Last Updated S012019


Unit Name Hydraulics
Unit Code BCS208S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites BCS206S
Credit Points


Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)
Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours
Tutorial – 1.5 hours
Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours
Personal Study recommended – 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective of this unit is to teach students the fundamentals of hydraulics. This knowledge is required for many real-world applications, particularly for industrial environments where there is a proliferation of pipework and plant equipment.

The subject matter covered in this unit will include: a review of the fundamental equations of fluid mechanics; the technique of dimensional analysis, which allows the systematic discovery of parameter sets that govern the characteristic features of flow; friction effects in fluid flows; and, hydraulics applications in civil engineering, including fluid statics, steady, uniform, and non-uniform incompressible flow in pipelines and channels, pumped systems, and culvert hydraulics.

At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with the requisite knowledge to analyse and solve many hydraulics related problems and design a variety of hydraulic structures such as rigid boundary channels, pipes, and culverts.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Describe and demonstrate the relevant properties of fluids and calculate pressures and forces on floating and immersed bodies.
    Bloom’s Level 2
  2. Analyse pump and pipeline systems for steady flow involving single and multiple pumps.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  3. Examine and solve steady uniform and non-uniform open channel flow problems.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  4. Design rigid boundary channels and classify gradually varied flow profiles.
    Bloom’s Level 6
  5. Contrast the concepts of specific energy and specific force in open channel flow.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  6. Design pipe and box culverts and estimate the head-discharge relationship for common flow measuring devices.
    Bloom’s Level 6
  7. Conduct hydraulics related practicals.
    Bloom’s Level 3

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Behaviour of Real Fluids; Flow in Pipes and Enclosed Conduits.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts

Due after Topic 3 15% 1, 2

Assessment 2 

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Open Channel Flow; Pressure surge in pipelines.

Students may provide solutions to simple problems on the listed topics

Due after Topic 7 20% 2, 3, 4

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Example Topic: Hydraulic machines.

Practical using software simulations such as Pipeflow, or FluidSim.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or using software to complete a practical.

Due after Topic 9 20% 7

Assessment 4

Type: Examination

Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed report type questions and/or simple numerical problems to be completed in 3 hours

Final Week 40% 1 to 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 to 7

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required textbook(s)

Chadwick, AJ, Morfett, JC & Borthwick, M 2013, Hydraulics in Civil and Environmental Engineering, 5th Edition, Spon Press, London.

Reference Materials

K. Bansal, A Textbook of Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Machines, 9th Edition. Laxmi Publications, 2017 – ISBN: 978-8-131-80815-3

Hamill, L 2011, Understanding Hydraulics, 3rd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK.

Nalluri, C, Featherstone, RE & Marriott, M 2009, Nalluri & Featherstone's ‘Civil Engineering Hydraulics: Essential Theory with Worked Examples’, 5th Edition, Wiley Blackwell, Oxford.

Unit Content

Topics 1 & 2

Behaviour of Real Fluids

• Real and ideal fluids
• Viscous flow
• The stability of laminar flows and the onset of turbulence
• Shearing action in turbulent flows
• The boundary layer
• Some implications of the boundary layer concept
• The conservation equations for laminar and turbulent flows
• Cavitation
• Surface tension effects

Topics 3 & 4

Flow in Pipes and Enclosed Conduits

• Introduction
• The historical context
• Fundamentals; concepts of pipe flow
• Laminar flow
• Turbulent flow
• Local head losses
• Partially full pipes

Topics 5 & 6

Open Channel Flow

• Flow with a free surface
• Flow calcification
• Natural and artificial channels and their properties
• Velocity distributions, energy and momentum coefficients
• Laminar and turbulent flow
• Uniform flow
• Rapidly varied flow: the use of energy principles
• Rapidly varied flow: the use of momentum principles
• Critical depth meters

Topics 7 & 8

Pressure surge in pipelines

• Introduction
• Effect of ‘rapid’ valve closure
• Unsteady compressible flow
• Analysis of more complex problems
• The method of characteristics

Topics 9 & 10

Hydraulic machines

• Classifications of machines
• Continuous flow pumps
• Performance data for continues flow pumps
• Pump selection
• Hydro-power turbines
• Turbine selection
• Cavitation in hydraulic machines

Topic 11

Dimensional analysis and the theory of physical models

• Introduction
• The idea of ‘similarity’
• Dimensional homogeneity and its implications
• Dimensional analysis
• Dimensional analysis involving more variables
• Applications of dynamics similarity
• Hydraulic models

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of students’ work and to clarify any outstanding issues.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: N/A

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


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