Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) (MSK600)

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) lets us solve the governing equations for fluid dynamics for complex engineering problems. CFD is today used in a wide range of industries, some examples are:

  • air resistance for airplanes and cars
  • wind and wave loads on buildings and marine structures
  • heat- and mass transfer in chemical processing plants
  • consequence modelling of fires and explosions in the oil- and gas industry

In this course you will get an introduction to computational fluid dynamics. The first part of the course deals with fundamental theory and numerical methods. The second part of the course introduces use of the practical CFD software OpenFOAM. The course ends with a group project where you select a problem of your own choice to simulate in OpenFOAM.

Course description for study year 2023-2024


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction


Learning outcome


The students shall

  • know the governing equations for fluid dynamics, and how these can be described as a general transport equation
  • know the properties of the finite volume method for discretizing transport equations
  • know the fundamental discretization schemes for each term of the transport equation
  • know the most common methods for treating the coupled flow problem
  • know the most common models for turbulent flow
  • be able to discuss advantages and disadvantages of different choices of solution methods and models


The students shall be able to

  • perform the discretization of all the terms in the transport equation with the finite volume method
  • implement numerical methods to solve transport equations in the Python programming language
  • perform simulations in the CFD software OpenFOAM; create simulation mesh, select initial- and boundary conditions, discretization schemes and solution methods and visualize the results
  • compare simulations against analytical and experimental results

General qualifications

The students shall be able to

  • simplify practical problems to make them amenable for analysis with appropriate scientific methods
  • visualize and present data from simulations in a scientific manner
  • interpret results from simulations and evaluate accuracy and uncertainty
  • collaborate in groups to carry out a project work

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended prerequisites

DAT120 Introduction to Programming, MSK560 Fluid Dynamics


Written exam and report

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Assignment 1/2 2 Months Letter grades
Written exam 1/2 3 Hours Letter grades None permitted

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Knut Erik Teigen Giljarhus

Head of Department:

Mona Wetrhus Minde

Method of work

8 hours of lectures/tutorials a week in the start of the semester (first 5-6 weeks) and 1-2 hours of project supervision in the rest of the semester. Mandatory project work to be carried out in groups of 2-3 students.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Heat transfer and CFD (MOM430_1) 5
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) (MSK610_1) 5

Open for

Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology
Environmental Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme Structural and Mechanical Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme Marine and Offshore Technology - Master of Science Degree Programme
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto