MEEG331 Fluid Mechanics I
Ajay K. Prasad
228 Spencer Lab
Office Hours: MW 10 - 11 am
Chris DiLeo (Laboratory tutor/Grading lab reports/Office hours)
131 Spencer Lab
Office Hours: TBD
- To illustrate the physical concepts of fluid flows developed
- To introduce experimental techniques for fluid mechanics.
- To demonstrate the limitations and applicability of theory.
- To encourage creativity in the use of experimental apparatus and
- To foster self-reliance required for open-ended experiments and
reduce dependence on a cookbook approach.
- To develop the ability for team work.
- To develop effective communication of technical information.
- To develop computer skills for acquiring data, data reduction, error
analysis, and plotting.
A total of five experiments will be performed (once every other week)
during the semester by students working in teams of 5. Each group
will acquire a common set of data for a particular experiment,
and each group will submit a single lab report.
Students must study the lab handout thoroughly before arriving at the
lab session. The TA's job is not to do the experiment for you.
Instead, the TA will familiarize you with the equipment and software.
You will need to decide for yourself, how best to collect the data to
answer the questions posed in the handout. Of course, some hints will
be provided to get you on your way. The TA will use his judgement to
determine at what point a group is ready to proceed on its own.
Experiments will be performed in the Oceans Engineering
Laboratory (the large shed-like structure behind Penny Hall,
adjoining the parking lot at Lovett and Academy).
List of experiments: (in chronological sequence)
Hydrostatic pressure on submerged plane
Reynolds experiment (laminar and turbulent flow)
Flow from orifice in the side of a tank (Bernoulli's Equation)
Also download instructions to use the software
Flow measurement with Venturi meter
Conservation of momentum (Impact of a Jet)
- Design Experiment
Each lab group will turn in a single report for each experiment.
Reports must be typed. Reports should be concise but complete. Use
your own words; verbatim copying of the hand-out should be avoided.
Do not pad the length of a report unnecessarily.
The report should contain the following sections:
- Title page
- Title of experiment
- Group ID; names of group members
- Date experiment was performed
- Date report was submitted
- Objectives (will be provided by instructor)
- Theoretical background
- What principle is this experiment designed to illustrate?
- Describe the theory and any relevant equations/derivations.
- Describe all components used during the experiment.
- Include a neat schematic diagram with all parts
labeled and dimensioned (as required). Copying
sections of a report, or sharing sketches with other groups is
- Provide a definition of all symbols used.
For each objective in a given experiment:
- Initial setup
- Parameters varied
- Raw data should be arranged in tabular form. Some data may be
tabulated in the Appendix.
- A completely worked-out sample calculation is required for
- Use MS Excel (or any other spreadsheet program) for tabulation
and plotting graphs.
- Error analysis
- Perform an analysis to show how all the individual errors in your
measurement contribute to the total error in the final quantity.
(See error analysis handout for an example.)
- Suggest ways to reduce error in the final result.
- Discussion and conclusions
- What did you learn from this experiment?
- What discrepancies did you notice between theory and experiment?
- What would you do to improve it?
Include copies of all notes taken during the experiment:
(1) Name of data recorder, (2) group members present, (3) date,
(4) all data recorded, including brief comments
to help you later during data reduction and analysis. Do not use
erasers during note-taking (just draw a line through your mistake
Each team will design one experiment to demonstrate any principle in
fluid mechanics of your choice. You may draw upon the knowledge
gained from your ongoing course in fluid mechanics for possibilities.
Rather than leaving this for the very end, teams will be asked to
submit a title with a one-page abstract during October,
followed by a full and complete laboratory hand-out during the last
week of class. The finished product should resemble the hand-outs
that you receive before every lab. It should contain the title,
objective, theoretical background, figures, equipment, procedure,
points for discussion, and error analysis. Each team will be graded
for an original idea that stimulates learning of key concepts of fluid
mechanics, attention to experimental detail, and completeness and
readability of the laboratory hand-out. It is possible that a
particularly interesting and clever design will be built as an actual
experiment in future years, and your lab hand-out should be
immediately usable by students who are to perform the experiment that
Before arriving at the lab session, students must read the lab
hand-out and completely understand the phenomena they will investigate
and the procedure to do so. Such preparation will make for a smoother
and more fruitful lab experience.
Student teams should get together well before a lab session and plan
their data acqusition procedure. A key outcome of the pre-lab
preparation is an experimental data-sheet listing all the
quantities that will be measured (and how many times) for each
specific experimental objective. The row and column headings will
prove that adequate thought has gone into planning the experimental
procedure. Please obtain the TA's signature on this data-sheet
as soon as you arrive at the lab. The TA will conduct a short
quiz at the start of each lab to verify that all lab members have
read and understood the lab hand-out.
Grading of Reports
Fulfiling basic requirements listed above (neatness and
professionalism is key) will fetch the group an automatic 6 points on
a scale of 10. The remaining points will be awarded on the basis of
merit including the organization of thoughts, illuminating discussion,
and excellence of error analysis.
Lab reports are due no later than two weeks after performing
the experiment. An exception will be the last experiment which will
be due one week later. Late reports will be penalized, 0.5 points for
every late day. Lab attendance is absolutely necessary. 5 points are
automatically deducted from your individual grade you miss a lab
A Peer Evaluation
Form will be used to allow students to rank their own
contribution, and that of their fellow team members, to the overall
lab effort and the resulting lab report. Each individual's ranking is
averaged, assigned a numerical value, and used as a multiplier on the
team grade, to extract an individual grade. This mechanism will be
used to differentiate and appropriately reward individual efforts.
(You may be interested to know that companies often use such peer
evaluations to calculate annual raises.)
Grading concerns should be addressed to the TA, Chris DiLeo.
Lab Groups &