CIVL 321


Course Title and Number

CE 150 - Fluid Mechanics

Catalog Description

Hydrostatics, continuity, momentum, work-energy, viscous effects, dimensional analysis and similitude, flow in closed conduits, drag on objects.


MATH 007C, C E 035, ECE 090 or C E 020 (may be taken concurrently), M E 135 (concurrent enrollment is recommended).
Vectors in two and three dimensions. Dot and cross products of vectors.
Solutions of Linear systems of equations
Differentiation and integration
Centroids and Newton's first and second law

Textbook and Other Required Material

Munson, Young, Okiishi, Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 3rd edition, 1998

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are to:

  • Teach students the basic fundamentals of fluid mechanics
  • Develop student's analytic ability to apply knowledge to basic engineering fluid mechanics problems
  • Encourage students to communicate their work effectively  
Topics Covered
  • Fluid properties: density, specific weight, specific gravity, viscosity, surface tension, bulk modulus, vapor pressure
  • Ideal Gas Law, absolute and gage pressures
  • Hydrostatics: manometers, forces on plane and curved surfaces and buoyancy
  • Continuity, fixed control volume, integral approach
  • Newton's method, spreadsheet applications
  • Momentum, Bernoulli equation, control volume, integral approach
  • Work-Energy, pumps, turbines, energy loss
  • Pipe flow: viscous effects; laminar and turbulent flow, Moody diagram, fitting losses, pump and pipe system analysis
  • Flow measurement: pitot tube, orifice meter, venturi meter
  • Drag on objects: laminar and turbulent boundary layers, friction drag, pressure drag, drag coefficients
  • Dimensional analysis and similitude: Buckingham Pi Theorem, Froude modeling relationships, Reynolds modeling relationships


Students completing the course will be able to:

  • Determine the pressure variation in incompressible and compressible fluids
  • Determine the hydrostatic force and its location for plane and curved surfaces
  • Determine the buoyant force
  • Determine the pressure or pressure differences through the use of manometers
  • Determine velocity, pressure or elevation through the use of the Bernoulli equation
  • Compute the average velocity at various sections by use of the continuity equation
  • Determine flow rates with orifice and venturi meters
  • Use the momentum control volume equation to solve for forces due to a moving fluid
  • Solve the 3 pipe flow problems (i.e. 1] unknown headloss, 2] unknown discharge, 3] unknown pipe diameter)
  • Determine the head of pumps and turbines through the use of the energy equation
  • Use Newton's method on spreadsheets to determine roots of equations
  • Use spreadsheets for tabular solutions of system head curves
  • Select the best pump and pipe size for a given system
  • Determine the fitting losses in a pipe system
  • Determine the boundary layer characteristics for simple flows
  • Determine  parameters through the use of the Buckingham  theorem
  • Determine model-prototype relationships for Reynolds and Froude models.
  • Determine drag on various shapes and objects
  • Conduct fluid mechanics experiments and analyze and interpret results

Class/Laboratory Schedule

One hundred fifty minutes of lecture per week

One hundred seventy minutes of laboratory per week

Contribution of Course to Meet the Professional Component

Engineering Science: Three units

This course meets the ABET criteria:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • An ability to conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Relationship of Course to Program Objectives

The course supports the achievement of the following program objectives:

  • To provide a broad-based education in mathematics, the sciences, engineering sciences and design, and humanities and social sciences
  • To develop skills of oral and written communication, critical thinking, and leadership which are important to a successful professional life
  • To prepare graduates for numerous options including graduate or professional school as well as entering the civil engineering profession
  • Homework is collected daily and selected problems graded
  • Three to five tests ranging from 30 to 50 minutes are given per semester
  • Individual lab reports are graded
  • Two-hour comprehensive final exam
  • Survey of student's perception of learning at the end of the semester