Attempting to Break the Land Speed Record with the Help of CFD

CEI, Pointwise and North American Eagle (NAE) will present a free joint webinar on the application of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) techniques toward breaking the land speed record on Wednesday, November 7th at 11:00 a.m. CST. The webinar will be hosted by Chris Sideroff from Pointwise, Darren Grove from NAE, and Kevin Colburn from CEI.

Metacomp CFD++ solution of the North American Eagle @ 700 MPH with design cycle 1 fairings. Composite image showing unstructured viscous mesh generated with Pointwise, overlaid by stream-wise velocity on ground & symmetry planes, vehicle surfaces colored by pressure and near surface streamlines using EnSight post-processing software.

Aerodynamics Engineer Darren Grove will show us how use of Pointwise for pre-processing, CFD++ from Metacomp Technologies for flow solutions, and EnSight from CEI for post-processing NAE improved the drag and stability characteristics of the NAE vehicle. Within the context of the overall goal of achieving 800 mph, this webinar will discuss how Mr. Grove used Pointwise and EnSight to help design aft suspension fairings to reduce overall drag on the NAE car while maintaining stability and control.

Techniques presented will include:

• Generating fast, repeatable, complex, viscous, unstructured meshes with T-Rex
• Employing CFD as a cost-effective tool to help an all-volunteer team attempt the world land speed record
• Challenges of designing a stable, low drag wheel system for a supersonic ground vehicle
• Efficiently extracting drag and stability information from a large number of calculations using EnSight

To register for the webinar, please visit

Chris Sideroff, Ph.D. – Technical Sales Engineer
Chris Sideroff joined Pointwise in September 2007 after working as a petroleum engineer for the NATCO Group, a CAD engineer for ARV Development, and a computer technician for Harddata Ltd. Dr. Sideroff earned both a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta in 2000 and 2003. He earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University in 2009.

Kevin Colburn, – Sales Manager, CEI
Kevin Colburn joined CEI in March 2007 after working for 14 years in automotive, combustion and aerospace fields as a CFD engineer. Kevin’s background is as a CFD user utilizing a wide variety of tools and techniques in the utilization of CFD within real world design cycles. Kevin had 7 years experience using EnSight as a user before joining CEI. Kevin received his B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic University in 1995.

Darren V. Grove , Aerodynamic Consultant, North American Eagle
Darren Grove holds a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland, and an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey CA. Specializing in CFD and design, with a strong background in wind tunnel and flight testing, and IT support, he is experienced in subsonic, transonic, and supersonic aerodynamics. Darren has over 18 years experience in CFD technologies and has worked on programs like the F/A-18E/F and Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for the Naval Air Systems Command, and the Boeing 787, 777, 737MAX, and Open Fan Rotor programs. Currently Darren works within the Product Development group at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, analyzing performance on the next generation of aircrafts.

Computational Engineering International (CEI), Inc. develops and sells EnSight, the premier CFD post-processing and visualization software. EnSight can handle data from all the major CFD solvers including ANSYS FLUENT, STAR-CCM+, ANSYS CFX and OpenFOAM, as well as many neutral formats, such as CGNS, PLOT3D, and more.  EnSight offers extensive flow feature extraction capabilities and excellent support for transient and large models.  CEI offers a free version of EnSight, cleverly named EnSight Free, so that CFD engineers can adopt it at their own pace. And with free 3D viewers EnLiten and Reveal, users of EnSight can communicate and share CFD results with colleagues, managers, and customers easily and effectively. EnSight is a trademark of CEI, Inc.

Pointwise, Inc. is solving the top problem facing engineering analysts today — mesh generation for computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The company’s Pointwise software generates structured, unstructured, and hybrid meshes; interfaces with CFD solvers, such as ANSYS FLUENT, STAR-CCM+, ANSYS CFX and OpenFOAM, as well as many neutral formats, such as CGNS; runs on Windows (Intel and AMD), Linux (Intel and AMD), and Mac, and has scripting languages that can automate CFD meshing. Large manufacturing firms and research organizations worldwide rely on Pointwise as their complete CFD preprocessing solution. More information about Pointwise is available at

Pointwise is a registered trademark and Pointwise Glyph and T-Rex are trademarks of Pointwise, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owner.

The purpose of the North American Eagle™ Land Speed Program is to test the capability of a land based vehicle to safely transition through supersonic speed. The by-products of this challenge have the potential to impact high-speed rail, ground effects of high-speed aircraft in the landing configuration as well as deceleration methods utilized by high-speed vehicles. The fuels and lubricants utilized during the project are also significant. Materials used for the construction of the vehicle, and most importantly, the wheels, are critical to the project’s success. All phases of this project are continually measured against a risk factor. Above all, breaking a land speed record must not result in unacceptable risk to the driver, crew or spectators. The primary objective of the project is to break the current land-speed record of 763mph, currently held by the British, with the goal to get to 800mph.

Visit for more information.


Movie of the Month – September 2012


This month’s movie of the month was created from a simulation of an internal combustion engine (ICE).  The interesting feature is a clip plane which sits half-way between the top of the combustion dome and the piston face.


Mid-clip which moves with Piston from EnSight by CEI Software on Vimeo.

The solver used in this case was Converge from Convergent Science Incorporated.

For more movies created from Converge data, see the collection below.

River Flooding, Tsunami and Groundwater Simulations

We’ve noticed a surge in interest in EnSight for visualizing flooding and other groundwater control simulations.

Yes, we do have translation routines for both River-FLO, FLO-2D, MIKE21_FM, and MIKE21_Classic formats. These translation routines to convert these formats into EnSight Case Format, which can then be read into and visualized with EnSight.

Summary of the different translation routines on our Python Exchange Website:
You can find details about the different translation routines, some examples of aerial photo application onto the model, special time annotations, as well as a video tutorial showing one of the translation routines in action, as well as some of the fundamental benefits of utilizing EnSight for visualization of these types of river & flood tools.

You can also find on our gallery website some of the animations and engineering quantification of River & Flood simulation results using EnSight:


River Flood simulation. Simulation courtesy of Wood Rodgers, using MIKE21 Classic. Dataset read into EnSight, and visualized using EnSight 10. Keyframe animations, aerial photo texture mapping, isovolume calculation, graphs of the area effected over time, max depth, as well as profiles through the simulation.


This short animation illustrates the power of EnSight’s interactivity. In this video, we have first created a clip through the flood as a “cross-section”. We then graphed the depth along this cross section in the plotter. Next, the interactivity of EnSight now allows the user to interactively drag the cross-section to anywhere they would like, and the plot automatically updates instantaneously. Simulation results courtesy of Wood Rodgers.


Animation of the river flood event in EnSight. In this animation, we have used EnSight’s 3D arrow along with the interactive query of the max depth to illustrate to the user the dynamic location of the maximum depth as time develops. Simulation results courtesy of Wood Rodgers


Are you involved with River and Flooding simulations? Are there specific aspects to the simulation that you are trying to capture and illustrate? We’d like to hear more about this type of work and see where EnSight can help you analyze, visualize, and communicate those results.