Impressions from the Virtual School on Numerical Methods for Parallel CFD 2020

Lecture by prof. Alfredo Soldati in the 2020 Virtual School on Numerical Methods for Parallel CFD

In December 2020, CINECA‘s School on Numerical Methods for Computational Fluids Dynamics (CFD) moved online for the first time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemia. This annual PRACE training event gathered top international researchers who presented state-of-the-art fluid simulation models and conducted several practical sessions using specialized parallel codes in Marconi100 and Galileo supercomputers.

Our group member, Dr Pedro Bonilla, took the opportunity of the online format to attend the school during the first two weeks of December. On top of the imparted knowledge that will improve the quality of our future multi-physics simulations of fusion reactors, the school provided an excellent opportunity to build connections with an accomplished community of experts, early researchers and students.

Regarding fluid theory and models, the lectures covered Turbulence, Multi-phase flows, Immersed boundary techniques, Finite Differences (FD) techniques, Discontinuous Galerkin methods, and unstructured Finite Volumes. On the High Performing Computer (HPC) side the school delved into parallelisation paradigms, performance and portability of codes to both GPUs and heterogeneous architectures, and Tools and techniques for profiling in HPC. The school also included tutorials and hands-on sessions of the codes AFiD, Nek5000, STREAMS, and OpenFOAM to show the practical side of the studied topics.

The course was successfully run by CINECA’s staff and the experience can only improve with the lessons learned from a first virtual edition. Therefore, we can only encourage CFD enthusiasts to mark the next editions of this event in their agendas.

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