CFDSI Kick-Off Workshop

May 16 & 17, 2018
Location: Kittredge Center, Multipurpose Room N114

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GitHub Webpage:

Breakout Signup Sheet:

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Instructions for Remote Attendees:

Lightning Slides: Day 1 Slides | Day 2 Slides
Please send lightning slides to John Farnsworth.


Fluid dynamics is a broad field spanning a large number of science and engineering problem domains that are critical to a wide variety of important applications including manufacturing, climate, environment, health, transportation, propulsion, and power generation. To support the fluid dynamics research and applications community, this project will execute a community-driven conceptualization of a future institute — Computational Fluid Dynamics Software Infrastructure (CFDSI) — to broadly develop, share, and apply computational tools for the generation and analysis of fluid dynamics data from both experimental and computational sources. After conceptualization with the community it serves, CFDSI will create and extend tools for the fluid dynamics community for problem definition, solution, and analysis of both computational and experimental investigations. The primary objective is to facilitate the sharing of computational tools and data resources through a rich and extensible set of software components that can be applied with a wide range of existing fluid dynamics analysis tools. Essential to the success of this objective is to sustainably develop software components to analyze data from a wide range of sources. By improving the efficiency of tools and their ease of use, the ability for scientists and engineers to accurately predict and understand how complex fluid flows behave will be dramatically enhanced — having a huge impact on design, innovation, and discovery across the vast range of applications where fluid dynamics plays a role. CFDSI will also have a profound effect on undergraduate and graduate education by making a wide variety of resources available to students for fluid dynamics investigations, and it will provide visualization of data output that will motivate STEM interest for K-12 students.

NSF has funded "NSCI SI2-S2I2 Conceptualization of CFDSI: Model, Data, and Analysis Integration for End-to-End Support of Fluid Dynamics Discovery and Innovation". Conceptualization of the potential future institute is a community-driven process with the vast majority of the funds going to support of a series of workshops where the details will be gathered about how best to design CFDSI to meet the broad needs of the fluid dynamics community. While we have outlined a preliminary vision to NSF to get to this point, full engagement of the community is needed to connect the best research in fluid dynamics to the best research in data science/analytics within a highly sustainable software development environment. Specifically, CFDSI will:

  • Enhance the dissemination of fluid dynamics data resources and advances in CFD modeling

  • Facilitate collaboration in fluid dynamics research, especially between computational and experimental researchers

  • Enable detailed comparisons between different data sources and detailed validation of computational models

  • Ease the use of advanced CFD models, methods, and codes in new and complex applications

  • Facilitate advanced analytics, such as uncertainty quantification, data compression, and optimization

  • Provide students access to advanced CFD methods and data resources, both computational and experimental, to enhance both graduate and undergraduate education in fluid dynamics

  • Improve the sustainability of current and future CFD software

  • Facilitate the management of the growing body of fluid dynamics data sets

It is our firm belief that a software institute that achieves these outcomes will greatly enhance the effectiveness and productivity of research in fluid dynamics. In particular, they will transform the conduct of fluid dynamics research by:

  • Making it more collaborative

  • Enhancing the credibility of research results

  • Enabling discovery

  • Reducing the cost of pursuing new research questions

  • Diversifying and widening the fluid dynamics community through lowering the barriers associated with accessing and adopting CFD codes and large data sets

Over the 18 month life of this project, we seek to create:

  • A diverse and passionately engaged community that sees the research value of collaborative software development for the advancement of fluid dynamics research

  • A concrete and detailed business plan for the institute that will result from this conceptualization plan that clearly articulates its broad value to the science and engineering community

To reach this point, we have constructed a preliminary plan, but it is clear that the success of CFDSI hinges on our ability to:

  1. Engage our community

  2. Share our preliminary vision

  3. Cultivate active discussion within the community for improvement

  4. Distill that input into improved vision

  5. Grow the community

We have planned a series of workshops and activities to engage the community so as to best achieve the aforementioned outcomes by cycling through these five community-building activities.

The process starts with a CFDSI Kickoff Workshop that we will be holding on May 16-17 at University of Colorado Boulder. We encourage our entire fluid dynamics community to attend our CFDSI Kickoff Workshop and actively engage in shaping CFDSI.

Kickoff Workshop

In this workshop, we want to:

  • Introduce CFDSI

  • Bring together leaders across the many software components that define, create, and analyze data from both computations and experiments

  • Discuss what needs are currently unmet or underserved

  • Discuss what analysis capabilities hold promise but need development to be more broadly used

  • Discuss how the community can better share its existing software

  • Discuss how an institute can facilitate improvement in all of the above,

  • Discuss the five Sub-Community Workshops that will follow in June

  • Discuss goals to achieve by the Mid-term Workshop to be held the Saturday before APS-DFD-18 in Atlanta, GA

The specific outcomes we hope to achieve from this workshop are:

  • A refined vision for CFSI that reflects intense community engagement

  • A passionately engaged set of attendees that form not only the foundation for the CFDSI community, but represent strong advocates to communicate this vision through their colleagues to grow the community further

  • A set of long term goals for the institute

  • A set of near-term goals for the conceptualization that demonstrate the promise of the full institute so as to grow confidence within the community in its success

  • Define the five Sub-Community Workshops that will follow in June of 2018

Open Questions

Tell us what you think. What have we missed? What else do you think we should do during the workshop to best achieve the goals? What do you not understand? What do you want to learn and/or take away from the workshop?


The workshop will be all-day on May 16th and 17th at University of Colorado Boulder. Please plan to arrive by the evening of the 15th, and depart either after 7:00 PM on the 17th or on the 18th as we intend to use two full days. Travel and lodging information will be provided shortly.

Remote Registration

Please see this separate webform if you would like to participate remotely.