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Unit of study_

MECH9261: Fluid Mechanics 2

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of the theory and practice of fluid mechanics in the context of mechanical engineering. At the end of this unit students will have the ability to critically assess and solve problems commonly found in fluid mechanics practice, such as sizing pumps and piping systems, designing channels, and determining the lift and drag characteristics of submerged bodies. Additionally, they will develop a structured and systematic approach to problem solving. Course content will include dimensionless analysis, Bernoulli equation, pipe flow, frictional losses, laminar and turbulent boundary layers, open channel flow and hydraulic jump, lift and drag, compressible flow and shock waves, turbomachinery.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MECH9261
Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Credit points 6
AMME9261 OR AMME9200
Assumed knowledge

Linear Mathematics, Vector Calculus, Differential Equations and Fourier Series

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Matthew Cleary,
Lecturer(s) Matthew Cleary,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam Final exam
Examines all course material. Online with submission through Canvas.
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Homework assignments
Long working questions
6% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial quiz Quiz 1
Quiz. Online with submission through Canvas.
10% Week 06 40 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Quiz 2
Quiz. Online with submission through Canvas.
10% Week 09 40 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Lab report
Attendance at online lab session and Report submittied through Canvas
8% Week 10 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3
Tutorial quiz Quiz 3
Quiz. Online with submission through Canvas.
10% Week 12 40 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Online quiz
Online quiz question to be answered each week by 5pm Friday.
6% Weekly 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Quizzes: Three quizzes will be set, each worth 10% of the total mark.
  • Homework assignments: Fortnightly assignments will be set. The six assignments are worth 2% each.
  • Lab report: A two hour laboratory is part of this course and is worth 8% of the total mark. The laboratory covers the growth of boundary layers and the determination of lift and drag forces using manometer readings. The lab report tests understanding of concepts presented in the lectures over weeks 1-8.
  • Final exam: A two hour exam will be conducted in the exam period and is worth 50% of the total mark. You must get 45% in the final exam to pass the unit, regardless of the sum of your individual marks.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

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.

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.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Internal Flow A - Pipe Flow Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 02 Internal Flow A - Pipe Flow Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Internal Flow B - Pumps Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Internal Flow B - Pumps Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 External Flow A - Turbulence Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 External Flow B - Boundary Layers Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 External Flow B - Boundary Layers Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 External Flow C - Immersed Bodies Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 Free Surface Flow Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Free Surface Flow Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 11 Compressible Flow Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Compressible Flow Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 13 Review Lecture (2 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Lectures: These introduce the key concepts and provide derivations of the analytical methods for fluid flows. Many worked examples are provided. Lectures will be recorded. The Faculty of Engineering and IT has a policy that students attend 90 percent of timetabled activities for a unit of study To support this policy, weekly online quick quizzes will be held. Questions and discussion are encouraged during MECH3261 lectures.
  • Tutorial: There are two tutorial sessions per week. A set of homework problems are designated for each week. Marks will be given based on the completion of the fortnightly homework problems. It is your responsibility to check with the tutors to ensure that your solution is correct.
  • Quizzes: The material covered in lectures and tutorials will be examined via three quizzes.
  • Laboratory: A two hour laboratory is part of this course. Laboratory notes will be provided prior to the lab. The laboratory provides students with hands-on experience in data collection.

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

All readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas.

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. determine the appropriate flow and geometrical parameters of pumps, channels and piping systems in order to be able to design real world fluid systems
  • LO2. solve fluid mechanics problems related to pipe, pump and channel flows; lift and drag on immersed bodies such as wings; boundary layer theory and application; gas dynamics in compressible systems
  • LO3. simplify fundamental theory in order to use it in the analysis of real-world pipe flow, boundary-layer flow, lift and drag calculations, and gas dynamics calculations
  • LO4. recognise and identify fundamental aspects of a wide range of fluid flows through derivation, use and manipulation of the Navier-Stokes equations.

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.

Deep learning results from continued application of the subject matter over the full semester. Attendance at lectures with follow-up practice in tutorials, assignments and quizzes are key aspects of ensuring deep learning. In past years, lecture attendance was encouraged by removal of recorded lectures when the attendance rate dropped below 50%. This is a punitive approach and it did not work very well and resulted in lots of commentary from students in the USS. In 2020 a different approach will be used. We will be holding spot online quizzes during lecture time. Only a certain high fraction of these will need to be completed to get full marks for that element of the course. This promotes attendance and deep learning while providing flexibility to miss a few lectures due to a variety of legitimate reasons.


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

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.