Skip to main content

Unit information: Mechanics of Fluids and Structures in 2019/20

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Mechanics of Fluids and Structures
Unit code CENG10006
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Rico-Ramirez
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


There are certain basic structural mechanics concepts like units and dimensional analysis, centre of gravity and moments of inertia of objects, force and moments, vectors, equilibrium and stability, pressures which Civil Engineers must have at their fingertips. One of the aims of this unit is to make sure you have these.

In addition, the students should: learn the behaviour of fluids; be aware of the different ways of tackling a fluid mechanics problem, i.e. the place of theory, experiment, numerical modelling and dimensional analysis; be able to solve problems in hydrostatics, use principles of conservation to solve simple fluid dynamics, and use principles of similarity to explain fluid mechanics problems. To give students a thorough grounding in the fundamental principles of Fluid Mechanics as a pre-requisite for other advanced courses in open channel hydraulics, water and environmental engineering, hydraulic structures, and flood risk management.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this unit students should be able to:

1. Use confidently the relevant SI units to the common engineering variables and be able to assess the dimensional homogeneity of equations and basic problems;

2. Be able to calculate areas and volumes, centre of gravity and centroid, first moments;

3. Demonstrate knowledge of the concepts of force and moment, vectors, equilibrium and stability of objects; use Newton’s laws and describe the motion of systems;

4. Apply fundamental physics principles to a range of basic problems in the area of engineering mechanics.

5. Understand properties and behaviour of fluids;

6 Understand the variation of pressure with position in a fluid;

7. Determine the forces and moments on a surface or body due to hydrostatic pressure;

8. Explain the meaning of the metacentre and use it to determine qualitatively the stability of a floating object;

9. Understand the differences between laminar and turbulent flows;

10. Use the principles of conservation of mass, momentum and energy to solve simple, incompressible fluid dynamics problems;

11. Determine the forces on pipe systems due to flowing fluid;

12.Determine the force exerted by jets on surfaces;

13. Determine losses in pipe network systems;

14. Understand the concepts of stream functions, potential functions and flow net;

15. Use the principles of similarity and dimensional analysis in exploring real fluid phenomena and experimental analysis.

Teaching details

22 hours of lectures

22 hours of example classes

6 hours of Laboratory classes

Assessment Details

Laboratory work (25%)

Mechanics phase test Class-based test (25%) (week 11)

2 hour written exam (50%)

Reading and References

S. Bhattacharya, N. A.Alexander, et al. (2016),Fundamentals of Engineering Mathematics”, ICE Publishing.

Munson, B., Young, D. and Okiishi, T. (2006): “Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics”, Fifth Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Massey, B. S. (1990): “Mechanics of Fluids, 6th Edition”, Chapman & Hall, ISBN:0412342804.

Chadwick, A., Morfett, J. and Borthwick, M. (2004): “Hydraulics in Civil and Environmental Engineering”, Spon Press.

Douglas, J., Gasiorek, J., Swaffield, J. and Jack, L. (2005): “Fluid Mechanics, Fifth Edition”, Prentice Hall, ISBN:0-13-129293-5.

Electronic version:

Massey, B.S. and Ward-Smith J. (2012) “Mechanics of Fluids, 9th Edition”, Spon Press.