This unit (NEC2203) builds on Fluids Mechanics 1 that was covered in Semester 1 (it is also a pre-requisite). Fluid mechanics provides the theoretical foundation for hydraulics, which focuses more on the engineering applications of water and other liquids. Hydraulic topics covered in this unit include practical applications in open channel flow, such as hydraulics structures, flow measurement, river channel behaviour, erosion and sedimentation. These topics would be taught using practical hand-on lab experiments, lab demonstrations and a computer based assignment. The site visit is designed to improve the student's ability to link theory (learnt in the classes) with practical real-world situations. Topics include: Pipe flow, boundary layer theory, water hammer; Open channel flow, discharge equations for uniform flow, Specific energy and critical depth, flow transitions and hydraulic jump; Gradually varied flow, classification, water surface profile evaluation; Dimensional analysis, dimensional homogeneity, Rayleigh and Buckingham pi methods, hydraulic model studies; Hydraulic structures, culverts, broad crested and crump weirs; Flow measurements, venturi meter, orifices, sharp crested weir; River hydraulics, river sediment transport and movable bed forms, estimation of sediment loads, reservoir saltation and loss of capacity, river training and control, bank stabilisation and channel maintenance.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


NEF2101 - Fluid Mechanics 1

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply concepts of hydraulics, complemented with practical laboratory based experiments, site visit and computer labs;  
  2. Apply concepts of open channel flow to practical engineering related problems;  
  3. Use dimensional analysis to develop relationships and also for hydraulic model similitude studies;  
  4. Design hydraulic structures like culverts and weirs;  
  5. Estimate sediment loads carried by rivers.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Practicum Individual Lab based practicum 15%
Report Site visit based group report 10%
Laboratory Work Computer based individual lab work 35%
Test Individual Test (2 hours) 40%
The Test focuses upon the individual student's ability to demonstrate his or her in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline, apply established engineering methods to complex engineering problems, and the fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources, as defined in Engineers Australia competencies 1.3, 2.1 and 2.2.

Required reading

Refer to VU Collaborate for recommended reading and additional resources.

Understanding Hydraulics 3rd ed.
Hamill, L. (2011)
MacMillan Press

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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