Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Panneer R. Selvam

Committee Member

Ernie Heymsfield

Second Committee Member

Micah Hale


Applied sciences, Bridge aerodynamic, Computational fluid dynamic, Parallel computing, Wind engineering, Wind loading


The incidence of wind on bridges produces static and dynamic loading that must be adequately addressed when designing bridges. Dynamic loading is the primary concern, as the amplitude of the structures response to the applied loading may be greatly amplified. Ideally, the bridge's properties should be designed to avoid dynamic loading. Previous investigations of wind loading on bridges consisted of measuring forces produced on scaled models of bridges within wind tunnels. However, these wind tunnel tests are costly and time consuming due to cost to fabricate and instrument the bridge cross sections. Recent advancements in computational power of computers allow realistic simulation of wind flow over bridges via computational fluid dynamics (CFD). It is advantageous to study wind forces on bridge decks via computer simulation because parameters of the bridge and the wind field around it can be modified to evaluate their influences on the forces produced on the bridge. The present study introduces a new computer model that is used to simulate two-dimensional flow of wind around a bridge deck. This program is in parallel format, which substantially reduces computational time compared to time required for similar simulations on a single computer. Minimum grid refinement to adequately resolve the boundary layer is identified. A user manual is developed so that the program can be operated by a designer with minimal training. Finally, the model is validated by comparing the force coefficients that it predicts with force coefficients from wind tunnel experiments.

KEY WORDS: Wind loading, bridge aerodynamic, computational fluid dynamic, parallel computing