Research Papers

A Parallel Universe: Contributions to the Initial Development of Computational Heat Transfer

[+] Author and Article Information
Stuart W. Churchill

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering,
University of Pennsylvania,
Towne Building, Room 311A,
220 South 33rd Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19101-6393
e-mail: churchil@seas.upenn.edu

Manuscript received November 4, 2010; final manuscript received September 30, 2011; published online December 6, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Akshai Runchal.

J. Heat Transfer 135(1), 011006 (Dec 06, 2012) (7 pages) Paper No: HT-10-1517; doi: 10.1115/1.4007653 History: Received November 04, 2010; Revised September 30, 2011

Computational heat transfer developed in parallel time-wise with computational fluid dynamics because they were both prompted by the emergence of electronic devices for computation in the middle of the twentieth century and by the subsequent rapid growth in capability and availability of those devices. The development of numerical methodologies for natural convection followed a somewhat different path because the fluid motion is generated by and intimately coupled with the thermal transport. The minihistories presented herein are representative rather than definitive because they trace the contributions of only one thread of investigators. They also differ from a review by virtue of identification of the human element, which is ordinarily excluded from archival technical accounts although it usually plays a critical role. They differ in a still another sense from the contributions of Spalding and of Harlow and their associates in that most of the advances were motivated by specific practical considerations rather than by computation itself.

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