Matti's short visit at rwth aachen
Matthias Rauter, ESR 14 | @ RWTH Aachen, Germany (24.-26. September 2018)
I have been in contact with Julia Kowalski ever since a memorable meeting in front of my poster at EGU2017. Julia is well known for the development of RAMMS, probably the most popular simulation tool for avalanches and debris flows. Now Julia is Junior Research Group Leader at RWTH Aachen University, working on landslides, melting ice in outer space (Yes, rocket science!) and the mathematics behind it.
Aachen is located in the middle of Europe and one of the leading universities of technology in Europe. I was correspondingly excited for being invited by Julia to present my work on OpenFOAM. The SLATE workshop provided the perfect opportunity for a short visit on my way back.
The two-day stay was filled with intense discussions and a vivid exchange of ideas, insights and code. We covered a wide range of topics: wave propagation with volume of fluid methods, operational application of OpenFOAM, velocity profiles and arbitrary topography in depth-integrated models.
Moreover, a lot of attention was given to my most beloved/hatred topic: Meshing! A mesh is required to present topography in numerical simulations. This does not only include geometry but also topography of numerical fields. Thus, the quality and stability of numerical simulations depends heavily on the mesh. Surface meshing of natural terrain for landslide simulations is a notoriously difficult task! I spend months on generating and evaluating meshes for my OpenFOAM landslide solver, honestly, without any considerable progress.
Therefore, I was very excited to see the progress that has been achieved at RWTH Aachen in terms of meshing. In collaboration with the Visual Computation Institute (https://www.meshing.rwth-aachen.de/) they generate high-quality block-structured meshes (https://www.openmesh.org/) of natural terrain. My OpenFOAM solver can take advantage of such meshes and I look forward to see the respective simulations.