2023-2024 / GCIV0009-1

Design and execution of hydraulic navigation structures


30h Th, 22h Pr, 1d FW, 16h Proj.

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Civil Engineering5 crédits 


Philippe Rigo

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This lecture (given in French) concerns the design, the construction and the operation of navigation locks, movable weirs and flood protection barriers.
Table of content

  • Design of Waterways
  • Notions of river engineering
  • Navigation locks (including shiplifts and inclined planes), Filling and Emptying system (with and without water saving basins), lock gates, valves (F&E), dewatering system, design of side walls/floor and interaction with foundation; lock equipment (bollards,...), construction mode (prefabrication technics), ..
  • Mobile weirs (movable dams), review of the different gate types including inflatable gates
  • Flood protection barriers (storm surge barrier): Design
  • Auxiliary equipment associated to a navigation "lock/weir complex" as fish passes, ..
  • Loads and general rules to assess the stability of hydraulic structures with regard to up-lift pressure, infiltration and erosion,
  • Principles of the multi criteria analyse
A technical visit of locks and mobile weirs will be organised

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the student will be able to understand and apply the basic knowledge to design of navigation hydraulic structures - locks, movable weirs and flood protection barrier - from a structural and hydraulic point of view, but also on the operation point of view. Through a group project on the design of hydraulic structures, the written report and the oral presentation of the main outcomes, the students will develop their abilities of self-learning and apply of the knowledges learned during the lectures and their ability to work in group as well as their capacity to structure and expose in writing and orally their reasoning.

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.1, I.2, II.1, II.2, II.3, III.1, III.2, III.3, III.4, IV.1, IV.2, IV.3, IV.4, IV.5, V.1, V.2, V.3, VI.1, VI.2, VI.3, VI.4, VII.1, VII.2, VII.3, VII.4, VII.5, VII.6 of the MSc in civil engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The course uses the general knowledges in hydraulic (open channel flow), structure (steel and concrete) and soil mechanics given in the framework of the education in the master in civil engineering

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is based on lectures and practical works (done in group). A field visit is schedule to illustrate the notions presented during lectures.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

Face to face course, if allowed

Recommended or required readings

Several books and technical reports (pdf version) are distributed to students, including the some PIANC reports (http://www.pianc.org ) such as:
WG101 (2005): Design of movable weirs and flood protection barriers
WG106 (2009): Innovations in navigation lock design
WG155 (2015): Ship Behavior in Locks and Lock Approaches

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

The written reports related to class exercises and Group project are evaluated  (50% of the points ). An oral presentation of the preoject will be organised.
An oral examination is organized at the end of the course (50%).

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Organized from February to May (2nd semester): 4 h/week and 4 days personal work to realise practical works.


Philippe RIGO
+32 (0) 4 366 93 66  (Local +1/510, B52)

Association of one or more MOOCs