depth CFD has to offer… ✨✨✨

See what I had to say about learning CFD through this specific post on Jousef Murad’s Podcast:

The following well-built online course (32 lessons), given by Boston University and encompasses all the basics of CFD as an academic course should (maybe except the part of Turbulence Modelling for which David Wilcox’s book would be my choice for a solid starting point).

Another free online set of lectures is that of NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Division – Advanced Modeling & Simulation (AMS) Seminar Series.


Topics related to computational analysis of the different kinds of partial differential equations, stability of linear systems, modified wave-number analysis, numerical dissipation, numerical algorithms, and more… along with MATLAB examples.

CFD-101 BY fLOW-3d is one of the most comprehensive online resources for Computational Fluid Dynamics basics, edited by Flow Science’s founder and Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) pioneer, Dr. C.W. (Tony) Hirt. CFD-101 is designed to give a general introduction and overview of a variety of issues concerning computational fluid dynamics.

Dr. Tony Hirt, Founder of Flow Science

This resource is very comprehansive inn its breadth, and could be an excellent starting point on doing what imho is the most important thing in any field of study whatsoever, that is building wide and strong foundations and thickening them untill pin-pointed knowledge is built like a pyramid.

If it were up nto me I would have started with this resource, than move on to Boston University’s set of 32 lectures, after that widen the breadth built with the J.M. Mcdonough series (especially turbulence modeling and the third volume of turbulence modeling by David Wilcox (which saddening enough is out of print)

Cornell University and ANSYS are offering a “hands-on” Introduction to Engineering Simulations MOOC. 
The course offers a very practical approach for making one’s first steps into the world of CFD, along with the arguably the best commercial CFD software in the market – Fluent.
Although imho CFD is much more than a “hand on” practice, I do acknowledge the fact the being able to introduce the world of CFD through such practice has an enormous contribution, achieved through the motivation of one as he is able to go through a complete CFD route.

The course was verified to match the latest ANSYS R2 version, and students are able to download the ANSYS Student Version, which even though limited, allows the student a full experience in as much as the course workshops demand.

Cornell EDx - ANSYS Fluent

One can also approach the course modules through Cornell University Confluence site.

Coursera has many MOOCs, albeit it’s hard to find one which both focuses on your field of interest, and has an exquisite added value to your knowledge. “Sports and Building Aerodynamics”, by Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is one such course! 
The course is delivered by Prof. Bert Blocken, which I’m certain most of you know from his lately presented seminal work on cyclists aerodynamics. Prof. Blocken is somewhat of an engineer researcher, and the vibe of practical research resonates through the entire course. Highly Recommended!!
The course is very structured into granting the student a best-practice guideline to analyzing building and sports aerodynamics, but essentially these are V&V best practice approaches to CFD in general. The course may be audited or learned on a certification basis (Here’s mine 🤓), but in case it is highly recommended to review the references presented in the course to achieve depth in what the course has to offer.

Sports and Building Aerodynamics

This one is not quite a “CFD bare minimum” kind of set of lectures, but it is a definite must for those CFD practitioners interested in making first baby steps to the mind blowing world of combustion applications in CFD. 
The set of 15 lectures by the Combustion Energy Frontier Research Center (CEFRC) – Combustion Theory and Applications in CFD , is delivered by the world renowned expert in the field Prof. Heinz Pitsch of Aachen University (fan alert… 🤓), is absolutely astonishing in its communicability and its practical breadth and depth.

The lecture slides may be downloaded here.

My favorite online resource for “CFD bare minimum” material is posted on behalf of J.M. McDonough (university of Kentucky).
The fascinating lecture notes shall take the reader on the road from basic fluid dynamics to numerical modeling and CFD related numerical handling in general and CFD related issues, through a remarkable lecture on the witchcraft of Turbulence Modelling  (one of the most enlightening lecture notes I’ve read (quite a few times… ) and to confronting Computational Analysis of Partial differential Equations (ever more so for the calculation of Multiphysics problems) all of which from a mathematician point of view, hence with a lot of scrutiny.

Lectures in Elementary Fluid Dynamics

Lectures in Computational Numerical Analysis

Lectures on Turbulence and Turbulence Modeling (highly recommended)

Lectures on Computational Analysis of Incompressible Flow (all the need to know concerning NS basic numerical modelling

Lectures on Computational Analysis of PDEs


Tobias HOLZMANN | Dr. mont.

The following presentation by Prof. Filippo Maria Denaro is a thorough introduction to LES along with a very useful lecture notes on various crucial subjects in CFD and turbulence (Turbulence phenomena and modelling approaches, discretization and modified wave-number analysis, Nyquist theorems, etc’…):

Lecture on LES – Part I and II

Fellow bloggers… Recent addition to the world of CFD educational blogs is that by Vishal Sharma (Wichita State University PhD program). 

The question on how much of the essence is lost when specific derivations are overlooked, or whether it’s the other way around, and more essence is lost when punctuated derivations are presented by good and thought provoking heuristic explanations are lacking, is an important one for bloggers such as my self. It’s a balance question between me writing the blog for myself, and/or me wanting more people to read my blog. For me it was mostly the first, but I would have to still go with Albert Einstein with the notion of simplicity in explanations… As my blog evolved I’ve started to  find heuristic explanations appealing. It wasn’t that I wanted to be more of a crowd pleaser, but that I’ve started to really enjoy writing in heuristics if they felt to capture the physical essence sometimes better than the math itself. It also increased my foundational understanding tremendously.
Vishal Sharma’s blog is aimed at the “sweet spot” for this balance, not forsaking important mathematical insight, but also strengthening it with many communicated examples and heuristics. Do follow!!

Vishal Sharma - blog

Last and least… me 🙈

I love CFD. Been doing it the past 15 years…
Early in 2016 I’ve decided to blog about it… My aim for the blog to share my CFD and fluid mechanics thoughts over quite a broad spectrum of related topics.
I guess the idea behind the decision to blog besides my tendency to share knowledge and an ever growing hunger for new insights is the opportunity to be able to do so without having to think whether it’s appropriate or not…
it’s mine 😌

The following set of posts (partial list from this blog) presents theoretical and practical overview of foundational CFD related subjects such as turbulence modeling, numerical algorithms and schemes, mesh generation, thermal simulations and far beyond… 🤓 

Private Mentoring - Zoom Sessions (Special Price until 19/7/2020)
Private Mentoring – Zoom Sessions (Special Price until 19/7/2020)

I would also recommend strongly:

Zoom-Webinar: My “Recipe” for learning how to become a CFD self sustaining practitioner – 22.6.20, 19:30-21:00 (IDT) + Recording

Copyright links will not given by demand but require a substantial reason (like financial), email us so “All About CFD…” would aquire the specific Ecopy 


The above route is merely my quick and preferred recommendation and certainly doesn’t to capture the abundance of ways and resources to learn CFD.

Last, I would also add that choosing your expenditure wisely by enrolling in specific targeted training programs and purchasing (or borrowing) some essential seminal related books will undoubtedly boost the studying life-cycle and experience.

Enjoy… 😉




CFD BEST PRACTICE ZOOM/WEBINAR 15/07/2020, 20:00-21:30 (IDT)
CFD BEST PRACTICE ZOOM/WEBINAR 15/07/2020, 20:00-21:30 (IDT)

MSI Engineering Software – Mechanical Engineering Software Distributor (STAR-CCM+, FloEFD, FloTherm, MSC Nastran, etc…)



6 thoughts on “The CFD Bare Minimum – An Initial Roadmap To Begin Practicing CFD

  1. Pradeep kumar Srinivasan

    I think the first link is broken. Can you please fix it?

    Btw you have an amazing blog, I really love reading your article! Much appreciated for your work!

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  3. Pingback: Zoom-Webinar: My “Recipe” for learning how to become a CFD self sustaining practitioner - 22.6.20, 19:30-21:00 (IDT) - All About CFD...

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