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University of Iowa - Mechanical and Industrial Engineering


Fall Semesters
Measurements in Fluid Mechanics

(3 semester hours)

Course Description:

This is an intermediate course in engineering to provide a comprehensive knowledge of measurement methods and techniques in fluid mechanics that may help undergraduate students solve fluid mechanical engineering problems in future careers, and provide a basic training to graduate students who will conduct research with advanced measurement techniques in fluid mechanics. This course covers general concepts in fluid mechanics measurement; classical methods for flow rate, pressure, velocity, temperature, concentration and wall shear stress; and state-of-the-art methods for flow visualization and full-field quantitative measurement. An advanced optical measurement method, i.e. particle image velocimetry (PIV), and related image processing techniques will be introduced in detail. Hands-on training will be provided through a class project assignment on writing a computer program to evaluate experimental image recordings. Students attending this class should have primary knowledge of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer. Basic skill in computer language is needed.

Textbook:         Measurement in Fluid Mechanics, Stavros Tavoularis, 2005, Cambridge, 2005

Reference:        Particle Image Velocimetry, Raffelet. al., 2ndEdition, 2007, Springer
Particle Image Velocimetry, Adrian and Westerweel, 2011, Cambridge
Flow Visualization, Wolfgang Merzkirch, 2nd Edition, 1987, Academic


Lectures will be presented with power point slides in class room followed with discussions. Lecture notes will be available for downloading on web after each class.


Homework problems are assigned MWF, are due WFM, respectively, and will be returned the following F. On the due date, homework assignments in printed format should be submitted in class or at office hours, and MS Word documents or PDF files are accepted before midnight by e-mail at Late submission will not be accepted without a legitimate reason, explained in writing at the time of submission.

Class project

The class project assignment is to write a computer program with Matlab or other computer languages (e.g. Fortran, C etc.) for processing digital particle image (PIV) recordings with algorithms introduced in class lectures. The class project starts at the beginning of PIV lectures, and no more homework will be assigned at the same time. The class project details may be discussed in the class or office hours. The class project will be presented in class when the class lectures are completed. The class project report should include introduction, method description, program structure, source code, and results.


There will be two in-semester 50-minute and one final 120-minute examinations, on the dates shown on the Class Schedule. All exams are closed notes and books. Students may prepare and bring a one-page formula sheet to exams. Exams may include standard problems as well as multiple-choice, short answer, and true-false questions.  Examinations may include problems previously assigned for homework.


The final course grade will be based on the total points earned during the semester.  The distribution of points is as follows:

Homework problems


= 25

Class project


= 25

Two in-semester exams

12.5% each

= 25

Final examination


= 25



= 100  points