Thermodynamics and Fluidmechanics

Thermodynamics and Fluidmechanics appear everywhere in our everyday life. We mostly deal with them based on experiences – so to say: experiments. For example if you want to know whether a cooking pot is still hot, you wait for a while and then touch it. Possibly a few burns later you will be able to say approximately how long the pot needs to completely cool off. Also nobody will come across the idea to calculate how long you have to stir your coffee in order to uniformly distribute milk and sugar in it.

In technical areas, however, it is mandatory to deal with Thermo- and Fluiddynamics intensively.

Here some examples:

  • How must a turbine be designed to get an optimal level of efficiency?
  • What can be done to reduce the drag of a car without changing the overall design too much?
  • Which temperatures occur in a combustion engine?
  • How can a plane achieve a lift that is as big as possible?
  • Blood is also a fluid; how can parts of the blood circulation be simulated to localize aneurysms?
  • Flows and temperatures determine our weather; how can we reliably forecast the weather?
  • What damages to which buildings can be expected if a city is hit by a tornado?

For simple geometries we can obtain formulas that can easily be computed even with a calculator – for example the temperatur distribution in a staff or the velocity profile of water flowing through a pipe.

But when moving towards more complicated geometries one needs the help of computers for the simulations. Even with supercomputers or several connected computers (clusters) many physical simplifications must be made to be able to do a simulation, and even then it might take days, weeks, or months.

What now might sound rather demotivating offers many chances and perspectives for future engineers. Even though computer programs for simulations are being developed for more than 30 years now there will be no program that can quickly do everything in the near future. The application fields just differ too much, the computer architectures change constantly and the ways of calculation (algorithms) are also enhanced systematically.

Lectures in Thermo- and Fluiddynamics will provide you with the necessary physical background and mathematical models. The lectures in applied mathematics will then show you how complex mathematical problems can be solved approximately. Finally the lectures in computer science are important for the implementation of the calculations on a computer and the visualization of the results with computer graphics.

Combinations with computer science

On the one hand there is a deep link to the chair for computer graphics to visualize the simulation results. On the other hand the connection to the chair for pattern recognition gets more and more important, especially when considering medical image processing. A current research project is the localization of blood aneurysms with medical image processing and the visualizaion of the flow velocity and the pressure with the help of computer graphics afterwards.

Study plans

Can be found on the CE-Homepage under important documents.