CRAFT Tech Team Wins Pointwise Meshy Award

FORT WORTH, TX (25 March 2013)—A team of CRAFT Tech engineers – Dr. Vineet Ahuja, James Chenoweth, Don Kenzakowski and Zisen Liu – has won the Pointwise Meshy Award for its grid of a low head safety injection (LHSI) pump for nuclear power plants, constructed for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) performance studies. The team was presented a trophy at the Pointwise User Group Meeting 2013 here last week in recognition of its grid as the most outstanding mesh generated using Pointwise.

The grid was constructed in seven parts comprising the inlet, impeller, leakage flow paths, diffuser, collector, and discharge flow paths. A variety of meshing strategies was used in the various parts including all hex, hybrid tet-prism, and T-Rex mesh topologies. All seven parts were run coupled together using the CRUNCH CFD flow solver to predict the performance of the pump system for a variety of flow conditions.

The final grid consisted of 21.5 million cells within a topology of 950 blocks. Seven-hundred forty-eight of the blocks contained 13.6 structured hex cells, while the remaining cells came from 202 unstructured blocks.

“Over the years, CRAFT Tech scientists and engineers have earned reputations as expert users of Pointwise products. Grids they have presented at previous user group meetings have consistently reflected a deep understanding of the meshing requirements for their complex flow and geometry issues, all while demonstrating superior Pointwise proficiency. As such, their annual presentations are eagerly anticipated by attendees,” said Dr. John Steinbrenner, vice president of research and development at Pointwise.

“This year is no exception – Dr. Ahuja, Mr. Chenowith, Mr. Kenzakowski and Mr. Liu have managed to model a very complex pump geometry using a broad spectrum of meshing techniques.  Their entry vividly illustrates the possibilities with Pointwise.”

Pointwise inaugurated the Meshy Award in 2011 to showcase the best of the best in grid generation using the company’s software. Entries are judged on visual appeal, originality and uniqueness.

The winning mesh is featured on a T-shirt given to Pointwise User Group Meeting attendees. The team made a presentation about its mesh at the meeting, as well. Entries for the award may be viewed in a photo album on Pointwise’s Facebook page, .

Dr. Ahuja has been involved in developing numerical methods for design optimization, electromagnetics, multi-phase flows, aeroacoustics and fluid dynamics. He has been the principal investigator on several SBIR programs supported by NASA for the development of simulation technology related to feed systems and cryogenic fluid handling systems, and has been the lead investigator on several shape optimization programs relating to submarine sternplane design and hovercraft (LCAC) fan design for the US Navy. He was involved in generating the grid for the impeller, diffuser and crossover in the winning turbomachinery configuration.

Mr. Chenoweth is a research scientist with expertise in gridding, simulating and processing turbomachinery flows including inducers and centrifugal pumps. For this project, he was involved in generating the exit guide vane module, as well as early iterations of the collector tank.

Mr. Kenzakowski is a longtime user of Pointwise’s legacy Gridgen software, particularly in building hexahedral and structured block topologies about complex geometries. Recently, he has explored the use of hexahedral meshes for resolving flow passages through inducer/impeller pumps with resulting improvements in mesh quality for improving CFD code stability and in mesh generation turnaround. For this project, he was involved in generating the impeller grid.

Mr. Liu has been using Pointwise software for mesh generation since 2003. At CRAFT Tech, he is involved with modeling hypersonic flow problems, as well as analyzing centrifugal pump systems. He is also involved in developing a CFD validation framework and graphical user interface for CRUNCH CFD. For this project, he was involved in the T-Rex meshing of the inlet and collector tanks, as well as generating the diffuser and leakage flowpaths, and coordinated the assembly of all the final grid parts.

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 a scripting language, Glyph, 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.


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Jan Batts
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