MECHENG 712 : Aerohydrodynamics


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The study of fluid mechanics relevant to external flows, e.g., wind turbines, yachts, aircraft or wind loadings on buildings, boundary layers, computational fluid dynamics.

Course Overview

Topics covered - a selection from:
  • Potential flow theory
  • Lift and Drag
  • Lift in 2D, Lift & Drag in 3D
  • Panel methods and Lifting line theory 
  • CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics)
  • Low Reynolds number aerodynamics
  • Compressible flow, shock waves
  • Wind engineering 
  • Wind turbines
  • Aircraft stability
  • Aircraft performance
  • Hydrodynamic Resistance

  • Lab 1: Wind tunnel tests on an aerofoil 
  • Lab 2: CFD modelling in computer labs 
  • Lab 3: Monoplane wind tunnel testing 

Glider Competition:
  • Design, build and fly exercise, drawing on aerodynamics knowledge gained in the course.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: MECHENG 325

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Use a control volume to develop the equations, being able to understand the basic ideas of conservation used in the process, and then understand and be able to apply potential flow theory.
  2. Understand the characteristics of lift (and drag) in 2D and 3D, the key difference between them, and be able to apply lifting line theory and panel methods to determine the aerodynamic characteristics of lifting surfaces / aerofoils. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2 and 3.2)
  3. Understand and apply CFD to the solution of aerodynamics problems, use analysis and visualisation tools to reveal important flow phenomena, and understand / recognise the limitations of CFD. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 3.2)
  4. Understand the differences between low and high Reynolds number aerodynamics of aerofoils / wings, and be able to apply this knowledge to the design of lifting surfaces for gliders, UAV and larger aircraft wings. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 3.2)
  5. Understand and apply the concepts of lift, drag and moment to a flying aircraft, and therefore determine its stability in flight, and then be able to calculate the performance of an aircraft from a knowledge of its aerodynamics, and the propulsion. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 3.2)
  6. Analyse compressible flow situations to determine shock strength, pressures, flow rates etc; and then be able to understand and apply knowledge on supersonic flight. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 3.2)
  7. Understand, recognise and explain bluff body (including building) aerodynamics and use these to determine pressures and loads, additionally when the building is immersed in the atmospheric boundary layer flow. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 3.2)
  8. Understand and be able to analyse wind turbine blade aerodynamics, be able to quickly size a wind turbine to produce a specified power in a specified wind regime. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 3.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignment 15% Individual Coursework
Projects 25% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Final Exam

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 36 hours of lectures, 74 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 40 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs/glider testing to complete/receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable: 3 x 1-hr lectures each week (over 12 weeks)

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Lecture material is provided as pdf files, and these are sourced from a number of different texts and sources.

Some useful references:

[1] Fluid Mechanics by F.M. White (6th or 7th ed) (McGraw Hill)

[2] Aerodynamics for engineering students by E.L. Houghton & N.B.Carruthers (3rd ed) (Arnold)

[3] Aerodynamics, Aeronautics, and Flight Mechanics by B.W. McCormick (2nd ed) (Wiley)

[4] Computational Fluid Dynamics: A Practical Approach by Tu, Yeoh and Liu (Butterworth-Heinemann)

[5] Wind Loading of Structures by J.D. Holmes (1st or 2nd ed) (Spon)

[6] Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines by M.O.L. Hansen (2nd ed) (Earthscan)

[7] Principles of Yacht Design by L. Larsson and R.E. Eliasson (Adlard Coles Nautical 1996)

[8] Aero-hydrodynamics and the Performance of Sailing Yachts by Fabio Fossati (McGraw Hill)

[9] Hydrodynamics of High-Speed Marine Vehicles by O.M. Faltinsen (Cambridge Uni. Press)

[10] Ship Propulsion and Resistance by A.F. Molland, S.R. Turnock and D.A. Hudson (Cambridge)

Health & Safety

Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Health and Safety section of the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook. Additional notes:
Lab 1 - MDLS Lab Induction Required.
Lab 2 - Conducted in the Faculty computer labs.
Lab 3 - Limited wind tunnel use under strict supervision; safety induction provided at the beginning of the lab, in the lab.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 17/11/2021 11:38 a.m.