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Free course

Engineering: environmental fluids

Free statement of participation on completion
Engineering: environmental fluids

This course introduces the properties of the atmosphere and how wind movements arise. It explores pressures and the Earth’s motion, the development of weather system, and the Earth’s oceans and seas.

Understanding how ocean movements are generated and sustained in the form of waves, tides, flows and currents is important in many fields of engineering. In the construction industry, the understanding of how winds are likely to be encountered is vital in the design, construction, and maintenance of high-rise buildings. In the aeronautical and aerospace industries, the behaviour and properties of the atmosphere from ground level to outer space are key aspects in the design and operation of aircraft and space vehicles.

The design and operation of boats and ships, knowledge and behaviour of their interaction with water, whether at sea or on canals and rivers, is important. In the field of civil engineering, the simulation and study of tides and tidal flows is necessary in the design of harbours, canals, protective barrier schemes, drainage pipe lines, offshore structures, etc. Explore the course to find out more.

This free course is an adapted extract from the Open University course, T229 Mechanical engineering: heat and flow.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the variation of fluid properties in the Earth's atmosphere between ground level and space
  • understand the formation of wind, waves and tides and appreciate their significance for engineers
  • calculate critical factors such as wind and wave speed, displacement amplitude and acceleration
  • understand how these critical factors impact on the design of structures which interact with the ocean and sea.

First Published: 12/12/2023

Updated: 12/12/2023

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