Prof Bert Blocken Kicks off CFD MOOC This Month

“Sports and Building Aerodynamics”, MOOC with Professor Bert Blocken

“Sports and Building Aerodynamics”, MOOC with Professor Bert Blocken

A fun and interesting online course to learn fluid mechanics and CFD as well as how they are applied to sports and environments around buildings is coming up soon. In his MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) entitled “Sports and Building Aerodynamics,” Professor Bert Blocken of Eindhoven  University of Technology (TU/e) plans to introduce wind tunnel testing and the use of ANSYS CFD. The course begins April 28, 2014.

You might have wondered about how aerodynamic shaping of cars, bikes, etc. affects the win/loss or margin of victory in a race. This course will give you insights about how the physics shapes these objects and influences performance.

Blocken wrote a blog recently about how drag resistance on a front rider decreases by 2.5%, which in turn is a gain of 1 second per kilometer in a cycling race.  Another Blocken-authored story appeared in an ANSYS Advantage issue that investigated optimum stadium design to protect spectators from rain. This information comes from recent research using CFD and wind tunnel testing, and the MOOC is based on it.

The MOOC runs for six weeks. The first three weeks focus on fundamentals: basics of fluid mechanics, wind-tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics. The second half focuses on applications: building aerodynamics, sprint aerodynamics and cycling aerodynamics. Fundamentals and applications are closely linked.

The first half of the course provides many examples in sports and building aerodynamics to explain the importance and relevance of the fundamentals. The last half focuses on the applications, in which full understanding of flow physics comes from the knowledge of the fundamentals — and frequently reference will be made to the first three weeks.

Each week consists of a series of short lecture videos (called modules) of about 8-15 minutes each. Reading assignments are provided for every week. and the course wraps up with  an evaluation of a published scientific paper on wind-tunnel testing and/or CFD for Sports and/or Building Aerodynamics. There is a final exam and participants can earn a Certificate. To register, visit


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Murali Kadiramangalam

About Murali Kadiramangalam

Murali Kadiramangalam is Director of the ANSYS Academic Program. The ANSYS academic program's objective is to help reduce the global shortage of simulation savvy engineers by working with schools, researchers, educators and students. The key aspect is to bring students up the simulation learning curve by collaborating with professors & schools. Murali is thus located in Asia which produces the largest number of engineers today, and where professors and students express a strong desire to deepen their simulation expertise. Murali has built successful simulation groups both in the United States and India during his 20+ years in the business, divided equally between the two regions. Murali built up one of India's top groups in simulation, that spans development, testing, global support, sales, marketing and allied functions. Murali has a Masters and Doctorate from New York University in Applied Science and a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from MS University, India. He serves on the boards of ANSYS India and Fluent India.