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CENV2008 Hydraulics

Module Overview

This module continues to develop the fundamental themes on fluid mechanics introduced in the module FEEG1003 “Thermofluids” and applies them to the study of incompressible fluids in adiabatic conditions. It will focus on problems associated with water flowing in closed conduits (e.g. pipes) and open channels (e.g. rivers). The material that will be taught includes a good balance between theoretical principles (i.e. mass, momentum and energy conservation principles) and their application to real problems in hydraulic engineering. In dealing with closed conduit flows students will learn how to use these principles to find ways of delivering a required flow rate to some chosen locations under prescribed conditions. When studying open channel flows, students will learn how to predict water levels for a given channel geometry, bed condition (i.e. bed roughness and slope) and flow rate. The module represents a pre-requisite to CENV3061, Engineering Hydrology and CENV6155 Hydraulic Engineering and Sediment Transport.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to offer you individual and group projects to stimulate individual innovation, self-assessment and teamwork skills required in engineering. • to provide you with an understanding of the main theoretical principles underpinning the behaviour of water flow in rivers/channels and pipes. • To put you in a position to apply theoretical principles to solve problems that you will encounter when working in industry.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Mass, momentum and energy principles governing pipe and open channel flows
  • Different type of flows (i.e. uniform-non uniform, steady-uinsteady, gradually varied-rapidly varied)
  • Working principles of pumps commonly used in hydraulic engineering
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse simple and complex pipeline systems, including pipe networks
  • Determine the capacity of pipelines, establish the pressures and the energy gradients along the pipe
  • Analyse and predict the behaviour of sub-critical and supercritical open channel flows
  • Identify and interpret situations in hydraulics in a way that is relevant to design
  • Devise solutions for problems involving open channel and pipe flows
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Problem analysis and problem solving
  • Group work/team work
  • Report writing
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Operate systems used in a hydraulics laboratory
  • Exercise technical judgement and make decisions
  • Carry out and present engineering calculations


OPEN CHANNEL HYDRAULICS • Uniform flow, the Chézy and Manning equations • Applying these equations to determine the discharge in a channel or the sizing of a channel for a particular discharge • Design guidelines including the concept of the best hydraulic section • Non-Uniform Flow including Specific Energy and Critical Depth • Understanding the possible types of flow, Sub-critical and super-critical as well as Critical, Mild and Steep slopes • Flow measurement, Weirs and Flumes • Transitions through Critical Depth, Control Points • The Hydraulic Jump • The Equation of Gradually Varied Flow • Flow Profiles • Profile Evaluation, the Direct Step Method and the Standard Step Method PIPE FLOW • Equations for pipe discharge: the Darcy-Weisbach and the Colebrook-White equations. • Solving the Colebrook-White equation • Minor head losses • Pipes in Series and in Parallel • Pipe Networks, the Hardy-Cross solution • Unsteady flows in pipes: the water hammer TURBOMACHINERY • Overview of Turbines • Rotodynamic Pumps, Characteristics • Understanding how the head developed by a pump is used and dissipated • Matching the Pump and the Pipeline

Special Features

On the laboratory tutorial taking place in the hydraulics laboratory, every effort will be made to accommodate students with special needs. If this cannot be achieved, then an equivalent experience will be offered.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is divided into 12 lectures devoted to pipe flows 4 lectures devoted to turbo-machinery and 20 lectures devoted to open channel flows. Lectures are interspersed with tutorials where you will be supported in learning the pipe network software EPANET, which you will be expected to use for one of the assessments of this module. Some extra tutorials will be also delivered to help you to conduct the laboratory experiments which you are also expected to carry out for another assessment of this module.

Practical classes and workshops6
Wider reading or practice6
Preparation for scheduled sessions6
Follow-up work4
Completion of assessment task12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Morfett, J. And Borthwick M. (2004). (2007). Hydraulics in Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

EITHER Cruise J.F. Sherif M.M. and Singh P.V. or Chadwick A (2007). Elementary Hydraulics. 

Calvert J.R and Farrar R.A. (2008). An Engineering Data Book. 

Lecture notes and module online resources.. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 10%
Coursework 10%
Examination 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: FEEG1003 and MATH1054

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