Waves2FOAM – Detailed modelling of free surface flows


monopileThe course gives the participants a general introduction to detailed numerical modelling for offshore and coastal applications. The course will cover the theoretical background of basic wave theory and its importance for numerical modelling of water waves and fluid structure interaction. The participants get hands-on experience with the numerical models and advanced post processing tools through relevant engineering case studies. All tools and models are open-source and will be made available to the participants.


  • Basic wave theory
  • Numerical modelling of water waves
    This topic includes discussion on wave generation and absorption and choice of appropriate boundary conditions. Furthermore, aspects of accuracy, quality and efficiency will be covered.
  • Detailed fluid-structure interaction
    Modelling of permeable structures and aspects of turbulence modelling for free surface flows.
  • Advanced pre- and post-processing tools
    Run-time extraction of wave properties and their post-processing (in time and frequency domain).

Numerical models

  • The open-source potential flow solver OceanWave3D is presented and used for wave propagation and fast evaluation of non-linear wave induced forces on offshore structures.
  • The open-source toolbox waves2Foam for OpenFoam is presented. Its capabilities within the area of breaking wave impacts on monopiles and permeable coastal structures are presented.

Case studies

  • Offshore wind
    Efficient computations of fully nonlinear wave loads on monopile foundations for offshore wind turbine generators. Detailed modelling of slamming wave loads will be discussed.
  • Coastal structures
    Numerical modelling of the interaction between water waves and a permeable coastal structure. A method to compute the reflection from and transmission through the structure will be presented.

Course material

  • The participant will receive a digital copy of all slides on a USB-stick. The USB-stick contains a bootable Linux-environment and this Linux environment contains the necessary (open-source) software and the hands-on exercises.


  • Basic knowledge on numerical modelling with e.g. OpenFoam is beneficial.
  • This course is an introduction to the usage of OceanWave3D and OpenFoam for the modelling detailed free surface behaviour. The course is not a basic introduction to the workings of OpenFoam in general.

The participants

The typical participant for this course is a professional involved in design of coastal and offshore structures as e.g. offshore wind turbine foundations, break waters and oil- and gas platforms.

The course will give an overview of the capabilities of the models and help you implement them in your own design routines.

The instructors

  • Dr. Niels Gjøl Jacobsen has many years of experience with the modelling of free surface waves in OpenFoam and he is the main author of the waves2Foam toolbox.
  • Dr. Bo Terp Paulsen has many years of experience in the modelling of extreme loads on offshore structure including slamming and ringing loads.


Course flyer “Wave2FOAM – Detailed modelling of free surface flows

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