Engineering class


Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory


The Hydaulic Engineering Laboratory studies incompressible fluids, primarily water, under pressure (i.e., pipe flow) or in open channels, either at rest or in motion. Understanding of hydraulic engineering is necessary to design pipelines for water supply; open channels for flood mitigation; and dams for water supply, power and recreation; and for restoration of rivers and streams. This laboratory gives students practical experience with flow in pipes and open channels.

Specialized laboratory equipment

Pipe Rack: Students use the Pipe Rack for two experiments. In the first, students measure the energy loss in pipes of different diameters and compare the results to the values in the Moody Diagram. In the second, students evaluate orifice and venturi flow meters.

Hydraulic Bench: Students use the Hydraulic Bench (a self-contained water supply) for three experiments. In the first experiment, a pipe network is connected to the bench and energy losses at pipe fixtures are measured. In the second, flow over weirs (devices used to measure discharge in open channels) is measured. In the third, a pump system is connected to the bench, and pump characteristic curves are prepared from measurements. Students also use various devices to measure the physical properties of fluids.

Flume: A flume is used to model flow in rivers and open channels. The flume is 10 feet long, one foot wide and 1.5 feet deep, and its slope may be adjusted. It is used to illustrate basic features of river flow, or to test model dam spillways, culverts, weirs or other structures.

Digital Pitot Tube: This instrument allows students to measure the velocity distribution in open channel flow as part of a new undergraduate experiment.

Flow Visualization Flume: This flume uses a paddle wheel to circulate water in a looped channel-pipe system. Obstacles can be placed in the flow to show the flow patterns near sluice gates, over low-head dams, around bridge piers and other objects.


Contact us

College of Engineering
1515 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Dean's office: (414) 288-6591
Prospective students: (414) 288-7302
Academic Advising Center: (414) 288-6000
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