535.620.81 - Fluid Dynamics I

Mechanical Engineering
Spring 2024


This first graduate course in fluid dynamics starts from derivation of the flow equations and examines a number of limiting behaviors. When viscous effects are ignored all together, we obtain the familiar limit of potential flow. Boundary layer theory is introduced to examine the effect of viscosity near surfaces. And in the limit where viscosity is dominant, we obtain what is known as “creeping flow” where inertia can be ignored all together. Our approach will rely on developing the theory and considering classical examples in order to advance our understanding of fluid motion in each of these areas.


This course contains content produced by faculty members other than the listed instructors including: Dr. Ahmed Hussein, Dr. Tamer Zaki.

Course Structure

The course materials are divided into modules which can be accessed by clicking Modules on the course menu. A module will have several sections including the overview, content, readings, discussions, and assignments. You are encouraged to preview all sections of the module before starting. Most modules run for a period of seven (7) days, exceptions are noted in the Course Outline. You should regularly check the Calendar and Announcements for assignment due dates.

Course Topics

1Continuum Model
2Mass Conservation and the Reynolds Transport Theorem
3Euler's Equation
4Potential Flow 1
5Tensor Algebra
6Potential Flow 2
7Potential Flow 3
8Governing Equations
9Navier-Stokes Equations
10Solutions to the Navier-Stokes Equations
11Dimensionless Groups
12Vorticity Equation
13Boundary Layer Theory

Course Goals

Students will understand the theoretical foundations and learn how to approach problems in fluid dynamics. Additionally, this course will serve as a starting point from which students can branch out to explore additional areas of study related to fluid dynamics.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)


Required: None, course notes will be provided in the modules.
Recommended: Panton, R. L. (2013). Incompressible flow. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.

Other Materials & Online Resources

These additional texts may be useful but are not required for the course:

Required Software

There is no requirement for a particular software in this course. However, some problems will require the use of a computer programming language, such as MATLAB or Python. For such problems, you may choose to use whichever language you are most comfortable with.

In this class, some computer literacy skills you are expected to have include creating and submitting files in a word processing program, downloading and installing software, and using web conferencing tools and software. Additionally, you will be expected to use online search tools for academic purposes, properly cite information sources, and prepare a write-up of such findings.

Student Coursework Requirements

Modules are expected to take 7-10 hours per week to complete. This includes the reviewing lecture notes, watching video lectures, and completing problem sets.

Your final grade will be derived from four categories:

  1. Problem Sets (45% of final grade)
    Problem sets will be given as part of the weekly modules. Assignments will be turned in through Canvas and late submissions will not be accepted.
  2. Project (15% of final grade)
    A course project will be assigned asking students to select a topic from a set of journal articles and then seek out additional resources to develop an overall comprehension of the topic. You will then be expected to prepare a write-up describing your chosen topic. You may not use AI tools to generate the text in your write-up.
  3. Midterm Exam (20% of final grade)
  4. Final Exam (20% of final grade)

Grading Policy

Assignments are due by the date posted on Canvas. Late submissions will not be accepted.

EP uses a +/- grading system (see “Grading System”, Graduate Programs catalog, p. 10).

Score RangeLetter Grade
100-97= A+
96-93= A
92-90= A−
89-87= B+
86-83= B
82-80= B−
79-77= C+
76-73= C
72-70= C−
69-67= D+
66-63= D
<63= F

Course Policies

All assignments are released and due on Eastern Time.

Each assignment, unless otherwise noted in the course module, should be submitted electronically via the assignment submission link within the module in which it is due.

AI tools may not be used to generate text that is submitted for any assignment.

You are encouraged, but not required, to type up your assignments using a tool like LaTeX.

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.