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CHPC Computational Mechanics Challenge

CHPC National Meeting 2014

2 to 6 December, Cape Town International Convention Centre

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the inaugural CHPC Computational Mechanics Challenge. The CHPC Computational Mechanics Challenge is designed to give South African students exposure to open source Computational Mechanics software and High Performance Computing (HPC). As part of the challenge, teams will be asked to simulate a problem involving low speed aerodynamics. The winning team will stand in line to win prizes sponsored by our industry partners.

Download competition brochure (PDF file).

Problem statement

The challenge will consist of simulating a low speed aerodynamics problem. Teams will be evaluated based on their ability to use engineering insight to accurately predict the flow dynamics using numerical flow analysis. As part of the challenge, teams will be required to use open source mesh generators (such as snappyHexMesh, gmsh, salome, etc.) to build meshes which accurately capture the physics and then simulate the problem using one of the standard OpenFOAM® solvers. To enable students to conduct large parallel analyses, they will be shown how to submit and run analyses on the CHPC cluster.

Level of expertise

The problem statement is formulated towards students with a reasonable background in using the OpenFOAM® tool set and having some experience in using it for simulating fluid flow. This will include setting up the problem, building meshes, specifying input conditions and extracting data for engineering evaluation. Standard OpenFOAM® solvers will be used for the analysis and therefore no advanced programming experience will be required.


  1. Teams of 1 to ­3 students may enter.
  2. Each team will be provided with the following
    • one workstation with the relevant open source software installed;
    • basic case setup;
    • helpful scripts for pre­ and post­processing; as well as
    • relevant geometry/CAD files.
  3. The teams will attend an information and question session the day before the CHPC Meeting starts (Sunday, 1 December) where they will be handed the problem statement. They will have until 5 pm on Thursday (5 December) to complete the challenge and hand their results to the judges.

Travel grants

A limited number of travel grants are available for students to travel to the CHPC's 2013 National Meeting in Cape Town. Please contact Kevin Colville at kcolville .AT. csir .dot. co .dot. za for more information.

Download Application Form:

  • in MS Word DOC format
  • in Open Office ODT format

Fill in the application form electronically and email the completed DOC or ODT (or PDF) file before 4 November to:

  • competition .AT. chpc .dot. ac .dot. za


All members of a team applying to enter the competition must be enrolled in an engineering or science degree programme at a South African University. The competition will be open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Entries must be received by 4 November and should include a 200 word motivation why the entry should be accepted along with the full names and contact details of each team member. (Teams are limited to one, two or three students. If there are, for example, four students, then submit applications for two teams.)

The projects will be evaluated according to the following scheme:

Quantitative results 30%
Computational efficiency 20%
Sound engineering approach 35%
Post­processing / presentation 15%
Total 100%

Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  1. Overall winner
  2. Best results presentation
  3. Most ambitious, innovative, original or off the wall approach

The judges reserve the right not to award prizes in all categories if no suitable qualifying candidates are available. The judges decision is final.


For more information please contact:

  • Charles Crosby: ccrosby .AT. csir .dot. co .dot. za
  • Johan Heyns: jheyns .AT. csir .dot. co .dot. za


I'm the only student at my university/department interested in your competition, can I enter?

Answer: Yes, a team of one person is eligible. Send us your application with your details and a motivation (no more than 200 words).

I'm an undergrad student and I used OpenFOAM for a class project, do I qualify?

Answer: Yes, undergraduate students who have knowledge of fluid dynamics and experience with OpenFOAM are eligible. Send us your application with your details and describe your use of OpenFOAM in the motivation (no more than 200 words).

I have used Fluent/Abaqus/Star-CM+/etc. but not OpenFOAM, can I enter?

Answer: Download and install OpenFOAM on your computer or laptop and implement all the examples and tutorials in the user guide. If you successfully completed and understood the whole lot then apply and describe in your motivation how well you did with OpenFOAM.

How much of OpenFOAM do we need to know?

Answer: Everything covered in the user guide except you won't need to compile your own code (so you can skip section 3.2 and only section 3.2 from the user guide).

Can I bring my own laptop computer?

Answer: Yes. Competitors will be supplied with a single desktop workstation per team, but they may also use their own laptop computers if they prefer to do so.

Can I "phone a friend"?

Answer: Yes. Making sensible use of available resources is part of good engineering practice, but only team members are allowed to work directly on the challenge. You may be quizzed in detail about the processes used and decisions made.

Disclaimer: This offering is not approved or endorsed by ESI Group, the producer of the OpenFOAM® software and owner of the OpenFOAM® trademark.

/var/www/wiki/data/pages/competition/cfdchallenge.txt · Last modified: 2014/08/28 08:29 by thlatshwayo