Rajeev Kumar

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Brian Dennis


Over the years Galerkin finite element method along with its variants has been used to solve incompressible and compressible Navier-Stokes equations. The Galerkin method which is more suited for self-adjoint type system of equations like in solid mechanics and heat conduction struggles when applied to non self-adjoint type systems like one encountered in fluid dynamics. Velocity and pressure variables have to be approximated using functions which belong to different spaces and must satisfy the tough LBB condition. The least-squares finite element method (LSFEM), which is based on minimizing the l2-norm of the residual, has many attractive advantages over Galerkin finite element method (GFEM). It is now well established as a proper approach to deal with the convection dominated fluid dynamic equations. The least-squares finite element method has a number of attractive characteristics such as the lack of an inf-sup condition and the resulting symmetric positive system of algebraic equations unlike GFEM. However, the higher continuity requirements for second-order terms in the governing equations force the introduction of additional unknowns through the use of an equivalent first-order system of equations or the use of C1 continuous basis functions. These additional unknowns lead to increased memory and computing time requirements that have limited the application of LSFEM to large-scale practical problems, such as three-dimensional compressible viscous flows. A simple finite element method is proposed that employs a least-squares method for first-order derivatives and a Galerkin method for second order derivatives, thereby avoiding the need for additional unknowns required by a pure LSFEM approach. When the unsteady form of the governing equations is used, a streamline upwinding term is introduced naturally by the least-squares method. Resulting system matrix is always symmetric and positive definite and can be solved by iterative solvers like pre-conditioned conjugate gradient method. The method is stable for convection-dominated flows and allows for equal-order basis functions for both pressure and velocity. The stability and accuracy of the method are demonstrated with preliminary results of several benchmark problems solved using low-order C0 continuous elements.


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington