A computational fluid dynamics-based optimization methodology is developed, appropriate for the geometric optimization of enhanced heat transfer devices based upon the principle of entropy generation minimization, in which the objective function is evaluated from a flow field obtained by computational simulation. A quasi-Newton optimization procedure is employed, with computation of the objective function gradients based upon a finite difference approach. The optimization procedure is developed to be general with regard to the choice of objective function, the details of the problem under consideration, and the computational methodology employed in solving the fluid flow and heat transfer problems. A novel implementation of a Taylor series-based procedure for the fast solution of nearby problems is presented, which is found to greatly benefit the efficiency of the present methodology. Finally, a numerical experiment is presented, illustrating the use of the present method in the geometric optimization of a practical enhanced heat transfer device on the basis of the criterion of entropy generation minimization. The optimization of the fin spacing of a simple plate fin heat sink is considered, and a comparison of the computational results with results obtained by analytical optimization based upon empirical friction factor and Nusselt number correlations is given. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.