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CEG8517 : Computational Hydraulics

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Caspar Hewett
  • Lecturer: Mr Vassilis Glenis
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of numerical methods applied to problems in hydraulics. It is designed to provide a good understanding of the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the methods which underpin mathematical models of real systems.
Students will acquire the necessary skills to use computational hydraulics software to solve engineering problems with competence and confidence.
The module will introduce a variety of numerical methods using a series of problems including advection (transport of a dissolved substance) and diffusion. Topics covered will include:
•       The method of characteristics,
•       Finite difference, finite element and finite volume methods;
•       Analysis of convergence, stability and accuracy of numerical schemes.
The above aims will be achieved by adopting a combination of lectures, tutorials and computer-based workshops.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to method of finite differences;
Introduction to method of characteristics;
Introduction to method of finite volumes;
Introduction to method of finite elements;
Stability, accuracy and consistency of numerical schemes;
Explicit and implicit schemes;
Boundary conditions;
Conservative and non-conservative formulations of conservation laws
Rankine-Hugoniot conditions
Godunov type schemes and Riemann solvers;
Numerical schemes for solution of transport and diffusion equations in 1D;
Godunov type schemes for solution of Burgers’ equation in 1D;
Extension to 2D;

Finite difference and finite volume schemes for solution of problems In hydraulics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00Online non-synchronous, pre-recorded video lectures and accompanying notes.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion20:451:30Workshop Reports
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Exam (Possibly 24 hour exam if taken remotely)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Coursework (Finite Volume Method)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00Revision for exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00Present in person - Workshops (computer labs)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Synchronous online sessions to review lecture material, answer questions and review worked examples.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study110:0010:00Supplementary reading (notes provided).
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures allow knowledge transfer of the various numerical and modelling methods available for application in the hydraulics discipline, and computer-based practicals allow for consolidation of this knowledge prior to its application in the development of simple software and its application to given problems (which is carried out as coursework).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50Unseen written examination (Possibly 24 hour exam if taken remotely)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M102 practical submissions at 5% each.
Written exercise1M40Written exercise (development of simple numerical code, 1000 words/15hrs effort).
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MProblems worked through during lectures
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessed by written examination and coursework. This allows a student's knowledge and understanding of the methods introduced to be monitored, applied and tested.

Assessment is split between:-
(a)       Practice questions worked through in lectures (formative);
(b)       (Coursework – Written reports of exercises carried out in workshops;
(c)       Coursework - which monitor understanding of ;
(d)       Exam - Which assesses knowledge and skills in numerical methods.

The rationale is to assess the students’ grasp of the practical skills and understanding represented by the knowledge outcomes. Practical submissions are assessed to emphasise importance of completion of the practical tasks for development of intended skills. The written exercise involves development of simple numerical method which assesses skills in development of the methods and their limitations. The unseen exam assesses knowledge of basic numerical methods used in Computational Hydraulics.

Reading Lists