Fluid Mechanics

Module summary

Module code: GEEN1173
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Engineering
Module Coordinator(s): Abdelhafid Belaidi


Pre and co requisites

GEEN1170 Engineering Principles, Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering


To introduce students to the topic of fluid mechanics and its relevance in Engineering and familiarise them with commonly used models to solve problems related to fluids at rest and in motion. Fluid problems are encountered in every aspect of life and engineers need to recognise and characterise different types of flows to select appropriate models to develop new systems or improve existing ones. By working on practical exercises and projects, students will reinforce theoretical concepts and develop skills that help them breakdown problems and identify fluid concepts and models relevant to practical applications.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Understand basic fluid properties and the physical laws and models that govern fluid behaviour
2 Compute hydrostatic and hydrodynamic/aerodynamic forces born from fluids at rest and in motion
3 Analyse fluid systems and evaluate energy losses to optimise designs and power requirements in fluid transfer and pumping installations.

Indicative content

Background theory:
Fluid properties, spatial variation of pressure, stresses in fluids
Design and sizing of retaining walls and sluice gates:
Pascal’s Law, forces on submerged surfaces and their lines of action, forces on floating bodies, buoyancy and stability, pressure measurement
Selection and sizing of flow metering devices:
Basic fluid dynamic principles, the flow pattern, flow types, open and closed systems, the continuity equation, Bernoulli’s equation
Matching pipelines and pumping systems for specific duties:
The energy equation, Poiseuille’s equation, D’Arcy’s equation, Moody’s chart and the determination of the friction factor, primary and secondary losses in confined flows, pump selection and sizing.
Drag reduction on moving objects (cars, airplanes…)
Boundary layer with and without pressure gradient, effects of pressure gradient on boundary layer separation, flow past streamlined and bluff bodies, flow past a cylinder, flow past a sphere, drag and lift forces, boundary layer separation and vortex formation, boundary layer control
Flow measurement:
Velocity measurement, flowrate measurement, differential head producing devices, devices using flow velocity, criteria for meter selection, meter installation, other type of meters.
Nozzle design and calculation:
Variation of pressure in terms of Mach number, one dimensional isentropic flow in ducts, isentropic flow in converging-diverging nozzles
Bulk solid conveying technology:
An overview of principal conveyor types; gravity chute, belt, chain, vibratory chute, air slide and pneumatic conveyor, with a detailed focus on the operation and key components of the latter

Teaching and learning activity

The module is delivered through a combination of formal lectures, tutorial sessions, directed learning and a comprehensive laboratory programme. Lectures are driven by real applications where consideration is given to theoretical concepts essential to the solution of engineering problems. Tutorial sessions will be used to cement theories and help the student link theory to practice to develop analytical skills essential to the solution of fluid flow problems. Learning and understanding of different fluid mechanics topics is re-enforced by working on several real-life challenges such as the design and calculation of hydraulic and fluid systems for diverse applications, ranging from hydraulic lifting gears to innovative energy conversion systems, fluid distribution systems, thermal energy conversion and aerodynamic lift generating devices. These challenges are set for students to find answers to specific problems through the application of fluid mechanics concepts in an environmentally friendly manner. Some of the problems are open ended and will cultivate in students the practice of self-learning to develop confidence in their ability to research and learn independently. In addition to in-class demonstrations, an extensive laboratory programme will further aid understanding of the subject matter by putting theories into practice as well as help students develop experimental and report writing skills.


Practical activity portfolio - 30% LO - 1, 2, 3. Pass mark - 30% 1,500 words. Practical activities.

Exam - 70% LO - 1,2,3. Pass mark - 30% 2 hours. Overall pass mark 40%. Unseen written exam.

All elements of summative assessment be passed to pass the module.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Solving tutorial questions in class and providing feedback. Regular feedback on online quizzes. Mock test to familiarise students with typical exam questions and conditions with collective feedback.