Aerodynamics and Aerostructures MSc(Res) modules

The Aerodynamics and Aerostructures MSc(Res) will be studied on a full-time basis over 12 months. You will be allocated an academic tutor who will provide advice and guidance throughout the period of study.

As part of your course, you will study a set of core modules alongside a choice of optional modules. You will also undertake an individual research project.

To learn more about the course, visit the University of Sheffield's online prospectus.

Aerodynamics and Aerostructures MSc(Res)

Full academic year (September - June)

ELT6001: Technical Communication for Mechanical Engineers (5 credits)

This unit teaches professional technical writing and speaking skills to enable students to communicate Engineering concepts accurately and appropriately. The two-hour sessions are delivered in a seminar style with a focus on pair/ work and group work activities.


MEC604: Experiments and Valid Computer Models (15 credits)

Students perform three experiments and compare results with analytical solutions obtained using appropriate theories and software.

The experiments will be performed on different established areas of mechanical engineering such as: thermofluids, solids and dynamics.

The experiments are similar to those carried out by practising engineers and therefore provide experience of the challenges in acquiring meaningful results and the issues involved in producing a useful theoretical model. Each student will be required to produce three full laboratory reports.


Autumn (semester 1)

MEC602: Strategic Engineering Management and Business Practices (15 credits)

This module aims to provide fundamentals of what strategy is and distinguish it from activities, tactics and goals of an organisation.

It explains its important role in the continual success of organisations. It also introduces how strategy can be translated into business practices, methods, procedures to achieve the goals of an organisation’s strategy.

The course is designed to develop students analytical and critical skills in the strategic management issues facing engineering organisations in today’s fast-changing environment. It is a unique opportunity for those who are eager to equip themselves with the essential industry-relevant skills to excel as a future leader.


MEC6401: Masters Research Mini Project (10 credits)

This module is concerned with initiating a research project. You will identify a topic and prepare a report that proposes initial experiments as well as providing the justification for performing the research.

This module uses an extended case study approach as an introduction to your specific discipline and to build your cohort experience. You will work in groups to review a current engineering challenge.

Drawing on relevant literature and technical sources you will work with the support of a mentor to assess the context of the problem, propose a forward plan, carry out a sustainability assessment of that plan as well as detail the regulatory compliance and carry out a risk assessment.

The results will be presented at a showcase event with supporting short reports.


Full course length (12 months)

MEC605: MSc(Res) Individual Research Project (75 credits)

The project is a key point of integration and application of learning across the programme. Its aim is to provide students with opportunity to demonstrate planning and management skills, to show their initiative and to display their technical skills.

Students will work individually on an industrially-focused/research project. The student will be supervised by an academic member of staff.

The technical components of a project may be experimental, theoretical, analytical or design based and most projects will require proficiency in a number of these.

The project is assessed on the basis of interim presentation, conduct, final report and viva.


MEC6400: Professional Development Portfolio (15 credits)

Professional Development Portfolio is a core module to build your skills for graduate-level study and life beyond your degree as an agile learner and professionally responsible engineer committed to your ongoing development.

You will:

  • acquire and develop professional skills, such as communication, collaboration, information management and research skills
  • have an opportunity to practise and build your creative and practical skills
  • explore the professional responsibilities of an engineer.

In addition, the module provides space for you to reflect on and build your profile by undertaking supported independent professional development in an area you choose based on your career plans beyond your degree.

A student will take a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 45 credits from the following group of optional modules (group 1B). This will be in addition to a student taking up to 15 credits from a second group of optional modules (group 1C).

Please note, a student will take a maximum of 30 credits in Autumn (semester 1) from both groups 1B and 1C.

Autumn (semester 1)

MEC445: Industrial Applications of Finite Element Analysis (15 credits)

The module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the principles of finite element modelling and its application to solve industrial engineering problems.

A set of industry-relevant problems will be provided to students along with experimental results for model validation. Students will be allocated one of their preferred projects and will have to devise a modelling strategy to solve their particular problem.

Knowledge will be drawn from lectures introducing the theory behind finite element modelling of dynamic problems for modal and transient analyses, non-linear problems including contact, material behaviour and large deformation as well as fracture.


MEC449: Advanced Engineering Fluid Dynamics (15 credits)

The module introduces advanced subjects in fluid mechanics and focuses on the theory and applications of the fundamental physical laws governing Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid flows.

The Navier-Stokes and continuity equations are revisited and the Energy and the general Scalar Transport Equations for fluid flows will be derived.

A key skill developed is problem solving in the area of advanced fluid mechanics through how equations, boundary conditions and computation models may be adapted and simplified to describe a wide variety of engineering flows such as creeping, laminar, turbulent, incompressible and compressible flows.


MEC463: Advanced Aerospace Propulsion Technology (15 credits)

This module enhances students' foundational knowledge by introducing a more specialist Level 7 understanding of major aero propulsion devices. For example, the rocket design will be mastered from the design lessons and innovations of the rockets of historical importance.

The more in depth analysis of the alternative air breathing engines such as ramjet, scramjet, and synergistic air-breathing rocket engine will be investigated. Then the advanced gas turbine off-design performance will be analysed.

The advanced gas turbine combustion will also be investigated. Finally, the recent explosive development of electric/hybrid propulsion and aircraft will be examined.


Spring (semester 2)

MEC462: Aviation Safety and Aeroelasticity (15 credits)

This module covers the area of engineering related to safety in the aerospace sector by means of analytical techniques and study cases.

The students will: develop a fundamental knowledge of the requirements for aviation safety in aircraft design and operation, learn about airworthiness and crashworthiness evaluate aircraft loading; be able to analyse different manoeuvres using heave/pitch aircraft models; and be able to calculate internal loads for steady and dynamic manoeuvres.

The course will provide students with an understanding of aeroelastic phenomena including flutter. This course provides the methodology and techniques for prediction/detection of a number of aeroelastic effects.

A student will take a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 45 credits from the following group of optional modules (group 1C). This will be in addition to a student taking up to 15 credits from a second group of optional modules (group 1B).

Please note, a student will take a maximum of 30 credits in Autumn (semester 1) from both groups 1B and 1C.

Autumn (semester 1)

MEC446: Fundamentals and Applications of Tribology (15 credits)

Many practicing engineers use tribology regularly without a true understanding of its importance and its role in engineering design. This module introduces fundamental science that explains surface phenomena of wear, friction and lubrication.

Students learn through industrial case studies, techniques to assess a range of engineering and machine contacts, from bearings to hip joints and banana skins!

Theoretical and practical techniques will cover contact mechanics, friction, wear and lubricant films in hydrodynamic and elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication regimes.

Students will learn to evaluate failure mechanisms and compare key design features that can be used to diagnose failure as well as improve design.


MEC452: Advanced Dynamics (15 credits)

In this module we will explore how linear/nonlinear structures vibrate and how we can model them in order to understand and optimise their complex behaviour both analytically and numerically.

We will uncover the behaviour of theoretical nonlinear models and we will explore and evaluate the fascinating world of advanced dynamics, random vibration, nonlinear systems and chaos through lectures and dedicated reading.

We link advanced engineering with concepts from physics and maths that are of core importance in the new era of engineering, considering structures from light aerospace structures to offshore wind turbines and space shuttles.

Furthermore, we will discover the world of Hamiltonian mechanics by capturing its fundamental physics. The learning will be supported by dedicated tutorial sessions.


MEC454: Additive Manufacturing - Principles and Applications (15 credits)

This module will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing), providing you with an insight into the technologies themselves, when and how they might be applied, and the broader economic, social and industrial context within which these techniques sit.

Our aim is to provide you with an understanding of the underlying principles and considerations relevant to this area, so that you are able to apply this knowledge confidently and effectively during your future career.


MEC455: Mechanics and Applications of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (15 credits)

In this course students are introduced to advanced conventional manufacturing processes including sheet/bulk metal forming and Machining operations and the relevant mechanics of the processes and materials deformation.

Analytical modelling techniques are also introduced and their applications are explained in order to determine the deformation of materials under the applied loads.

Fundamentals of deformation and relevant force calculations together with mechanics of machining in metallic materials will be covered as the secondary manufacturing operations.

The module provides a greater range and depth of knowledge related to the deformation of materials and process analysis in primary and secondary manufacturing operations using theoretical and experimental learning methods.

The students will be equipped with tools to analyse and design manufacturing operations utilising various manufacturing methods within a wider engineering context.


Spring (semester 2)

MAT6104: Design and Manufacture of Composites (15 credits)

This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of both the design and manufacture of polymer composites and is presented in two sections.

First, design of composites is taught via tutorials and practicals on classical laminate theory and ESAComp software. An extended series of worked examples provides students with the basic tools they need to design effective composite parts.

Second, manufacture of composites is taught via lectures. Students will learn multiple routes for making composite parts alongside practical issues such as defects, machining/joints, failure, testing and NDT, repair and SMART composites.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 14 July 2020


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