Fluid Mechanics module (CE31003)

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In this module, you will be introduced to the use of fundamental fluid mechanics principles to solve practical hydraulic engineering problems relevant to civil engineering. This will focus on the design and analysis of open-channel flows, hydraulic structures and pumped pipework systems. It will also consider fluid-structure interactions in terms of the analysis of boundary layer flows and fluid forces on structures. Finally, the module considers how these hydraulic engineering problems can be scaled to allow them to be modelled and tested within the laboratory.

You will learn and apply a range of calculation methods to solve practical flow problems associated with civil engineering hydraulics, such as in understanding the fluid properties and behaviour of steady and unsteady channel and pipe flows. You will also undertake laboratory and design exercises to demonstrate some of these flow phenomena and their importance on the design and safety of hydraulic installations.

Topics include:

  • Open Channel Flow Hydraulics: analysis of steady, uniform flows; gradually-varying flows; rapidly-varying flows and the formation of hydraulic jumps; unsteady surge flows and tidal bores.
  • Pipe Flow Hydraulics: analysis of head losses in gradually varying pipe flows; rapidly varying pipe flow effects (e.g. water hammer).
  • Forces on structures: analysis of drag and lift forces on structures due to fluid flow; application to marine infrastructure (e.g. seabed pipelines; vertical monopiles for offshore wind); force induced oscillations.
  • Turbulent boundary layers: understanding the importance, significance and physical characteristics of boundary layers and the ways in which they describe drag forces on smooth and rough surfaces.
  • Scaling and dimensional analysis: understanding the role played by dimensional analysis and scaled modelling in the design process for hydraulic installations and infrastructure.


This module is available on following courses: