Computational Fluid Dynamics



The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) group uses commercial, open-source and in-house developed numerical codes to solve complex aerodynamic, fluid-dynamic, fluid-structure and multi-physics problems addressing needs ranging from aerospace and defence contractors, local industry and mining to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) analysis for the hospitals of the future.


To support their work, the group has access to 325 computational nodes working in parallel. This facility underpins integrative engineering solutions – for example in the case of integrated wind tunnel and experimental fluid dynamics studies in aerospace or industrial (e.g. building design, automotive) applications.

Research areas include: store integration and transonic flows; subsonic external aerodynamics; multiphase flow analysis of liquid fuel sloshing and coastal defences; HVAC analysis; space science and launchers.

Apart from using commercial and open-source CFD codes, the group has developed various specialised in-house solvers. These allow for the efficient and accurate analysis of liquid-gas systems, as encountered with dynamic liquid fuel sloshing, compressible and incompressible aerodynamics, and coupled fluid-structure interaction. The in-house solvers use libraries from the open-source CFD toolset OpenFOAM®.The group focusses on providing industry-ready solutions by means of commercial software as well as the in-house developed numerical solvers.

Engineering Solutions
— Integrated Wind Tunnel/ Experimental Fluid interaction and CFD offering
— Broad range of experience in aerospace and industrial applications using commercial and in-house developed codes

Custom CFD code development
— Development of specialised solvers and libraries. The custom multi-physics solvers build on libraries from the open-source CFD toolset OpenFOAM®.
— Programming and scripting for automation – C++, Octave/Matlab, Python, Bash
— Research in numerical algorithm design and high performance computing

The impressive research and development track record of the CFD Research Group includes; store carriage and clearance; modelling of South African Air Force fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft including Hawk, Cheetah, Rooivalk, A109 and Oryx; aeroelastic models ; booster separation; ventilation simulations; mining and metals industrial solutions as well as analysis of moving bodies.

John Morgan
Telephone number: 012 841 2738

Kimal Hiralall
Telephone number: 012 841 3187