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Advanced Fluid Dynamics (MCEN90018)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeMCEN90018
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


The study of fluid dynamics is one of the fundamental disciplines in Mechanical Engineering. In the first part of the course, students will learn about boundary-layer theory, which is a key element of aerodynamic design. A guest-lecture series on wind engineering will build on this knowledge to give students a perspective on one of the most important forms of renewable energy in our society today.

In the second part of the course, students will learn about data acquisition and analysis. These skills are required of engineers working with the technology of today and into the future. The course will help students understand the costs, difficulties and possibilities afforded by sensor systems and instrumentation, with applications for, but not limited to, fluid dynamics.


This subject will cover selected advanced topics in fluid mechanics. Building on previous fluids courses, the subject is broadly split into two units, although content of these will overlap.

Unit 1: Turbulence and boundary layers. Topics covered include Navier-Stokes equations applied to wall-bounded flows, similarity solutions of the boundary-layer equations, Blasius solution, Falkner-Skan solution, separated flows, turbulent boundary layers, Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, dimension analysis, pipe friction, Von Karman momentum integral equation, roughness.

Unit 2: Experimental techniques. Through a series of lectures, labs and assignments, students will be introduced to key concepts of experimental (and numerical) techniques related to fluid mechanics. Topics will include: data analysis (to include correlations, discrete Fourier transform, energy spectra); Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV); hot-wire anemometry; advanced potential flow numerical techniques.

Intended learning outcomes


  • At the conclusion of this subject the student is expected to - Understand the limitations and advantages of various experimental techniques for fluid mechanics, and also have a sound understanding of the physics underpinning these techniques
  • Apply contemporary data analysis for experiments in the area of fluid mechanics, especially for experiments relating to boundary layers and turbulence
  • Apply the techniques of particle image velocimetry and hot-wire anemometry to investigate complex fluid flows
  • Understand how the equations of fluid motion are applied to flows near walls
  • Understand the importance of the boundary layer in engineering applications
  • Understand the role of turbulence in engineering applications.

Generic skills

On completion of this unit a student is expected to have the skills to:

  • Apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals
  • Undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Be proficient in engineering design
  • Communicate effectively with the engineering team and with the community at large
  • Be creative and innovative.

Last updated: 22 August 2019