The Fluid Physics Laboratory (PFL) has part of its origin in the experimental research on turbulence that began in the late 70:ies at the Department of Mechanics. The first major flow equipment that was built was a water tunnel that was initiated in 1976 and put into operation in 1980. This was the water tunnel in which both professor Alfredsson and professor Johansson at the Department of Mechanics performed their doctoral works. The water tunnel was used to a limited extent by Alfredsson and Johansson a few more years after their defenses and then finally it was discontinued in 1989. During the 80:ies a few smaller experimental apparatuses were built, partly for master thesis works, of which some are still in use. At this time the Department of Mechanics did not have any own experimental laboratory but had access to unused space in the basement of Teknikringen 8 (the current address of PFL). The activity at the time did neither involve any share of or own workshop nor own technicians. Around 1984 a discussion to build a high flow quality wind tunnel was commenced by Alfredsson and Johansson with support by professor Mårten T. Landahl . The Department of Aerospace was willing to lease space for this facility in hall 49 (today called the Fluid Physics Laboratory). This is the tunnel today known as the Minimum-Turbulence-Level (MTL) wind tunnel. A reorganisation was carried out in 1992, which involved a merger between the Department of Mechanics, Gas dynamics and Hydromechanics and the Fluid Physics Laboratory emerged as the experimental laboratory of the Department of Mechanics.
Today the Fluid Physics Laboratory at the Department of Mechanics has its own workshop with two full time working technicians, about 20 PhD students and about 10 senior staff members. Research activities are spread over the wind tunnel lab, water lab, shock tube lab and the Cicero lab, all being part of FPL.