Fluid Mechanics module (ME40002)

Develop and expand your understanding of fluid mechanics principles and their application.

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Module code


This module builds on the foundations established in ME32001, developing and expanding your understanding of fluid mechanics principles and their application, as well as introducing a number of advanced topics.

Indicative content in this module includes:

  • Viscous Fluid Flow: further Navier-Stokes (N-S) equations and applications (lubrication)
  • Compressible Flow: basic thermodynamic relations, speed of sound in gases, Mach number, isentropic relations, shock waves, nozzles and choking, and supersonic flow
  • Hydraulic Transients: unsteady pipe flows, sudden and gradual valve closure, water hammer, effect of pipe elasticity, hydro-electric installations, and surge protection
  • Ideal Fluid Flow: stream and velocity potential functions, irrotational flow, circulation and vorticity, uniform flow, sources and sinks, combinations of flow patterns, and combined source and sink
  • Boundary-Layers: laminar and turbulent boundary-layer approximations, integral solutions, boundary layer equation, boundary layer thickness, drag coefficients and forces, and pressure gradients
  • Turbulence: nature of turbulence, turbulent boundary layers, wall bounded shear flow, and universal velocity profile

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • study the underlying thermodynamic and fluid principles of compressibility and its effect on fluid flow
  • learn the fundamental equations of motion that apply to fluid systems
  • learn the meaning and implications of vorticity, irrotationality, and circulation for inviscid flows
  • analyse problems involving unsteady flow conditions
  • study the effect of boundary-layers on structural drag forces

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • appreciate the implications of fluid compressibility in the design of systems interacting with high speed gas flows
  • understand the use of ideal/inviscid flow relationships in the modelling of practical fluid flows
  • understand how fundamental fluid properties affect unsteady pipe flows and the mechanics of the resulting pressure changes
  • appreciate the importance, significance, and physical characteristics of laminar and turbulent boundary-layers
  • carry out the calculations necessary for the solution of practical problems associated with compressible flows, ideal flow combinations, unsteady pipe flows, and boundary-layers
  • select appropriate analysis techniques for a given flow regime

demonstrate effective self-learning skills

Assignments / assessment:

  • coursework 1 (10%)
  • coursework 2 (10%)
  • formal written exam (80%)

Teaching methods / timetable:

This module is delivered face-to-face on campus through lectures and tutorials. You will receive feedback on your understanding of the module as part of the assessment of your coursework.

Scheduled contact time in this module is 33 hours, including 30 hours of lectures and three hours of tutorials. Time in guided independent study including the completion of assessment tasks is 103 hours.


This module is available on following courses: