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BEng Mechanical Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Fluid Mechanics

Course unit fact file
Unit code MECH31422
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This module covers the backbone of modern fluid mechanics, starting with analysing in depth the Navier-Stokes equations and the turbulence emergence process. These provide a solid foundation that enables students to professionally analyse and tackle practical engineering problems involving fluid flows.
The concept of flow management is introduced together with a broad description of available techniques to modify fluid flows in practical engineering applications, such as boundary layers modification in external aerodynamics and transport enhancement with nanofluids in internal channel flows.
This unit involves:
Study in depth to acquire coherent and detailed knowledge of modern fluid mechanics (about 50%);
Study of topics (flow management) and practical engineering applications (about 50%);

This unit helps prepare students to tackle and solve a substantial range of engineering problems involving fluid flow.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Fluid Mechanics for Aerospace and Mechanical Engineers AERO10421 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Fluid Mechanics 2 AERO20121 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


For students to acquire a solid understanding of the Navier-Stokes equations that describe fluid flow phenomena, and their most important limiting cases: creeping flows, inviscid flows, and boundary layers;
For students to develop a qualitative understanding of turbulence, an introductory understanding of the Reynolds decomposition to describe turbulent flows, and familiarize with turbulence modelling;
For students to meet and familiarize with the concept of flow management, which is the modification of the character of a flow to achieve a beneficial outcome, such as heat transfer enhancement or drag reduction;
For students to learn to analyse experimental data professionally, and practice presenting scientific information in written form.


The Navier-Stokes equations:
Derivation of the Navier-Stokes equations from first principles; discussion of their limitations and practical applicability; discussion of their mathematical and physical properties; exact solutions for selected fluid flow problems; limiting forms of the Navier-Stokes equations: inviscid potential flows, creeping flows, and boundary layers;
The turbulence emergence process; properties of turbulent flows; the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations for the analysis of turbulent flows; presentation and discussion of the principal turbulence modelling approaches (DNS, LES, RANS);
Flow management:
Definition of flow management and its practical relevance in real-world applications; presentation of selected flow management techniques: heat transfer enhancement in channel flow, nanofluids, drag reduction.
Measurement of velocity profiles and turbulence intensity in channel air flow using hot-wire anemometry; analysis and post-processing of the measured data; error analysis; presentation of the results in the form of a technical journal paper. The students attend the laboratory in small groups (4-5), while the final report is individual, i.e. each student presents his/her own report.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods

Marked reports with feedback to be returned within two weeks of final submission.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Supervised time in studio/wksp 3
Tutorials 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 71

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andrea Cioncolini Unit coordinator

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