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CIVL9611: Introductory Fluid Mechanics (2020 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CIVL9611: Introductory Fluid Mechanics (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Associate Professor Lei, Chengwang
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: The objective of this unit of study is to develop an understanding of basic fluid concepts for inviscid and incompressible fluids. Topics to be covered will include: basic fluid properties, hydrostatics, buoyancy, stability, pressure distribution in a fluid with rigid body motion, fluid dynamics, conservation of mass and momentum, dimensional analysis, open channel flow, and pipe flow.

This core unit of study forms the basis for further studies in the applied areas of ocean, coastal and wind engineering and other elective fluid mechanics units which may be offered.
Assumed Knowledge: CIVL9201. Students are expected to have a strong understanding of fundamental physics, statics, equilibrium, forces, and dimensional analysis. Familiarity with simple calculus, partial differential equations, and their analytical and numerical solutions
Tutor/s: To be appointed.
Timetable: CIVL9611 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Laboratory 2.00 1 4
4 Independent Study 6.00 13
T&L Activities: There will be weekly lectures (2 hours) followed by tutorials (2 hours). WileyPlus will be adopted as an online resource for self-learning and assignments. Each student is required to participate in all physical and virtual laboratory sessions and submit lab reports as per the requirements to be specified. Students enrolled in this unit are also required to submit an essay at the end of the semester.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
An appreciation of experimental design based on dimensional analysis and similitude. Design (Level 2)
Competently applies standard theories, principles, tools & materials of the engineering/IT discipline to common fluid flow problems. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 2)
An appreciation that engineering fundamentals are based on the principles and knowledge of science and mathematics. An ability to apply engineering fundamentals along with the basics of science and mathematics to engineering problem solving Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 2)
Students need to be able to use IT tools such as the Internet, Excel, and Word to obtain information and prepare reports. Information Seeking (Level 3)
Through writing engineering style reports for laboratory reports Communication (Level 2)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 2)
1. Understand the fundamental properties of fluids and how these influence fluid motion.
2. Be able to calculate pressure forces on submerged and floating bodies in both stationary fluids and fluids moving in rigid body motion.
3. Understand the meaning of the conservation of mass and conservation of momentum in the context of fluids and use these concepts for calculating flow rates and forces on a solid body.
Information Seeking (Level 3)
4. Proficient in using standard library and internet resources to locate requested information and for extended study.
Communication (Level 2)
5. Demonstrated ability to relate the fundamentals of fluid mechanics principles to real life applications through essay writing.
Design (Level 2)
6. Be able to use dimensional analysis for simplifying solutions of fluid mechanics problems and the design of experiments.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 2)
7. Understand the principles of open channel flow and pipe flow.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Multiple assignments No 9.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 6,
2 Essay No 6.00 Week 13 4, 5,
3 Laboratory Reports No 13.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7,
4 Quizzes No 24.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3,
5 Final Exam No 48.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 6, 7,
Assessment Description: Assignments

Weekly assignments will be posted in WileyPLUS, and the students are required to complete the assignment by the specified deadline. In-class submissions are also collected during tutorials and are counted towards the Assignments result.

Lab reports

Two forms of Fluid Mechanics experiments, physical and virtual experiments, are offered. In total there are four experiments including one lab-based experiment and three computer-based virtual experiments. ALL THE EXPERIMENTS ARE COMPULSORY, and students must submit reports as per the specified requirements. The detailed schedules for the experiments are given in the Unit of Study Information Sheet to be distributed at the first lecture. The University has authorised and mandated the use of text-based similarity detecting software Turnitin for all text-based written assignments including lab reports.


Two quizzes (about an hour each) are scheduled during the semester. The schedule for the quizzes is available in the timetable. Students MUST attend the quizzes in the allocated sessions. Details about the formats and contents of the quizzes will be announced in the class and via email.


Students are required to submit a literature review essay related to the subject contents at the end of the semester. The topic, style and requirements of the essay will be specified in due course.

Final exam

There is a 2-hour examination at the end of the semester. The questions will be of a similar format to the questions in the tutorials, assignments and quizzes. The examination will be a closed book examination. A formulae sheet may be attached to the examination paper.

Statistically and educationally defensible methods may be used when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes and grade descriptors.

Criteria for Passing

• Participation in the physical lab and at least 2 out of the 3 virtual labs;

• Achieving minimum 45% in at least one quiz;

• A final exam mark of at least 40%;

• An overall mark of at least 50%.

Students who do not meet all the criteria will not receive a ‘Pass’ grade in this unit of study, and regardless of their performance in individual components, will not receive a mark greater than 47%.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture/Tutorial: Introduction to fluid mechanics
Week 2 Lecture/Tutorial: Fluid properties and pressure variation
Week 3 Lecture/Tutorial: Forces on a submerged surface
Week 4 Lecture/Tutorial: Buoyancy and stability
Week 5 Lecture/Tutorial: Fluids in motion
Week 6 Lecture/Tutorial: Bernoulli equation
Week 7 Other: Quiz 1
Lecture/Tutorial: Reynolds transport theorem and mass conservation
Week 8 Lecture/Tutorial: Conservation of linear momentum
Week 9 Lecture/Tutorial: Dimensional analysis
Week 10 Lecture/Tutorial: Modelling and similitude
Week 11 Lecture/Tutorial: Open channel flow
Week 12 Other: Quiz 2
Lecture/Tutorial: Flow in pipes
Week 13 Lecture/Tutorial: Review
Assessment Due: Essay
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 2) Yes 65.4%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 5%
Communication (Level 2) Yes 3.6%
Design (Level 2) Yes 14.45%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 2) Yes 11.55%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.