MEC4447 - Computers in fluids and energy - 2018

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

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Chris Davies


Professor Mark Thompson (Clayton)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


MEC3451 and MEC3456 or MAE3401 and MAE2403Not offered in 2018 or MAE3403


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a well-established analysis, design and optimisation approach for industrial fluid and heat transfer problems. Examples include turbomachinery, 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.


At the successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Discuss the main approaches used to discretise the compressible and incompressible fluid flow equations.
  2. Appraise the capabilities and limitations of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) packages to model engineering problems in fluid flow and heat transfer.
  3. Apply a theoretical understanding of the concepts of resolution, stability and order of numerical methods for solving partial differential equations relevant to engineering.
  4. Execute suitable approximations when modelling turbulent flows.
  5. Formulate an approximate solution to an engineering problem using a CFD package, with appropriate selection of boundary conditions, grid size and turbulence model.
  6. Synthesise this knowledge to program simple numerical models relevant to heat transfer and fluid flow.


Continuous assessment: 50%

Final Examination (2 hours): 50%

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study