Computational Hydraulics

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Computational Hydraulics

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Computational Hydraulics is a field in which numerical methods are used to solve hydraulics problems. This course offers an in depth exposure to the solutions of flow and transport phenomena in rivers, estuaries or networks of channels and pipes with predominantly free surface flow.

The main emphasis of the course is on understanding how the methods of finite differences and finite volumes are applied to solve unsteady free surface flow and transport equations. The course covers both historic and current practices in order to build up an understanding of Computational Hydraulics development.

During the week, theoretical and practical classes are carefully mixed to facilitate intake of new concepts and allow participants an active role in learning. Upon completion of the course, participants will understand the difficulties of developing a numerical model for the solution of free surface flow and transport equations. The course also provides basic training for people interested in further development of such models.

The course will provide delegates with the necessary skills to competently use computational hydraulics software to solve engineering problems:

  • an introduction to equations describing flow and transport processes in free surface flows;
  • an introduction to the methods of characteristics, finite differences, finite elements and finite volumes, and application of the method of finite differences to ordinary and partial differential equations;
  • analysis of convergence, stability and accuracy of numerical schemes;
  • modelling of flow in open channel networks using method of finite differences;
  • numerical solution of two-dimensional nearly horizontal flows using the method of finite differences (ADI) and the method of finite volumes;
  • modelling of advection-diffusion in one and two dimensions.

Course Objectives

Upon completion, delegates will have an understanding of the governing equations and numerical methods used for solution of flow and transport phenomena. They will:

  • be aware of the limitations and common difficulties in using different numerical methods in solving flow and transport problems;
  • be able to develop simple software for solution of free-surface flow;
  • acquire confidence in using computational hydraulics software to solve engineering problems.

Course Outline

  • Introduction to method of finite differences;
  • Introduction to method of finite volumes;
  • Introduction to method of finite elements;
  • Stability of numerical schemes;
  • Accuracy of numerical schemes;
  • Explicit and implicit schemes;
  • Finite difference solution for free-surface flows in one dimension - Abbot-Ionesscu and Priessman scheme;
  • Finite difference solution for flow in channel network;
  • Godunov type schemes and Riemann solvers;
  • Godunov type schemes for shallow flows in one and two dimensions;
  • Finite difference schemes for solution of transport diffusion equations in 1D;
  • Godunov type schemes for solution of transport diffusion equation in 1 and 2D.
  • Tutorials:
    • Basic finite differences - stability and accuracy;
    • Solution of 1D free surface flow by finite differences;
    • Solution of 1D free surface flow by FV and Riemann solvers.

Update to course content

Please note that our courses are reviewed regularly, both in response to feedback and so that information about recent research and developments can be included. Thus, content may be subject to change.


School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences


  • Computational Hydraulics
    • £1275

We offer a 30 percent discount to full time students and to Newcastle University staff.

The course fee includes tuition, course materials, lunch and refreshments.

[ Information about Cancellations ]

Formal assessment may be available for this Course. Assessment attracts an additional fee of £350, and delegates will be issued with a transcript and Certificate of Credit Achieved. Owing to visa restrictions the assessment option is not available to international students outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Academic Module Outline

This course is also delivered as a Module (code CEG8517) on at least one of the School's Masters programmes, the majority of which can be studied part time, making them suitable for those in employment. Delegates will attend with full and part time registered students. The Academic Module Outline is available via the University's Module Catalogue.

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Accredited by:
Accredited by Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management Computational Hydraulics accredited by Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

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