Unit code: NEC2203 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park
NEF2101 - Fluid Mechanics 1
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit 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.

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.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Practicum
Grade: 15%
Individual Lab based practicum
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 10%
Site visit based group report
Assessment type: Laboratory Work
Grade: 35%
Computer based individual lab work
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 40%
Individual Test (2 hours)

Required reading

Refer to VU Collaborate for recommended reading and additional resources.

Understanding Hydraulics
Hamill, L. (2011)| MacMillan Press

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

Search for units, majors & minors