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Unit information: Numerical and Simulation Methods for Aerodynamics in 2021/22

Unit name Numerical and Simulation Methods for Aerodynamics
Unit code AENGM0066
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Allen
Open unit status Not open

EMAT20200 Engineering Mathematics 2



School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is an introduction to the fundamental mathematical and physical principles involved in the development and application of modern methods in numerical and simulation methods for aerodynamics. Forms of the governing flow equations are first discussed and these are then reduced to a simple model equation, which is used for the development and testing of fundamental numerical methods. Accuracy, stability, and convergence of these schemes are investigated mathematically. Issues involved in applying these methods to real aerodynamic flows are then discussed, i.e. methods required to produce simulation methods, including mesh generation aspects, finite-volume methods, data storage and memory implications, and the impact of continuing developments in computer architecture.


The aim of this unit is to equip the student with: Knowledge and understanding of the fundamental mathematical and physical principles involved in the development of numerical methods; Knowledge and understanding of the issues involved in applying modern numerical methods in computational aerodynamics; Knowledge and understanding of methods of mesh generation and links with numerical code development; Knowledge and understanding of the impact of developments in computer hardware and software on application of computational methods; Skills necessary to develop numerical simulation codes

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit students should be able to achieve the following outcomes:

  1. Analyse and manipulate various forms of the governing fluid flow equations, including different modelling level options
  2. Derive numerical methods for the solution of systems of partial differential equations;
  3. Derive and analyse the stability, accuracy and convergence of these methods mathematically;
  4. Apply the principles of time-marching, central-difference and upwind, and explicit and implicit formulations to various equations;
  5. Understand the principles of numerical mesh generation, and analyse their links with flow-solver development and application;
  6. Analyse and discuss the links between numerical method application and computer architecture;
  7. Code advanced numerical methods in C++, Fortran, or Matlab.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

100% January timed assessment


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. AENGM0066).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.