2023-2024 / MECA0025-3

Fluid Mechanics


26h Th, 26h Pr, 30h Proj.

Number of credits

 Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Mechanical Engineering (EMSHIP+, Erasmus Mundus)5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering Physics5 crédits 


Eric Delhez

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

The course provides a rigorous and systematic presentation of the basic concepts and classical mathematical models used in various fields of application of Newtonian fluid mechanics. These models, and their simplified versions, are used to better understand the underlying physical processes.

The following topics are addressed :

  • Kinematics of fluid flows.
  • Budget equations (local and integral forms) and associated boundary conditions. Newtonian fluid and Navier-Stokes equations.
  • Vorticity dynamics and potential flow.
  • Introduction to CFD.
  • Flow regimes.
  • Introduction to gas dynamics : total / sonic properties, normal and oblique shock waves, de Laval nozzle;
  • Turbulence : characterization, log-law, closure models, RANS/LES/DNS simulations.
  • Gravity waves, capillarity waves, internal waves.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the student will master the basic concept of Newtonian fluid dynamics. He/She will be able to use both the tensor and indicial formalism to design mathematical models of most large scale and small scale flows. In particular, he/she will be able to make the link between the physical processes and their mathematical parameterization and to justify the main assumptions.

He/She will be able to write down budget equations, understand the processes responsible for the transport of information and energy in fluids, use integral forms of the Navier-Stokes equation to describe simple flows. He/She will also be able to rely on a simplified 1D model to describe shock waves in a nozzle.

Through the group project, the course contribute to the development of soft skills like self-study, collaborative work and reporting.

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.2, II.1, II.2, III.1, III.2, IV.1, IV.2, VI.1, VI.2, VII.1, VII.2 of the BSc in engineering.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

A working knowledge of vector calculus (as taught for instance in MATH0002) and the basic concepts of continuous mechanics and tensor algebra (see MECA0001 and MECA0011) is required.
The course forms a preparation of the students to the systematic use of the concepts of fluid mechanics in the more specific contexts addressed in courses of aerodynamics, space propulsion, aircraft design, microfluidics, hemodynamics, blood geophysical fluid dynamics,...

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course includes ex-cathedra lectures, exercise sessions and a simulation project. The three parts provide a coherent approach of the physics and of the mathematical and numerical modelling of flows.

  • The physical processes and concepts, together with their mathematical modelling, are presented at the ex-cathedra lectures.

  • During the exercise sessions, simple and classical problems are solved.

  • The project, to be carried by groups of three students, opens the way to more complex flows using the Siemens NX software. This provides a first contact with numerical fluid dynamics.

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

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Copy of the slides available at http://www.mmm.uliege.be.
Reference for the lectures : Fluid mechanics (4th edition) de P.K. Kundu et I.M. Cohen (Academic Press, 2004, ISBN-13: 9780123737359) and Fluid mechanics (7th edition) " de  F. White  (McGraw-Hill , 2011, ISBN-13: 978-0-07-352934-9)
Numerous applications are available in Fluid Mechanics de D. Pnueli et C. Gutfinger (Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN : 0-521-58797-2).

Exam(s) in session

May-June exam session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

August-September exam session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

Written exam in June and oral exam in August/September (retake).

Both tests cover the theoretical aspects and the exercises. The official formulaire (Navier-Stokes equations in various coordinate systems, NASCA tables for compressible flows) can be used.

The simulation project accounts for 25 % of the global mark in June and September. If needed, the report can be modified in between.

The simulation project is a compulsory activity.  Failure to produce a report will lead to a "A" as global mark.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The cours takes place during the second quadrimester only at a rate of half a day per week (Thursday pm).

The schedule and organization details are available at http://www.mmm.uliege.be/.


Prof. Éric J.M. DELHEZ Institut de Mathématique, B37 Tél. 04/366.94.19 E.Delhez@uliege.be
List of assistants and contact details are available at http://www.mmm.uliege.be/

Association of one or more MOOCs