MEng Civil Engineering with Industrial Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Computational Hydraulics

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL42002
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Part 1: The Finite-Volume Method - the dominant approach to fluid-flow simulation in general-purpose CFD codes. This section includes practical civil-engineering-type exercises with the major commercial code StarCCM+.

Part 2: Shallow-Water Flows - specialist CFD for civil engineering. Widely used in predicting river, estuarine and coastal flows.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Hydraulics 2 CIVL20041 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Hydraulics 1 CIVL10101 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Hydraulics 3 CIVL34001 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


  • To introduce students to the numerical simulation of incompressible fluid flow.
  • For students to understand and be able to choose and apply appropriate discretisation techniques for partial differential equations, particularly those describing fluid flow.
  • To acquaint students with major in-house and commercial CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software and how to apply such software to typical civil-engineering problems, such as wind-loading, ventilation, pollution dispersion, coastal and estuarine flows.


Part 1: The Finite-Volume Method (Dr Apsley)
(1) Governing equations: conservative and non-conservative forms; some exact solutions; common approximations.
(2) Finite-volume techniques: discretisation of standard advection-diffusion problem; time-marching; pressure-correction methods; computer methods for solving matrix equations.
(3) Turbulence and its modelling: Reynolds averaging and Reynolds stresses; basic theory and log law; “industry-type” turbulence models.
(4) 3D geometric techniques (areas, volumes, averages) and presentation of 3D data.
(5) Use of in-house research code STREAM (1 exercise) and commercial code StarCCM+ (2 exercises) for industry-type problems (e.g. wind loading).

Part 2: Shallow-Water Flows (Dr Rogers)
(6) Shallow-water (depth-averaged) approximation and equations; specialist solution techniques.
(7) In-house software example (1 exercise).

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Report 50%

Feedback methods

Individual feedback will be posted online after marking, with common problems summarised in class.

Exam - class summary in Blackboard

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 32
Lectures 34
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Apsley Unit coordinator

Return to course details