BEng Civil Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Hydraulics 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL10101
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Hydraulics is the branch of Civil Engineering dealing with fluids and fluid flow.  This unit introduces the fundamentals of fluid mechanics and applies them to calculating forces on hydraulic structures (dams, gates, walls, pipe bends and junctions) and calculating flows and energy losses in pipes and open channels (rivers, canals, etc.).


To introduce students to the basic principles and concepts used in the study of fluid mechanics, to enable students to solve simple physical problems connected with fluid flow connected with Civil Engineering (“Hydraulics”).


1. Properties of fluids: concept of a continuum. Density, viscosity, surface tension, compressibility. Calculating forces due to surface tension and viscosity.

2. Hydrostatics: Pressure, hydrostatic equation. Measurement of pressure, calculating hydrostatic forces on surfaces, centre of pressure.

3. Kinematics: calculating velocity and acceleration in fluid flows.

4. Energy and momentum: Conservation of energy and Bernoulli's equation, application to flow measurement and pressure calculations. Momentum principle and control volumes. Application to calculating forces on hydraulic systems. Open channel flow and hydraulic jumps, calculating flowrate and energy dissipation.

5. Pipeflow: inviscid, laminar and turbulent flow, Reynolds experiment. Head losses.  Calculating flowrate, forces and energy losses in pipe systems.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods

Marked coursework (problems and completed lab pro formas) will be returned with comments.  These will also be gone through in lectures, identifying common problems.  Lecturer available for individual questions.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 68

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Gregory Lane-Serff Unit coordinator

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