MECH ENG 7026 - Advanced Topics in Fluid Mechanics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course builds on the concepts learned in core thermofluids courses and extends these to provide practical interpretive and predictive methods. The syllabus begins with a practical and theoretical overview of modern flow measurement techniques, turbulence theory and potential flow theory, followed by methods used to interpret velocity and flow data such as flow topology. These are then applied to fundamental flow cases such as free shear flows. Specific applications of these flow cases are then given through the study of internal flow systems and external flows around air, ground and sea-going vehicles. These include wind tunnels, race cars, high-performance yachts, swimmers, sports balls, cars, birds and fish.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 7026
    Course Advanced Topics in Fluid Mechanics
    Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours lectures/tutorials and 3 hours laboratories per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge MECH ENG 1007, MECH ENG 2021, MECH ENG 3101, 6 units of level II Applied Mathematics courses; or equivalent
    Assessment Assignments, Laboratory Experiments, Final Exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Richard Kelso

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Demonstrate a high level of technical competence in fluid mechanics
    2 Describe current practice in fluid and aerodynamic measurement
    3 Apply fluid mechanics principles to the analysis of real systems
    4 Apply fluid mechanics principles to the design of real systems
    5 Apply well developed problem solving and analytical skills
    6 Explain the principles underlying sustainable flow system design

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   3.2   3.3   3.6   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course notes – these are essential and required.
    Recommended Resources

    Munson, B.R., Young, D.F., Okiishi, T.H., Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, John Wiley and Sons Inc, 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th Edition.

    A list of other resources will be provided in the lecture notes.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The following information is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. The required time commitment from the beginning of semester to the end of the final exam is 48 hours attendance at lectures, 48 hours of self directed learning, 3 hours of laboratory work, 40 hours completing assignments and laboratory reports and 40 hours of revising course material and preparing for the exam.

    Learning Activities Summary

    1. Introduction (2.5%)

    2. Overview of Experimental Methods (20%)

    • Signal analysis & resolution
    • Energy cascade and turbulence
    • Flow visualization
    • Quantitative measurements, including pressure, PIV, LDA, HWA, and fluorescence
    • Volumetric visualization and measurement methods.

    3. Flow Facility Design (10%)

    • Review of analysis techniques
    • Optimal design of components, including contractions, diffusers, flow screens, bends, etc.
    • Wind tunnel modelling of steady-state and dynamic loads.

    4. Flow Structure Analysis (37.5%)

    Including but not limited to:

    • Potential flow
    • Topology & vortex dynamics
    • Vortex rings, induced velocity, complex vortex patterns, Biot-Savart law.
    • Jets and wakes – statistical flow structure, analytical techniques, similarity solutions, energy cascade
    • Turbulent boundary layers - 3D vortex structure, statistical description (not covered every year).

    5. Flow System Analysis (30%)

    Including but not limited to:

    • Ground vehicles
    • Aerodynamics of cycling
    • Seagoing vehicles
    • Hydrodynamics of swimming
    • Airborne vehicles – aeroplanes, etc.
    • Aerodynamics of Sports Balls
    • Other aerodynamic and hydrodynamic sports
    • Nature - birds, insects and fish.
    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    Assignments x3 15 Individual Summative Weeks 2 to 12 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
    Laboratory 10 Individual Summative Weeks 2 to 12 Min 35% 3. 5.
    Flow Facility Design 25 Individual
    Take-home Exam 50 Individual Summative Exam period 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown is registered as an exemption to the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy. The exemption is related to the Procedures clause(s): 1. b. 2.   
    This course has a hurdle requirement. Meeting the specified hurdle criteria is a requirement for passing the course.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail


    The first assignment will be in the form of a flow facility design problem, undertaken by individuals pr groups of two students. All other assignments will be based on a problem-solving format. In each case a practical problem will be presented and the students will be asked to provide a solution to that problem. The problem format and difficulty are the same as the final exam. Each student’s submission will be assessed primarily on the quality of their approach to the problem. Students are required to state all assumptions used in their solutions, provide appropriate diagrams, and to follow a standard solution and presentation procedure known as the “problem solving protocol”. Approximately 10% of the marks of each problem are awarded for fulfilling these requirements.


    This laboratory consists of an experimental investigation of the lift produced by a spinning cylinder mounted in a wind tunnel. Students will be required to measure the lift force, air speed and cylinder rotational speed in order to calculate the lift coefficient, and then compare the data with published values. Students are required to submit individual reports for each laboratory. Students must have submitted a report and scored at least 35% overall to be eligible to pass the course. Further details are provided by the laboratory demonstrators.


    Individual assignments are to be submitted by each student to the submissions box on Level 2, Engineering South. Unless students are otherwise notified, assignments must be submitted by 5.00pm exactly two weeks after each assignment is issued. Submitted assignments must be accompanied by an assessment cover sheet, available from the front office S116 or near the assignment submission boxes. Late assignments will be penalised 10% per day. Extensions for assignments will only be given in exceptional circumstances and a case for this with supporting documentation can be made in writing after a lecture or via email to the lecturer. Assignments will be assessed and returned within 2 weeks of the due date, along with a “model” solution prepared by the lecturer. There will be no opportunities for re-submission of work of unacceptable standard. Feedback on assignments will be provided by comments on the returned assignments and general feedback given during the lectures and tutorials.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.