Core: Foundation Course

This course introduces the open source CFD toolbox, OpenFOAM. It provides a foundation for all aspects of OpenFOAM, from running cases to programming, so is useful to both new users and existing users wishing to broaden their basic knowledge of OpenFOAM.

Topics Covered

  • The OpenFOAM software distribution
  • Background in the use of Linux/UNIX
  • OpenFOAM applications and how to use them
  • Basic meshing with a block-structured mesh generator
  • Field initialisation and general boundary conditions
  • Selecting physical models and setting parameters
  • Solution monitoring and control
    • plotting residuals
    • plotting continuity errors
  • Mesh conversion (example from Ansys)
  • Boundary conditions
  • Reynolds-averaged simulation for turbulence
    • setting boundary conditions
    • wall functions
  • Post-processing tools and visualisation
  • Mesh manipulation
  • Running in parallel
  • Creating animations
  • Introduction to C++ and its use in OpenFOAM
    • Code structure and compilation
    • Code walk through for a simple utility
    • The important classes in OpenFOAM
  • The finite volume method and PISO/SIMPLE/PIMPLE algorithms
  • Post-processing with Function Objects

Course details

Running OpenFOAM

Participants undertake exercises in simulating cases and programming in OpenFOAM using ESI’s Cloud-based HPC computing platform, accessed via a secure ssh connection between desktop PCs (provided) or participants laptops, applicable to all operating systems. All work from the training will be stored on the cloud and participants may download all the work and exercises on their USB flash drives at the end of the training.

Course materials

For online courses, users will receive a printable pdf with a manual containing the course presentation and additional materials.
Classroom attendees will receive a high-quality, A5-sized (80-100 page) wire-bound manual containing the course presentation and additional materials.
Please note: registration and payment for classroom courses must be completed at least 10 days in advance of the training date to allow sufficient time for material delivery.


The language used in all OpenFOAM courses is English. Translations or delivery in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages are available on request.

Course times

The course is 2 days in duration and usually runs from 09.00 to 17.30 (local time for classroom training, CET for virtual training) each day.

Target audience

The Foundation course is suitable for new users and existing users seeking to broaden their basic knowledge, particularly in programming — see “information on course suitability” for further details.


No prior knowledge of OpenFOAM, C++ or Linux is required but a basic knowledge of Linux and C++ is beneficial.