Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Module aims

  • To develop topics in fluid mechanics and hydraulics of broad interest to environmental engineers and hydrologists, and demonstrate the link between theoretical studies and their practical application in river and environmental engineering.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this course unit, students will be able to: 

  • Understand the fundamental properties of fluids.
  • Calculate pressures and forces exerted by fluids at rest.
  • Understand how fundamental equations of mass balance, momentum balance, energy balance, and friction losses are used to derive engineering equations that describe steady flow of water in open channels, associated water levels, pressures and forces.
  • Understand how channel expansions and contractions, and lateral inflow and outflow affect open channel flow behaviour.
  • Use that understanding to solve simple steady state open channel flow problems, including hydraulic jumps and flow profile sketching.
  • Understand how to apply the principles of fluids to solve simple problems of pressurized flow in pipes.
  • Understand how to apply the principles of fluids to solve simple problems of flow through porous media (EE only).
  • Distinguish between the alternative types of sediments in rivers and methods for estimating their transport (Hydrology only).
  • Recognise the links between the theory of fluid mechanics and the theories and practices taught in other related modules in this MSc (e.g. urban water, flood hydrology, hydrological processes, hydrogeology, water distribution systems, hydroinformatics). 

Module syllabus

  • After 8 weeks of joint lectures environmental engineers consider basic flow in the porous media and hydrologists consider sediment transport in rivers. 





Physical properties of fluid and pressure change 

Dr A. Mijic 


Fluid statics – Hydrostatic forces 

Dr A. Mijic 


Principles of fluid dynamics 

Dr A. Mijic 


Open channel flow: Basic equations 

Dr A. Mijic 


Open channel flow: Steady state 1  

Dr A. Mijic 


Open channel flow: Steady state 2 

Dr A. Mijic 


Flow in pipes – Sheer stress 

Dr A. Mijic 


Flow in pipes – Pressure and energy distribution  

Dr A. Mijic 

09 EE 

Flow in porous media - Basic hydraulics 

Dr A. Mijic 

09 HWRM 

Sediment transport in rivers 

Dr P. Soar  

Teaching methods

This module is taught through lectures, joint lectures for both HWRM and EE, and a visit from an external lecturer (tbc).


Information will be provided separately.

Reading list

Module leaders

Dr Ana Mijic