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EM3018: FLUID MECHANICS A (2016-2017)

Last modified: 16 Nov 2016 17:36

Course Overview

The course begins with the concept of dynamic similarity and the application of dimensional analysis to model-testing.  This is followed by sections on steady and unsteady flow in pressure conduits; rotodynamic fluid machines including cavitation and pump-pipeline matching; open channel flow, mainly focused on steady uniform and steady rapidly varied flows; and porous media flow with applications in civil, mechanical, chemical and petroleum engineering.

The laboratory exercises are designed to reinforce concepts covered in lectures and include experiments on the performance characteristics of hydraulic machines and measurements of the essential features of flow in an open channel.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Thomas O'Donoghue

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Engineering (EG) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of EG2003 Fluid Mechanics & Thermodynamics (Passed) or EG2004 Fluid Mechanics & Thermodynamics (Passed) or EG2539 Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics (Passed)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

1.       Dimensional analysis and model testing: similarity; common dimensionless numbers; Buckingham PI method; applications.      (5 lectures)

2.       Steady and unsteady flow in pipes: head loss; inertia head; water hammer; surge protection.      (6 lectures)

3.      Open channel flow: classification; friction formulae; optimum design of channel section; energy methods; flow transition; critical flow; hydraulic structures; momentum methods: hydraulic jump.          (5 lectures)

4.      Hydraulic machines: classification; impulse, axial and radial m/c; design principles for reaction m/c; performance of m/c from model tests; specific speed; cavitation and pump and turbine positioning; pump-pipeline systems.  (6 lectures)

5.      Porous media flow: porous media properties; permeability and Darcy’s law; flow in pipes; open channel flow; wells.   (5 lectures)

Open Channel Flow and Hydraulic Machines Laboratory Exercises 

Each student does two extended laboratory exercises, one on open channel flow and the other on hydraulic machines.  The exercises are ‘extended’ in that they involve analysis and library/WWW work outside of the laboratory.

Further Information & Notes

Note(s): Available only to students following an Honours degree programme.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • BSc Engineering (Civil)
  • BSc Engineering (General)
  • BSc Engineering (Mechanical)
  • Bachelor Of Science In Engineering (Chemical)
  • Bachelor Of Science In Engineering (Petroleum)
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Eng (Civil and Environmental)
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Eng (Civil and Structural)
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering (Civil)
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Civil Eng with Subsea Technology
  • Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering with Management
  • Master of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering

Contact Teaching Time

70 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt: 1 three-hour written examination paper (90%) and in-course assessment (10%). The continuous assessment is based on the laboratory exercises.

Formative Assessment

a) Students can receive feedback on their progress at the tutorial/feedback sessions.  Students can bring their worked solutions to tutorial questions and/or past exam questions for assessment by the lecturer.

b) Feedback on the continuously-assessed laboratory exercises is provided via written comments on submitted work.

c) Feedback on the final exam will be via posting of the exam paper solutions on MyAberdeen. Students can request more detailed individual feedback on their exam performance by contacting the Course Coordinator.



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