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Case Study

Fourth-year Engineering Students Use Ansys Fluent to Analyze Ventilation in Shared Learning Spaces on Campus

Fluid and thermal engineers capable of tackling a wide range of complex, real-life problems are in high demand by industry. At IIT Bombay, we created a course that provides students with Ansys Fluent experience through a semester-long project. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked students to analyze ventilation in shared, on-campus learning spaces and suggest changes to improve safety. This project enabled students to synthesize abstract mathematical concepts of CFD and learn how advanced versions of these concepts apply to practical problems.


  •  Enable students to solve complex problems that build on the foundational CFD theory they’ve learned in the course.
  • Expose students to the robust numerical capabilities present in the background of a sophisticated, industry standard CFD tool.
  • Provide students with a platform that will help them quickly ideate solutions for flow problems and assess their impact in a relatively short turn-around time.
  • Provide students with an easy-to-use CFD tool that can be easily accessed while taking a fully remote, online course.

Engineering Solution

The course required students to work on a socially relevant project and suggest solutions to the problem. With a view of bringing students back on campus after the COVID-19 lockdown, students evaluated the ventilation in various labs and classrooms on campus. They were required to model and simulate the flow field within a room and estimate how frequently the air inside the room needs to be circulated to minimize infection spread. Fluent’s robust meshing and simulation capabilities enabled students to mesh large rooms efficiently and easily incorporate various flow effects such as ceiling fans, exhaust fans, air turbulence parameters, etc. The user-defined scalar (UDS) capability of Fluent was crucial for predicting the residence time of air in the various parts of the room.


By trying out different simulation options available in Fluent and working with add-on numerical capabilities such as UDS, students applied the theory they learned to a socially relevant problem. Students also gained a better understanding of the importance of ventilating dead zones to limit infection spread by seeing flow visualized in the rooms using Ansys Fluent.  Providing students with this hands-on experience not only helped them understand foundational CFD theory but also equipped them with skills highly sought after in industry. 

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