Fluid Flow, Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

Department of Civil Engineering, School of Civil Engineering

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences


Code 21831

Level of study First Year

Credit value 20

Semester 1 & 2

Pre-requisite modules None

Other pre-requisites None

Module description

The aim of the module is to provide the fundamentals of fluid flow, thermodynamics & heat transfer, and introduce associated engineering applications.


Fluid Flow:

  • Introduction to fluid flow phenomena in engineering.

  • Hydrostatics: Pressure variation with position in a static fluid, manometers, hydrostatic forces on submerged surfaces, forces on unconstrained bodies, surface tension and capillarity, methods of surface tension measurement.

  • Hydrodynamics: classification of flows in terms of variation of flow parameters in time and space, the concepts of streamline and stream tube, the principles of continuity, energy and momentum, turbulent flow.

  • Applications of principles to engineering problems, including flow measurement by orifice, Venturi, Pitot tube, rotameter & weirs. Forces on pipe bends, nozzles and plates.

  • Steady flow problems concerning head loss and pressure drop due to friction in pipe flows (Bernoulli), non-circular ducts, friction factors, Moody diagram and friction losses in fittings.

  • Physical fluid properties, their dimensions and units, SI System, dimensional analysis.


  • The scope of thermodynamics. The basic quantities and their SI units. The fundamental concepts: force, pressure, temperature, intensive and extensive properties, the system and its surroundings, closed and open systems, state and processes, phases and components, phase changes and equilibrium, and the different forms of energy.

  • First Law. The energy balance equation and its applications to closed and open systems. The continuity equation. Work and heat in processes. Reversible and irreversible processes. Heat engines. Carnot cycle and some other theoretical cycles including refrigeration.

  • Second Law: Entropy and irreversible processes, spontaneous processes. The preparation and the use of thermodynamic tables and diagrams (including using entropy to calculate work in adiabatic processes).

Heat Transfer:

  • Conduction: (one-dimensional steady state) Fourier¿s Law, conduction with multiple layers, simple geometries, resistance in series.

  • Convection and Boundary Layers: Heat transfer coefficients for natural and forced convection. Practical problems involving forced convection, resistances in series, overall heat transfer coefficients, Design of simple heat exchangers, log-mean temperature differences.

  • Basics of radiation: (Stefan-Boltzmann equation), emmissivity, absorptivity, transmissivity and reflectivity, net exchange of radiation between surfaces .

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures (40), tutorials (14), laboratory (6), plus associated private study.