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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE3415 Water Engineering

10 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr. Andy Sleigh

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Undertake a Level 2 Water Engineering and Geotechnics module (or equivalent)

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module will use the knowledge of the principals for water engineering gained in levels 1 & 2 to develop the concepts of integrated river management and in particular to examine the use of numerical methods in open channel flow.

The module objectives are:

- to introduce the concept of River management by examining the drivers and approaches for addressing them in an integrated manner with particular focus on flood risk management.
- to describe Rapidly Varying Flow and its analysis through specific energy concepts
- to present steady state backwater curves by developing of the elementary backwater curves taught in the second year to a full treatment of all the curves and open channel flow profiles that can occur and to examine methods of integrating the backwater function to predict these curves
- to introduce the concept of flood routing and the use of hydrologic methods of flood routing
- to introduce the idea of Computational River modelling through the development the St. Venant equations and numerical methods of their solution
- to use industry standard software tools for computational river modelling

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:

1. discuss river management and its drivers as well as examine the variety of methods available to address the issue in an integrated manner
2. identify and analyse rapidly varying flow through analysis of specific energy
3. describe the reasons for the full range steady state backwater curves and identify when and where each combination (M, S, A, H and C curves) will occur.
4. use the direct and standard step methods for integrating the backwater function in prismoidal and natural channels
5. understand when and where to apply the flood routing methodologies: the kinematic and diffusion wave method, the Muskingum method and the Muskingum-Cunge method.
6. be familiar with the St. Venant equations for open channel flow and be able to solve simple time dependent calculations (including boundary conditions) using the method of characteristics and explicit finite difference methods.
7. have used industry standard software to model flooding in natural rivers

Skills outcomes
- Use of knowledge


- River management: examine the drivers in river management and how to address them
- Rapidly Varying Flow: specific energy and its application
- Steady State Backwater Curves: a full treatment of all the curves that can occur in open channel flow ie M, S, A, H and C curves
- Methods of integrating the Backwater function: The direct and standard step methods for prismoidal and natural channels
- Flood Routing: hydrologic methods of flood routing in rivers: the kinematic and diffusion wave method, the Muskingum methos and the Muskingum-Cunge method.
- The development of the St. Venant equations in open channel flow- Computational River Modelling: the solution of the equations by the method of characteristics and the explicit finite difference method
- Incorporation of hydraulic units (weirs, sluices, spills etc) within the St. Venant equations
- The implementation of the St. Venant equations in industry-standard software. (2 lectures)

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours68.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Review of lecture materials
Directed preparatory work for laboratory sessions
Undertake laboratory session
Undertake computer class session for river simulation

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical ReportLab Report10.00
Computer ExerciseComputer Simulation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Re-sit - 100% online time-limited assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Re-sit - 100% online time-limited assessment

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:30:27


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