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Transport Phenomena I

Mark J. McCready
Organization: University of Notre Dame
Department: Department of Chemical Engineering
Education level


Students who complete this course should be able to:
  • Understand shear and normal stresses in a flowing fluid and describe these mathematically
  • Understand how pressure, gravity, moving surfaces and surface tension act on a fluid to deform it and possibly cause it to flow
  • Understand the physical basis and mathematical derivation of the differential equations for mass and momentum transport
  • Be able to use the differential equations for mass and momentum to solve (steady) unidirectional flow problems
  • Understand physical meaning and origin within the governing equations of dimensionless numbers such as Reynolds, Froude and Weber
  • Understand the use of physically-motivated approximations based on nondimensionalization of the governing equations to solve nearly-unidirectional flow problems
  • Understand the physical basis and mathematical derivation of the macroscopic equations for mass and momentum transport
  • Understand and be able to use macroscopic balances to solve problems for cases that are well-defined and also slightly ill-defined

An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics by Stanley Middleman (Wiley, 1998) Mathematica Notebooks by Professor McCready at

This course introduces the topic of Transport Phenomena, which involves the development of mathematical models and physical understanding of the transfer of momentum, energy and mass. In this first course, momentum transfer is studied thus involving the motion and deformation of fluids (a.k.a. Fluid Dynamics). Because chemical engineers often need a detailed understanding of flow within small scale devices (catalyst pellets, living animal tissue, high-density processor chip manufacture), considerable emphasis is placed on the differential equations that describe fluid flow. The balance equations for large-scale equipment (macroscopic equations) are also considered.

Despite the (necessary) emphasis on developing mathematical models to describe flow phenomena, a major goal for students taking this class is to develop sound physical understanding of these flows so that they can correctly apply models in new situations that they may encounter.

  • Motivation of the subject and its context in the curriculum
  • Typical fluid dynamics problems
  • Introduction to dimensional analysis
  • Fluid statics (gravity, interfacial tension, Young-LaPlace eq.)
  • Forces on and within fluids
  • Derivation of differential conservation equations for mass and momentum
  • Use of differential conservation equations for mass and momentum
  • Dimensional analysis and dynamic similarity
  • Nearly-parallel flows, Creeping flows, boundary-layer flows
  • Flow through porous media
  • Macroscopic balance equations for mass and momentum, pipe flow
  • Selected topics (turbulence, transient flows, as time permits)

*Science > Physics > Fluid Mechanics