The University of Southampton

FEEG2003 Fluid Mechanics

Module Overview

This module begins with the introduction and derivation of the fundamental conservation equations for fluid mechanics (mass, momentum and energy). The application of these equations for solving simple flow problems will be demonstrated. This is followed by sections covering (1) viscous flow theory with an emphasis on boundary layers, (2) potential flow, (3) turbomachinery fluid dynamics, (4) compressible flow (5) turbulence and (6) CFD. The lectures are complemented by 2 laboratory classes with relevance to the taught material.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Provide a basic awareness of important flow physics that mechanical and acoustical engineers are likely to encounter in the range of science and industry careers we would hope they follow. Provide the fundamental basis for further optional courses involving fluid mechanics in part III and IV of all the degree programmes that are offered by the school.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Conservation laws for mass, momentum and energy.
  • Laminar and turbulent boundary layers.
  • The importance of common dimensionless groups.
  • A basic understanding of compressible fluid flow.
  • An awareness of turbulent flow.
  • Turbomachinery fluid mechanics.
  • Elementary potential flow theory.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Solve simple one-dimensional flow problems by making appropriate assumptions and by applying sensible boundary conditions.
  • Use dimensionless groups to predict the type of flow physics likely to be present.
  • Solve simple problems in one-dimensional isentropic and non-isentropic flow.
  • Qualitatively appreciate the complexity of turbulence and the need for computational models for turbulent flow
  • Solve simple turbomachinery flow problems
  • Solve simple potential flow problems.
  • Apply CFD methods to calculate simple flows.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Solve problems systematically
  • Researching and reporting assignments


Conservation Equations [10 lectures] -Revision: streamlines/streak lines/path lines, Bernoulli’s equation, the control volume, mass conservation, momentum conservation. -Deformation, vorticity and rate of strain. -Diffusive transport by gradient fields. Force and stress, Fourier’s law. -Derivation of the conservation equations (mass, momentum and energy) for a Newtonian fluid using a control volume basis. -Simple applications of the conservation equations (Poiseuille, Couette flow etc.) -Dimensional analysis revisited (Reynolds, Euler, Prantl, Froude, Mach numbers). -Recovery of simple equations under certain applications and the use of these equations in practical problems. Introduction to viscous flow [3 lectures] -Aerofoil flow regimes. Types of boundary layers. Integral properties of boundary layers(displacement thickness, momentum thickness and shape factor). Momentum integral equation for a flat plate. Power law approximations for turbulent boundary layers. Drag on a flat-plate for laminar and turbulent flow. Introduction to turbulence [3 lectures] -Length and time scale range, the need for turbulence models. -Mean and fluctuating quantities. -Averaged conservation equations, Reynolds number. -Mean and fluctuating kinetic energy. -The concept of eddy viscosity and the mixing length model. Introduction to CFD [2 lectures] -Best practice guidelines for CFD analysis. Potential flow [6 lectures] -Laplace’s equation, uniform stream, source/sink, line vortex, uniform flow with source, Rankine oval, flow around circular cylinder/doublet, circulation, method of images, lifting flow over circular cylinder and Kutta-Joukowski theorem, Kutta condition. Turbomachinery [4 lectures] -Introduction, elementary pump theory, centrifugal/axial-flow pumps, turbines, wind turbines. One dimensional compressible flow [5 lectures] -Simplify the governing equations to obtain equations for a 1-D compressible Newtonian fluid. -The role of pressure and pressure wave speed in a compressible fluid. The Mach number revisited. -One-dimensional compressible, sub- and super-sonic isentropic flow in convergent-divergent ducts, choked flow. -One-dimensional compressible, sub- and super-sonic non-isentropic flow, normal shocks. Revision and examples [3 lectures]

Special Features


Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning methods Teaching methods include: -Lectures -A tutorial session -Laboratory classes Learning activities include: -Worked examples will be completed within the lectures in an interactive fashion. -Problem sheets will be issued and may be freely discussed in the tutorial sessions. -Lab reports and assignments will be set, marked and returned with comments. -Private study.

Independent Study102
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

F. White (1999). Introduction to Fluid Mechanics.. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 5%
Coursework 5%
Coursework 5%
Examination  (120 minutes) 70%
Laboratory Report 7.5%
Laboratory Report 7.5%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite module/s - FEEG1003 Thermofluids


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

It will be useful, but not necessary, to purchase the core text book. F. White, 1999. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics. 7th edition, McGraw-Hill. These currently (8 May 2013) retail for £43.99 from This will need to be purchased by the student although there are a limited number of these in the Hartley library. (books) - £43.99

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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