BME 270-0-20: Fluid Mechanics

Quarter Offered

Spring : TWTh 5:00-5:50 ; Hartmann


GEN ENG 205-4; MATH 234


The flow of fluids is important in many biomedical applications ranging from blood flow in the human body to drug delivery. BME 270 provides a general introduction to fluid mechanics, both statics and dynamics. The laboratory component of the class consists of take-home experiments using aquarium pumps.

Who takes it?

BMD_ENG 270 is a required course for the BS in BME. Undergraduates take this course at the end of their second year or at the beginning of their third year. The course uses integral calculus and differential equations, so these courses are prerequisites. It also helps to have taken physics and thermodynamics prior to this course. An equivalent course, ME 241, may also be taken. 


  • An introduction to the del operator and the mathematics of fluids
  • Basic fluid properties
  • Hydrostatics:  Pascal’s law, buoyancy, calculation of forces on planar surfaces
  • Bernoulli’s principle
  • Fluid kinematics and the Reynold’s transport theorem
  • Conservation of mass and momentum in integral form
  • Conservation of energy in integral form.   Pumps and turbines
  • Pipe flow in practice and the Moody diagram
  • The Navier-Stokes equation:  Couette flow and Poiseuille flow
  • Dimensional similitude and modeling

Required Class Materials

Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics by Munson et al.,  any of the 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th edition.

Teaching Methods 

In spring 2016 students must arrange to be available to take a midterm exam starting at 4 pm on Friday, April 29th. Students are recommended to allow a minimum of three hours to complete the midterm exam. The final exam will also be held at 4 pm, with the day to be determined by the registrar’s office. Students are recommended to allow a minimum of three hours to complete the final exam.

Evaluation Methods:

Grades will be based on problem sets, a midterm exam, a final exam, and laboratories.