Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM 4201: Fluid Mechanics

Catalog Description



AEM 4201

Fluid Mechanics

4 Credits


Catalog Description:


First course in fluid mechanics. Includes stress and strain rate descriptions, fluid statics, use of differential and finite control volume analysis with continuity, momentum, and energy equations, Bernoulli and Euler equations, vorticity, potential flow, incompressible viscous flow using Navier-Stokes equations, dimensional analysis, pipe flow, boundary layers, separation, introduction to turbulence.


Course Web Address:


Prerequisites by Topic:


1.      Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (Math 2373)

2.      Multivariable Calculus (Math 2374)

3.      Dynamics (AEM 2012)




A Brief Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, 3rd Edition, Young, Wiley


Format of Course


4 hours of lecture per week


Computer Usage:


Spreadsheets and Matlab


Course Objectives:


Develop an understanding of fluid dynamics in aerospace engineering as well as a variety of other fields.  Learn to use control volume analysis to develop basic equations and to solve problems.  Understand and use differential equations to determine pressure and velocity variations in internal and external flows.  Understand the concept of viscosity and where viscosity is important in real flows. Learn to use equations in combination with experimental data to determine losses in flow systems. Learn to use dimensional analysis to design physical or numerical experiments and to apply dynamic similarity.


Course Outcomes:


Students successfully completing this course will demonstrate the following outcomes by homework and exams:


1.      An understanding of fluid mechanics fundamentals, including concepts of mass and momentum conservation.

  1. An ability to apply the Bernoulli equation to solve problems in fluid mechanics.
  2. An ability to apply control volume analysis to problems in fluid mechanics.
  3. An ability to use potential flow theory to solve problems in fluid mechanics.
  4. An ability to perform dimensional analysis for problems in fluid mechanics.
  5. A knowledge of laminar and turbulent boundary layer fundamentals.
  6. An exposure to recent developments in fluid mechanics, with application to aerospace systems.
  7. An ability to apply the concepts developed for fluid flow analysis to issues in aerospace design.


Relationship of course to program objectives:


This course develops the fundamentals of fluid mechanics and problem solving skills necessary to aerospace engineers.


Relationship of course to program outcomes:


This course provides the following outcomes:


  1. Apply mathematics
  2. Identify engineering problems


Course Outline:


(Hrs, approx.)





Fluid Statics


Conservation of mass and momentum


Bernoulli equation


Equations of motion in integral form


Equations of motion in differential form


Kinematics, vorticity, potential flow


Potential flow


Dimensional analysis


Viscous flows, exact solutions, pipe flow


Laminar boundary layers


Boundary layer solution methods




Turbulent internal and external flows


Outcome Measurement:


Outcomes will be measured by homework and tests. 


Student Survey Questions:


This course improved my ability to do the following:


  1. Apply knowledge of math, science, and engineering.
  2. Design a system, component or process to meet desired needs.
  3. Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  4. Understand contemporary engineering issues.
  5. Use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.


Please assign one of the values above to each of the following statements:


  1. The text book was clearly written and appropriate for the course.
  2. The homework helped me to understand the concepts presented in the course.
  3. The tests were appropriate in length and content.
  4. The level of work required in this course was appropriate for the credit given.


In this course I acquired the following:


  1. Knowledge of basic fluid dynamics.
  2. Knowledge of control volume analysis.
  3. An ability to use differential equations to understand pressure and velocity variations.
  4. Knowledge of dimensional analysis.
  5. An ability to determine ‘losses’ in flow systems.
  6. Understanding of viscosity and its importance in real flows.


Last modified:



Last Modified: 2007-07-24 at 10:04:44 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation