We describe a numerical scheme for computing time-dependent solutions of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in the primitive variable formulation. This scheme uses finite elements for the space discretization and operator splitting techniques for the time discretization. The resulting discrete equations are solved using specialized nonlinear optimization algorithms that are computationally efficient and have modest storage requirements. The basic numerical kernel is the preconditioned conjugate gradient method for symmetric, positive-definite, sparse matrix systems, which can be efficiently implemented on the architectures of vector and parallel processing supercomputers. © 1992.