Summer 2022 Online Course

Modeling Wind Turbines with the FAST Code


OpenFAST is the open-source wind turbine simulation tool developed by NREL that industry, academia and laboratories use for modeling turbines and wind plants.

Watch video by instructor Kaylie McTiernan, who offers details about the course:

* OPEN TO ALL: New, Active, Inactive, Non-Credit Students
​* Asynchronous and Fully-Remote to access anytime
* Online bulletin board for instructor Q&A
* Lectures remain posted throughout entire session
* Class format:  7 HW assignments with fixed due dates & final project
​* Certificate offered upon completion

Course Code: CE-ENGINE 597W (3 credits / certificate for non-degree)
Course Dates: May 19 - July 1
Last Day to Enroll: May 25

Need help or have questions? email or call 413-545-3653


Course Description: In this course, students will learn how to use the FAST code to simulate wind turbines. FAST is a free, open-source code created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It models the aerodynamics, structural dynamics, hydrodynamics, and control of a wind turbine. Students will learn how to download and run FAST, how to generate and modify input files, and how to analyze output data. At the end of the course students should be highly competent users of FAST, ready to perform loads and energy generation analysis and try out new design modifications of their own.

Primary Instructor: Kaylie McTiernan (Click for Bio)
Instructor Bio:  Kaylie received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University, and her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Marine Affairs from the University of Washington. Her research focuses on scaling relations for floating offshore wind turbine platforms using numerical and analytical methods.

The course is made up of 9 online modules:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to OpenFAST
  • Unit 2: Anatomy of a wind turbine
  • Unit 3: Pre- and post-processing
  • Unit 4: ElastoDyn and SubDyn
  • Unit 5: Aerodyn, InfloWind, and TurbSim
  • Unit 6: HydroDyn
  • Unit 7: Floating structures
  • Unit 8: ServoDyn
  • Unit 9: Advanced techniques

How to Enroll 
​(opens in new tab: UMass Amherst University Without Walls)

  •  As a New Student
    You have never attended UMass Amherst or have applied for admission and would like to take a class prior to your official admit term.
  •  As a Current Student
    You are currently active in a UMass Amherst program or are actively taking classes as a Non-Degree student.
  •  As an Inactive Student
    You have attended UMass Amherst either as a matriculated or non-degree student in the past but are not currently taking classes.