Module code: ENG1073

Module Overview

Understanding the flow and forces of water, wind and other fluids is essential for civil and environmental engineers. It has applications in diverse domains such as bridge design, hydro-electric power, sub-sea engineering, waste water management, wind loading on buildings, hydraulic structures and many more.

This module introduces the fundamental principles of static and dynamic fluid mechanics and their applications to solve typical engineering problems. The module covers the design and analysis of pipe networks in more detail. In these engineering problems, inter-connecting pipes, reservoirs and pumps are used to transport fluids, e.g. oil or water, at specified (steady) flow rates and pressures. These theoretical concepts are reinforced by practical applications in the laboratory. Here, the lab sessions investigate fundamental fluid properties and energy losses in pipe fixtures and fittings. Unsteady flows are also introduced through a demonstration of water hammer, which is the propagation of a high pressure wave through a pipe. In industrial pipe networks, water hammer can cause major problems including noise, vibration and even fractured pipes. Here, an understanding pipe flows is essential to make sure that the pipes in such systems which may include drinking water supplies are operating under the right conditions, especially given that the main purpose of these pipes is to protect human health and prevent environmental degradation.


Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

HUGHES Susan (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 98

Seminar Hours: 24

Tutorial Hours: 12

Laboratory Hours: 4

Captured Content: 12

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The first part of the module covers fluid mechanics, including the following topics:

  • Hydrostatics (forces on surfaces, submerged bodies, gates etc.)

  • Buoyancy (stability of submerged and floating bodies)

  • Fluid kinematics (streamlines and continuity)

  • Fluid dynamics (Bernoulli’s equation, flow through orifices and venturi meters)

  • Momentum equation (impacting jets, forces on pipe bend)

The second part of the module covers pipe hydraulics, including the following topics:

  • Introduction to unsteady flows, pipe surge and water hammer

  • Introduction to pipe flow, Reynold’s number and Darcy’s Equation

  • Friction and Energy losses in pipes

  • Basic and advanced pipe flow networks and reservoir problems.

This module is within the core subject of Fluid Mechanics, and the threads of Design (especially pipe networks) and Health and Safety Risk Management (especially in the laboratory sessions).


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment LABORATORY REPORTS (2 REPORTS) 15
School-timetabled exam/test IN-CLASS TEST 1 HOUR 10
Examination EXAM 2HRS 75

Alternative Assessment

  1. Laboratory work: complete a virtual lab with supplied experimental data and submit a report as you would do for a face-to-face lab.
  2. In-ClassTest: complete a piece of coursework using the Hardy-Cross method.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their:

  • Comprehension of fundamental concepts in fluid mechanics and pipe flows their ability to apply this understanding to solve basic engineering problems.

  • Understanding and application of a numerical method for the analysis of flow in a pipe network: the Hardy-Cross method.

  • Practical skills (including lab report writing) in fluid mechanics and pipe flows. The two laboratory reports assess the ability of students to conduct and analyse practical experiments, and to effectively communicate their findings in technical reports.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Laboratory work [Learning outcomes assessed:4-5]

  • In-Class Test [Learning outcomes assessed:3] 

  • Exam [Learning outcomes assessed:1-3] 

The formative assessment will be provided through

  •  support, comment and feedback given in the tutorial sessions and lectures.

  •  a range of self-assessment tutorial exercises provided on SurreyLearn: where appropriate these exercises will be offered informal feedback in the tutorial sessions.


Students will receive written feedback on the laboratory work and on the timed assessment.  

Module aims

  • To introduce the fundamental principles and equations governing statics and dynamics in fluid mechanics.
  • To introduce the key principles of the design and analysis of pipe networks for fluid transport.
  • To learn how physical principles are used to create instruments that measure pressure and flow in dynamical systems.
  • To combine theoretical knowledge and mathematical skills to solve engineering problems.
  • To introduce practical experiments and how to conduct them safely in a fluid mechanics lab.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Have a comprehensive and robust understanding of the key principles of fluid mechanics and their limitations when applying them to real flow problems. KT
002 Be able to deploy mathematical methods to solve problems involving fundamental fluid mechanics. KCT
003 Be able to deploy analytical and numerical methods for the analysis and design of sustainable pipe systems. KCPT
004 Know how to safely conduct and analyse practical experiments to investigate engineering behaviour and fluid properties. KPT
005 Prepare technical reports that are well organized and effectively communicate all key information using both written and digital processing skills. KT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with a basic theoretical and practical understanding of fluid mechanics and pipe flows. At the end of the module there is also a revision session.

The module is delivered principally by lectures and supported by weekly tutorials, but also includes laboratory classes and a timed assessment on pipe networks.

  • The laboratory sessions are hands-on practicals in which all the students actively participate in small groups (6-8 students) and gain the skills necessary to carry out experiments safely, in a fluids lab. There are two laboratory classes which include orifice and free jet flows, Bernoulli’s theorem, pipe surge and water hammer (unsteady flows). The students begin their journey on how to write lab reports – initially with a short report completed within a template and then progressing to an independent lab report with guided prompts. These reports help develop scientific writing skills as well as being able to analyse data and synthesize the findings. They also gain practical skills from performing the experiment; digital capabilities in post processing the data and an awareness of the health and safety issues associated with working practices within a fluids lab environment.

  • The tutorials are question and answer sessions allowing students time to reflect on and apply the lecture material and develop problem solving skills.

  • There is an in-class timed test based on pipe hydraulics in which the students are expected to demonstrate their independent learning and gain a broader understanding of pipe networks. These integrate the theoretical knowledge of fluid mechanics with applied engineering solutions that need to be both resilient and sustainable. Pipe networks, therefore,  represent more realistic engineering applications which students are likely to encounter when working in industry.

The learning and teaching methods include :

  • Lectures

  • Tutorials and guided questions

  • Fluid laboratory sessions

  • Independent learning  (guided reading, recorded content, timed assessment, lab reports, independent reading, revision)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENG1073

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Resourcefulness & Resilience: Students develop the ability to respond to problem-based tasks and provide viable solutions to pipe configurations and pipe networks.They are encouraged to exercise and develop their engineering and judgement to evaluate solutions, identify and correct errors; and build confidence in their problem-solving abilities. These are important skills to develop as they will be used further in the fluid mechanics module, ENG2101 - Hydraulics and Environmental Quality, which follows on from this module.

Employability: The students also develop an understanding of sustainability and where their learning directly aligns within the industrial sector that utilises pipe networks, e.g. the water industry.  

Digital Capabilities: Students will learn how to tabulate experimental data and utilise computational tools to analyse data and draw a conclusion on patterns and trends in the data. The learning and teaching content is supported via SurreyLearn (the virtual learning environment). Student engagement is further encouraged by utilising the online discussion forums for the different topics. This is important as fluid mechanics is typically a new subject for the students and they often find it reassuring to share experiences and challenges through this route especially as questions may be posted anonymously. 

Sustainability: Students learn about material selection for use in pipe systems where the choice of material significantly affects the friction factors and therefore the flow through the pipes. Pipes are used extensively in civil engineering and therefore, the choice of materials, sizing and length all play a key role in the drive towards implementing more sustainable engineering solutions in the future.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Civil Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.