Faculty of Engineering

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Professor Mark Thompson (Clayton); Dr Tan Boon Thong (Malaysia)



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a well-established analysis, design and optimisation approach for industrial fluid and heat transfer problems. Examples include turomachinery, vehicle aerodynamics and aeronautics. It is also a powerful research tool and is being increasingly used to answer fundamental questions in a wide range of fields, from astrophysics to nanomaterials. This Unit provides an introduction to this mathematically sophisticated discipline. This involves a review of the equations governing motion and energy of fluids, the mathematical properties of these equations and the relevance of such properties to obtaining numerical solutions. The basics of numerical discretization and solution methods will be discussed. The Unit will also introduce you to using commercial CFD packages in analysing complex industrial problems involving fluids.


On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. explain the main approaches used to discretise the compressible and incompressible fluid flow equations.
  2. gain familiarity and understand of the capabilities and limitations of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) packages to model engineering problems in fluid flow and heat transfer
  3. develop a theoretical understanding of the concepts of resolution, stability and order of numerical methods for solving partial differential equations relevant to engineering, and to be able to apply them in practice
  4. gain a good understanding of the approximations necessary when modelling turbulent flows, and an understanding of the appropriate turbulence model for a particular problem
  5. combine this knowledge to use a CFD package to compute an approximate solution to an engineering problem, with appropriate selection of boundary conditions, grid size and turbulence model
  6. use this knowledge to program simple numerical models relevant to heat transfer and fluid flow


Examination (3 hours): 50%
Tests: 20%
Assignments: 30%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component (assignments, tests, mid-semester exams, laboratory reports) and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

5 contact hours per week including lectures, tutorials and computer laboratory classes and 7 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


MEC3451 and MEC3456 or MAE3401 and MAE2403 or MAE3403