Research group on:

Computational Fluid Dynamics in Hydraulic Engineering

Our department has been using and developing CFD models for hydraulic and sedimentation engineering since 1990. Initial work was focused on sediment problems with regards to hydropower intakes, primarily due to the difficulties of modelling fine sediment in physical models. Since then the scope of our CFD research has expanded to other hydraulic and environmental topics.

More information: [People] [Projects] [Publications] [Computer Programs] [Links]

The picture above shows the results from modelling a braided laboratory channel.



Prof. Nils Reidar B. Olsen
Teaching and research on CFD modelling

Prof. Knut T. Alfredsen
Teaching and research on habitat hydraulics

Prof. Jochen Aberle
Physical laboratory flow modelling

Dr. Nils Rüther
Teaching and research on hydraulic engineering and sediment transport.

Post-doctoral researcher

Pierre-Yves Henry
Modelling friction loss in rock-blasted tunnels using OpenFOAM

Doctoral students

Marcell Szabo-Meszaros
Modelling a water intake with OpenFOAM

Silje Kreken Almeland
Modelling air/water mixtures in spillways with OpenFOAM

Halvor Kjærås
Modelling fish habitat in rivers with OpenFOAM

Master students

Erik Mølmann
Modelling friction loss in a rock-blasted tunnel using OpenFOAM

External cooperating researchers

Dr. Catherine Wilson, Cardiff University, UK
Modelling dispersion and vegetation in laboratory flumes and natural channels

Dr. Thorsten Stösser, Cardiff University, UK
Modelling local scour and studies of RANS vs LES in hydraulics.

Dr. Helmut Knoblauch, University of Graz, Austria
Modelling sediments in reservoirs

Dr. Stefan Vollmer, Bundesanstalt für Gewasserkunde, Germany
Modelling erosion of non-uniform sediments

Dr. Katinka Koll, The Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany
Modelling sediments in a reservoir

Dr. Gudrun Hillebrand, Bundesanstalt für Gewasserkunde, Germany
Modelling water and sediment in a circular flume and in a hydropower reservoir.

Dr. Stefan Haun, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Modelling sediments in rivers and reservoirs.

Dr. Raymond Eilertsen, The Geological Survey of Norway
Modelling water and sediment flow in the delta of Lake Øyern

Dr. Peggy Zinke, SINTEF Energy Research
Modelling water and sediment flow in the delta of Lake Øyern

Dr. Sandor Baranya, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
Modelling sediment transport and erosion in rivers.

Dr. Gabriele Harb, Verbund hydropower company, Austria
Modelling sediments in reservoirs

Dr. Kari Bråtveit, The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate
Modelling water flow in sand traps

Dr. Irina Klassen, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Modelling cohesive sediments in reservoirs.

Dr. Clemens Dorfmann, Flüssburo, Austria
Modelling sediments in reservoirs

Dr. Øyvind Pedersen, Multiconsult, Norway
Modelling river gauging stations and spillways

Oscar Jimenez, Carbon Ingenieria, Costa Rica
Modelling sediment flow in reservoirs

Laura Lizano, Instituto Costarricence de Electricidad, Costa Rica
Modelling sediment flow in reservoirs

Pravin Aryal, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Nepal
Modelling water flow in sand traps

The picture above shows a longitudinal profile of sediment deposition during antidune formation. The grey area is the sediment and the coloured area is the water. Sediment size 2 is the finest size.

Computer Programs

Most of our CFD work has been carried out using the SSIIM program. The program is based on the solution of the Navier-Stokes equations on a non-orthogonal 2D or 3D grid. Both structured and unstructured grid versions are used. The SIMPLE method is used for computing the pressure and the the k-epsilon model is used to calculate turbulence. The sediment transport is calculated by solving the convection-diffusion equation for sediment concentration. Changes in bed elevation over time are computed, and algorithms for wetting and drying enables the prediction of lateral channel movements.

More information and download instructions for SSIIM


Listings of publications

On-line books

We have made some CFD books publically available on the PDF format. A short description and download links are given below.

CFD class notes (593 kB)

User's manual for SSIIM (3.5 MB PDF)

Numerical modelling and hydraulics (1.7 MB)

CFD Algorithms for Hydraulic Engineering (678 kB)

CFD for Hydraulic Structures (535 kB)


Several examples from our research are listed below. Much of the work has been carried out in cooperation with other institutions, so many of the examples are located on other web servers.

The numbers in brackets indicate size of graphics files in kB. The date indicate latest update.

Sediment transport

General hydraulics

Water quality

Habitat hydraulics

This page is made by

Nils Reidar B. Olsen

* Faculty of Civil and Env. Engineering
* Dept. of Hydraulic and Env. Engineering
Updated: 16. September 2018
Copyright © 2000-2018, Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, NTNU