European Research Community for Flow Turbulence and Combustion(ERCOFTAC) (BE)
ERCOFTAC, the European Research Community for Flow Turbulence and Combustion, is a European Association, with legal status by Belgian law, as an international, nonprofit scientific association. Its official seat is in Brussels. ERCOFTAC has a large base of expertise, as an association with over 200 research and industrial groups as members. Industrial members are currently close to 60, drawn from across all sectors and all EU member states, including the main aerospace manufacturers, the national aerospace research institutes, the leading commercial CFD code vendors, as well as many consultancy companies.
ERCOFTAC is structured as a double network. The Pilot Centres (PC), present in most countries where they form a "local area network" in their geographical area, form a first ("vertical") network. Each PC comprises several research groups and industrial organisations. Concerning the New member states, a recent PC has been created in Poland and new PC's are being formed in Hungary and the Czech Republic. Contacts have also been initiated recently in Romania.
The Special Interest Groups (SIG) form the second ("horizontal") network, based on scientific topics requiring a dedicated collaborative effort for progress through the input of a large number of partners, all over Europe.
The activities of ERCOFTAC are guided by two important Committees, the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) and the Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC). The SPC provides broad guidelines to the SIG's in terms of general research objectives when required and monitors the various training and dissemination activities through the proposals for Workshops and Summer Schools. The SPC also acts as a supervision body for the activities of the national or regional PC's.
The IAC coordinates the activities and interests of the industrial membership of ERCOFTAC, with as main objectives to foster Flow Turbulence and Combustion research, knowledge and expertise; to support shaping research funding policies; to promote and enable FTAC research programmes which match innovation to industrial needs. The IAC has been at the basis of the ERCOFTAC CFD Quality and Trust initiative, which was set up to address these issues in a practical way. This has led to a published document, entitled "Best Practice Guidelines for Industrial CFD", which is widely acclaimed for its unique value to CFD practice and is distributed throughout the world, with over 700 copies. The basis for the QNET-CFD project was in fact fostered by the IAC, as an offspring of its BPG initiative.
The Administrative structure of ERCOFTAC is composed of a Coordination Centre in Lausanne (EPFL) and an Administrative and Development Office (ADO) in Brussels.