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Unit of study_

MECH9261: Fluid Mechanics 2

Semester 1, 2023 [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 Michael Kirkpatrick,
Lecturer(s) Michael Kirkpatrick,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
hurdle task
Final exam
Supervised exam
55% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Participation group assignment Lab
Participate in lab. Submit a brief report by end of week of lab session.
5% Multiple weeks Approx 3 page report including graphs
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3
Small continuous assessment Weekly Practice Problems
Set of practice problems. Submit online. 2% per set. Best 10 / 12 counted.
20% Weekly 5 - 8 pages of calculations
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Online task Weekly 'Test Yourself' Tasks
Online task to allow students to gauge progress. 2% each. Best 10 / 12.
20% Weekly Approx 2 pages of calculations
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  •  Weekly Practice Problems: Each week you will receive a set of problems to allow you to practise your problem solving skills. You will submit your full worked solutions on Canvas. Worth 2% each. Best 10/12 count towards your final mark. The weekly Practice Problems are worth a total 20% of the final mark for the unit.
  • Weekly 'Test Yourself' Task: An online quiz to allow you test your understanding of the week's topic. Worth 2% each. Best 10/12 count towards your final mark for the unit. The weekly 'Test Yourself' tasks are worth a total 20% of the final mark for the unit.
  • Lab: A two hour laboratory. You will be assessed on your participation within the lab (3%) and a brief report (2%), to be submitted by 11:59pm Sunday of the week of your lab session. Each student is to submit their own report. The lab is worth a total 5% of the final mark for the unit.
  • Final exam: A two hour supervised exam will be conducted in the exam period. The Final Exam is a hurdle task - You must score at least 50% in the final exam to pass the unit, regardless of the sum of your individual marks. The final exam is worth a total 55% of the final mark for the unit.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on the course Canvas site.

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:

Weekly Practice Problems and 'Test Yourself' tasks: These must be submitted before the due time on the Canvas site. These are small continuous assessments designed to keep you on track and provide rapid feedback on your progress, so late submissions will not be accepted. Approved special consideration applications will result in a mark adjustment involving reweighting of remaining assessments for the unit. Lab reports: Reports submitted late will be subject to the University's standard late penalty.

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
Multiple weeks Participate in lab and write brief report Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO3
STUVAC Study for the final exam Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 01 Revision Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 02 Internal Flow - Pipe flow & Turbulence Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 03 Internal Flow - Minor Losses & Networks Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 04 External Flow - Boundary Layers Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 05 External Flow - Drag & Lift Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 Turbomachinery - Fundamentals Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 07 Turbomachinery - Design Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 08 Turbomachinery - Scaling Laws Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 09 Compressible Flow - Fundamentals Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 10 Compressible Flow - Nozzles & Shocks Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 11 Open-Channel Flow - Fundamentals Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 12 Open-Channel Flow - Varying Flow & Hydraulic Jumps Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 13 Review Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Weekly Preparatory Study - Read the prescribed sections of textbook and create your own summary of each week's material. This should be done before the live lecture. Set aside 3 hours per week for this task. Independent study (36 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Practice Problems - Complete the weekly Practice Problems. Set aside 3 hours per week for this task. Independent study (36 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Test Yourself - Complete the weekly Test Yourself online task. Set aside 1 hour per week for this task. Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3

Attendance and class requirements

The Faculty of Engineering has a policy that students attend 90 percent of timetabled activities for a unit of study

  • Preparatory study: This course follows a flipped classroom model in which students must complete preparatory study that involves reading the prescribed sections of the textbook before attending the classes.
  • Lectures: The lectures in this course are not traditional lectures. Instead they will be interactive sessions built around solving worked examples. Examples have been developed that act as vehicles to introduce key concepts and theory within the context of a real-life scenario. Questions and discussion are welcome during these classes. Lectures will be recorded.
  • Tutorial: There is one tutorial session per week. Tutorials will involve a tutor working through a few tutorial problems. Questions and discussion are welcome during these classes. Tutorials will not be recorded.
  • Laboratory: A two hour laboratory is part of this course. Students should read through the lab notes before attending the lab. The laboratory provides students with hands-on experience in data collection and practical experience taking measurements of real flow. Students will be assessed on their participation during the lab, and a brief individual report. 

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

This textbook is essential in order to complete the course. This course follows a flipped classroom model in which students must complete preparatory study that involves reading the prescribed sections of the textbook before attending the classes.

Fluid Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications - Fourth Edition in SI Units - Yunus Cengel and John Cimbala

Either hard copy or electronic versions of the textbook will suffice.

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 pipe and duct systems, turbomachinery, sub- and supersonic nozzles, open channels in order to be able to design real world fluid systems
  • LO2. solve fluid mechanics problems related to: turbulent and laminar pipe and duct flow, boundary layers, drag and lift on immersed bodies such as wings, turbomachinery - pumps, fans and turbines, compressible flow - including nozzles and shocks, open channel flow - constant and varying channels and hydraulic jumps
  • LO3. simplify fundamental theory in order to use it in the analysis of real-world pipe flow, boundary-layer flow, lift and drag calculations, turbomachinery, compressible flow and open-channel flow calculations

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.

I have taken over this unit this year and have done a major refresh of the course. I will adapt it based on ongoing feedback.


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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