MAE4965 - Advanced aerodynamics and turbulence - 2017

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 Julio Soria

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces differential and integral forms of governing equations in tensor notation, reviews inviscid and viscous aerodynamic flows and analyses the derivation of thin shear layer equations. Solution methods for boundary layer equations for the prediction of drag, lift and boundary layer separation on airfoil surfaces follows. Flow instability and transition from laminar to turbulent flow is examined and boundary layer stability analysis is introduced. Turbulence physics and turbulent shear flows and the analysis of turbulent shear flows are covered together with an introduction to statistical analysis in turbulence and aerodynamic flow control.


At the end of this unit, students are expected to:

  1. Understand the tensorial development of the governing conservation equations for aerodynamics problems,
  2. Understand the physics of inviscid and viscous aerodynamics,
  3. Understand the derivation of the equations governing boundary layer flow and shear flows in general,
  4. To be able to solve the boundary layer equations for generic geometries using both differential analysis and integral analysis to predict drag, lift and boundary layer separation on airfoil surfaces,
  5. Understand the physics of flow instability and laminar-turbulent transition,
  6. Understand the analysis of Tollmien-Schlichting instability and transition in boundary layer flow and recognise factors controlling laminar-turbulent boundary layer transition,
  7. Understand statistical analysis of turbulence and the general properties of turbulent shear flows,
  8. Understand the structure of turbulent boundary layer flow and to be able to derive and interpret the equations governing the mean flow, kinetic energy and Reynolds stresses of a turbulent boundary layer,
  9. Understand the quantitative description of turbulent boundary layer flow and to be able to calculate turbulent boundary layer drag and predict adverse pressure gradient separation on airfoils, and
  10. To recognise and interpret boundary layer control methodologies on airfoils to minimise drag and avoid boundary layer separation and loss of lift.


Continuous assessment: 40%

Final Examination (3 hours): 60%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component 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

3 hours lectures, 2 hours practice sessions or laboratories and 7 hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)