Hydraulic engineering

Hydraulic engineering

Hydraulic engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water. This area of engineering is intimately related to the design of bridges, dams, channels, canals, levees, elevators, and to both sanitary and environmental engineering.


Common topics of design for hydraulic engineers includes hydraulic structures, including dams and levees, water distribution networks, water collection networks, storm water management, sediment transport, and various other topics related to transportation engineering and geotechnical engineering. Equations developed from the principles of fluid dynamics are frequently utilized by traffic engineers.

Related branches include hydrology, hydraulic modeling, flood mapping, catchment flood management plans, shoreline management plans, estuarine strategies, coastal protection, and flood alleviation.


Hydraulic engineering had already been highly developed under the Roman Empire where it was especially applied to the construction and maintenance of aqueducts. They used hydraulic mining methods to prospect and extract alluvial gold deposits in a technique known as hushing, and applied the methods to other ores such as those of tin and lead.

The recent best-selling historical novel Pompeii has such a Roman hydraulic engineer ("aquarius" in Latin) as its main protagonist.

In ancient China, hydraulic engineering was highly developed, and engineers constructed massive canals with levees and dams to channel the flow of water for irrigation. Sunshu Ao is considered the first hydraulic engineer. Another important Hydraulic Engineer in China, Ximen Bao was credited of starting the practice of large scale canal irrigation during the Warring States Period (481 BC-221 BC), even today hydraulic engineers remain a respectable position in China. Before becoming President, Hu Jintao was a hydraulic engineer and holds an engineering degree from Qinghua University

Modern hydraulic engineering involves the use of computer software such as HEC-RAS to perform the calculations to accurately predict flow characteristics.

ee also

*Hydraulic mining
*International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research
*Sunshu Ao
*Ximen Bao
*Henri Pitot
*Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans
*Significant modern floods

External links

* [http://www.iahr.net/site/index.html International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research]
* [http://www.worldhistoryblog.com/2006/10/hydraulic-engineering-in-prehistoric.html Hydraulic Engineering in Prehistoric Mexico]
* [http://www.hec.usace.army.mil/ Hydrologic Engineering Center]
* Chanson, H. (2007). [http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view.php?pid=UQ:23708 Hydraulic Engineering in the 21st Century : Where to ?] , Journal of Hydraulic Research, IAHR, Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 291-301 (ISSN 0022-1686).

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