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Unit of study_

CIVL3612: Fluid Mechanics

Semester 1, 2024 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study aims to provide an understanding of the conservation of mass and momentum in differential forms for viscous fluid flows. It provides the foundation for advanced study of turbulence, flow around immersed bodies, open channel flow, pipe flow and pump design.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CIVL3612
Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Kapil Chauhan,
Laboratory supervisor(s) Theo Gresley-Daines,
Lecturer(s) Kapil Chauhan,
Tutor(s) Liam Duncan,
Yan Pang,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Assignment 1 - Kinematics
Analyse simulation data to visualize the flow field and characteristics.
15% Week 06
Due date: 25 Mar 2024 at 23:59
Multiple weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Online task Quiz 1
Online quiz on topics - 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
20% Week 07
Due date: 08 Apr 2024 at 18:00
120 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Lab report 1 - Viscous Flow in Pipes
Online submission of an excel file and related questions in Quiz 2.
5% Week 08
Due date: 17 Apr 2024 at 23:59
Multiple weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO10
Assignment Lab report 2 - Open Channel Flows
Online submission of an excel file and related questions in Quiz 4.
5% Week 08
Due date: 17 Apr 2024 at 23:59
Multiple weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO8 LO10
Online task Quiz 2
Online quiz on the topic of Viscous Flow in Pipes and Pumps.
15% Week 09
Due date: 22 Apr 2024 at 18:00
120 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO9
Online task Quiz 3
Online quiz on the topic of External Flows
15% Week 11
Due date: 06 May 2024 at 18:00
120 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO7
Assignment Assignment 2 - Wind tunnel flow over a building model
Analyse experimental data of measurements in a wind tunnel.
10% Week 12
Due date: 13 May 2024 at 23:59
Multiple weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO7
Online task Quiz 4
Online quiz on the topic of Open Channel Flows
15% Week 13
Due date: 20 May 2024 at 18:00
120 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO8

Assessment summary

Simple Extension is not available for the four online quizzes.

Students must apply for special consideration through the university portal for a possible 'mark adjustment' in case they are unable to attempt a quiz.

Simple Extension is only available for the four assignments.


Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

20% penalty per day applies to all late submissions

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 ACCELERATION Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO1
Week 04 POTENTIAL FLOW; NAVIER-STOKES EQUATIONS Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 07 VISCOUS FLOW IN PIPES Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO6
Week 08 VISCOUS FLOW IN PIPES; EXTERNAL FLOWS Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO6 LO7
Week 09 EXTERNAL FLOWS Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO7
Week 10 EXTERNAL FLOWS; OPEN CHANNEL FLOWS Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO7 LO8
Week 11 OPEN CHANNEL FLOWS Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO8
Week 12 OPEN CHANNEL FLOWS; PUMPS Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO8 LO9
Week 13 PUMPS; REVIEW Lecture and tutorial (5 hr) LO9

Attendance and class requirements

Assessment: In order to achieve a pass in this unit of study:

  • must receive a total combined mark of at least 50%,
  • must attempt at least 3 out of 4 in-semester quizzes,
  • submit both assignments,
  • submit both lab reports,

Students who do not meet all the criteria will not receive a pass mark for the unit of study, and will not receive a mark greater than 45%, regardless of their performance in the other components of the unit of study. 

Penalties: Late submission of lab reports will be penalized at 20% per day of the lab’s marks.

Late submission of assignments will be penalized at 20% per day of the assignment's marks.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

The textbook adopted for this UoS is:

Munson, Young and Okiishi’s Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 9th Edition (International Adaptation) – Philip M. Gerhart, John I. Hochstein, Andrew L. Gerhart

Munson, Young and Okiishi's Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 9th Edition (International Adaptation) | $ | 9781119703266 | Wiley Direct

Other recommended texts:

  • Fluid Mechanics, 8th Edition by Frank M. White
  • Engineering Fluid Mechanics, 11th Edition by Donald F. Elger, Barbara A. LeBret, Clayton T. Crowe, John A. Robertson
  • Fox and McDonald’s Introduction to Fluid Mechanics 10th Australia and New Zealand Edition by Robert W. Fox, Alan T. McDonald, John W. Mitchell

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. TOPIC 01 : ACCELERATION - Apply the concept of acceleration in a Lagrangian frame of reference in different flow configurations - Identify various flow characteristics based on the velocity field - Determine the streamline pattern and acceleration field given a velocity field - Determine various kinematic elements of the flow given the velocity field
  • LO2. TOPIC 02 : CONSERVATION OF MASS AND MOMENTUM - Select an appropriate differential control volume to solve a fluid mechanics problem - Apply conservation of mass and energy and Newton’s second law of motion to the contents of a finite control volume - Know how velocity changes and energy transfers in fluid flows are related to forces and torques
  • LO3. TOPIC 03 : POTENTIAL FLOW - Apply the concepts of stream function and velocity potential - Analyse ideal flows using the potential flow theory - Characterize simple flow fields using super-position of potential flow fields
  • LO4. TOPIC 04 : NAVIER-STOKES EQUATIONS - Analyse viscous flows using the Navier-Stokes equations - Understand the influence of viscosity and no-slip condition - Know different boundary conditions for the Navier-Stokes equations in different flow configurations.
  • LO5. TOPIC 05 : DIMENSIONLESS ANALYSIS - Identify non-dimensional parameters relevant to fluid mechanics applications in civil engineering - Perform calculations with non-dimensional groups for data analysis - Apply modelling and similitude to obtain relevant parameters for model/prototype
  • LO6. TOPIC 06 : VISCOUS FLOW IN PIPES - Identify various characteristics of flow in pipes - Understand the main characteristics of laminar and turbulent flow in pipes - Calculate major losses in pipes - Calculate minor losses in pipe components - Apply appropriate equations and principles to analyse a variety of pipe flow situations
  • LO7. TOPIC 07 : EXTERNAL FLOWS - Identify and discuss the features of external flow - Explain the fundamental characteristics of a boundary layer, including laminar, transitional, and turbulent regimes - Calculate forces due to lift and drag for flow past an object - Provide a description of boundary layer separation - Identify non-dimensional parameters relevant to wind engineering
  • LO8. TOPIC 08 : OPEN CHANNEL FLOWS - Discuss the general characteristics of open-channel flow - Use a specific energy diagram - Apply appropriate equations to analyze open-channel flow with uniform depth - Apply appropriate equations to analyze open-channel flow with gradually varying depth - Calculate key properties of a hydraulic jump - Determine flowrates based on open-channel flow-measuring devices
  • LO9. TOPIC 09 : PUMPS - Explain how and why a turbomachine works - Know the basic differences between a turbine and a pump - Recognize the importance of minimizing loss in a turbomachine and pipe system - Select an appropriate class of turbomachines for a particular application - Apply the basic fundamentals of scaling turbomachines that are larger or smaller than a prototype
  • LO10. LABORATORY - Write a laboratory report in technical English - Understand basic experimental techniques - Analyse experimental data and draw conclusions - Compare experimental results with theory and identify reasons for discrepancies - Perform error analysis

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Extra resources will be provided for coding in assignment 1

CIVL3612/9612 will use Ed — Digital Learning Platform ( as the discussion forum.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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