Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus due to COVID border closures. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA and include which of the below criteria applies:

  • You are a student who is currently offshore and unable to enter Australia.
  • You are a student in Australia who is impacted by state or regional border closures.

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ENVE4403 Fluid Transport, Mixing and Dispersion

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
The aim of this unit is to gain a quantitative knowledge of the fluid dynamics of both freshwater and marine environments. Topics covered include (1) physical laws governing fluid motion and exact solutions, an introduction to scaling as a means of simplifying complex equations; (2) introduction to turbulence—Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, basic statistical descriptions and concept of eddy viscosity, molecular versus turbulent diffusion; (3) mixing in rivers—boundary layers, velocity profiles, hydraulic jumps, transport equation, shear dispersion; (4) mixing in a density-stratified fluid—models of mixing, concept of mixing efficiency and mixing across density interfaces, applications to estuaries, the coastal ocean and lakes; and (5) turbulent jet, plume and buoyant jet dynamics for wastewater discharge design.
Students are able to (1) use figures and text to demonstrate their knowledge of fluid mechanics; (2) communicate a numeric solution to a fluid mechanics problem in a precise and logical fashion; (3) perform a laboratory experiment to discover knowledge pertaining to fluid mechanics; (4) use enquiry based thinking to investigate fluid mechanics problems; (5) quantitatively describe the dependence of open-channel flow on the bottom roughness, the cross-section, the Reynolds number and the Froude number; (6) distinguish between molecular diffusion, turbulent diffusion and shear dispersion and apply these concepts to quantify mass transport in open-channel flow; (7) use both the single mixing event model and the dynamic model to estimate the destabilising effects of shear in a stratified fluid; (8) apply knowledge of plume, jet and buoyant jets to estimate quantities such as the dilution of an emitted contaminant; and (9) explain the equations that govern fluid flow and the derivation of some solutions to these equations under simplified conditions.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) laboratories; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is only available in this unit in the case of a student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Marco Ghisalberti
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Professional Engineering (Environmental Engineering specialisation). This unit is also available to students in the Master of Ocean Leadership with the approval of the course coordinator and completion of an undergraduate major in Engineering Science or equivalent.
Advisable prior study:
ENSC3010 Hydraulics
Contact hours
lectures: 2 per week; practical sessions: 2 per week; laboratories: two 3-hour sessions per semester

Fischer, H. B. et al. Mixing in Inland and Coastal Waters: Academic Press 1979

Fox, R. W., McDonald, A. T. and Pritchard, P. J. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, 6th edn: Wiley 2004

Gerhart, P. M., Gross, R. J. and Hochstein, J. I. Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics, 2nd edn: Addison-Wesley Publication 1993

Kundu, P. K. and Cohen, I. M. Fluid Mechanics, 3rd edn: Elsevier Academic Press 2004

Munson, B. R., Young, D. F. and Okiishi, T. H. Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics: Wiley 2002

Tennekes, H. and Lumley, J. A First Course in Turbulence: MIT Press 1972


  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.