In consideration of the extremely rapid progress in turbomachinery technology after the WWII, when the first gas engine was run, modern turbomachinery could be considered a young subject. Developments in computational power and numerical techniques since the 1940s, totally changed designer’s perspectives, giving them the possibilities to increase power and sophistication of design tools consolidated by years of laboratory and field tests from the 1940’s and 1950’s. A huge database from which, we believe, “there is still so much to be learned” (Cumpsty, 1986) [1].

On the other hand turbomachinery performance correlations, or even design procedures, have tended to be developed in individualistic ways. A reason for this has been the use of different approaches within engineering companies and the development of customized design tools and correlation of previous experience or performance optimization.

These circumstances reflected in an extraordinary knowledge, hided by confidentiality and intellectual property issues. In this respect, proprietary design techniques acts as a barrier to the dissemination of concepts at the early stages such as the university.

This paper illustrates the design process of an industrial fan as taught at Sapienza, University of Rome, during lectures of Turbomachinery Design. Objective of the class was to help students learn to develop their own design tools from the available suggested literature Horlock (1958, 1962, 1966) [2] [3] [4], Dixon (1975) [5], Lakshminarayana (1995) [6], Cumpsty (1989) [1] and Lewis (1996) [8]. Moreover, the activities were oriented to the use of open source software, specifically Scilab, used to code preliminary design and optimization routines as well as OpenFoam for the CFD verification step.

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