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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
MMA160 - Computational hydrodynamics and optimisation
Syllabus adopted 2010-02-24 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPNAV
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Mechanical Engineering, Shipping and Marine Technology

Teaching language: English
Minimum participants: 8
Maximum participants: 50

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course
0102 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   Contact examiner,  Contact examiner

In programs



Professor  Rickard Bensow


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Mathematics(including mathematical statistics, numerical analysis and
multi-variable calculus), Mechanics and strength of material and, Fluid
mechanics. Additional course requirements: MMA136 - Ship geometry and
hydrostatics and MMA155 - Ship resistance and propulsion.


The aim of this course is to make the course participants familiar with the usage of and theory behind modern software used in ship design. The use of CFD is increasing in engineering design due to a need for shorter development times, faster computers and more user friendly software. However, the choice of computational methods and grids are not as easy as the GUI of the software, so in connection with this there is an increasing problem with engineers who can not correctly perform the simulations and interpret the results. This course aims at bridging this gap by letting the participants perform CFD simulations using different techniques and analyze and reflect on the results of the calculations.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

use SHIPFLOW and Fluent, two modern commercial software for CFD predictions

identify difficulties in computing good quality CFD solutions

judge and improve the quality and usefulness of the obtained solution

discuss the basic theory behind CFD softwares using the right terminology

read and discuss scientific literature in the subject

use the parametric CAD software FRIENDSHIP to modify an existing ship hull

discuss basic optimization theory using the right terminology


The course deals with three areas: A) potential flow computations, B) viscous flow computations and C) automatic shape optimisation. The first part of the course introduces potential-flow theory and its extension to three-dimensional panel (BEM) methods with and without a free-surface. Computation of lift and induced drag using potential-flow theory is also included. The potential-flow part of the SHIPFLOW software is introduced and the parametric CAD program FRIENDSHIP is used to modify an existing hull and to generate the geometry description used by SHIPFLOW. Methods for viscous flow computations are introduced in the second part of the course. Special emphasis is on discretisation and numerical solution of viscous flows. The focus is also on mathematical modelling including turbulence models. The CFD software Fluent is introduced and is used to compute the viscous flow Mesh dependency is discussed both for potential-flow and viscous flow computations. Automatic shape optimisation is studied in the third part of the course. Basic optimisation theory is studied for gradient based and genetic optimisation methods. An optimisation environment which includes a parametric CAD model of a ship, a CFD software and an optimisation software is used to optimise an existing hull from a resistance point of view.


Teaching is in the form of lectures, tutorials and six mandatory computer assignments.


See the course home page.


Approved reports on the computer assignments. Write a report on theoretical issues from the three parts of the course. Present the theoretical report at a seminar and act as opponent for the other presentations. See the course home page for details

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.