MSc Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management

Programme Code: MECT40

Course structure and content

The MSc Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management will be studied on a full-time basis over 12 months. You will be allocated an academic supervisor who will provide advice and guidance throughout the period of study. 

The MSc consists of:

  • compulsory modules
  • optional modules
  • an individual major research project

Core modules

Semester 1

MEC6023 - Adaptive Decision Making in Professional Engineering Environments - 10 credits

This module integrates the fields of engineering and management, helping students connect their Sheffield learning to workplace needs. It tackles this through a framework of applied decision-making, highlighting why an adaptive and integrated approach to learning is important in engineering contexts.

MEC6408 - Industrial Marketing: Basics and Cases - 10 credits

This Autumn Semester 12-week module provides Sheffield engineering students with an introduction to how businesses meet their objectives by maintaining a focus on their customers. It pays particular attention to how businesses establish strategic aims (such as what business to be in and how to exploit competitive advantage), and how tactical marketing decisions support these aims (such as what segments to target and how, what products to develop, what prices to charge and how to communicate, influence and manage potential and current customers). The course draws on real life examples of companies that focus on engineering and technology. Core content is tailored to help demystify the business-to-business environment and will be particularly useful for students who see themselves going to work in engineering firms, or for potential entrepreneurs who might supply into business-to-business markets. Assessment comprises an individual piece of coursework where students analyse a company of their choice and learn to present a research report. There is an opportunity for a review of a draft.

Individual research project

All students will carry out an individual research project during their Masters course. There will be a number of different projects available to choose from.

MSc Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management

Example project

Hira Nayyar – Why do children fall?

The study of fall mechanism in children is an emerging area of research that aims to better understand childhood musculoskeletal injuries. It has been suggested that damages in the skeleton in children may increase the risk factor of the development of common adulthood skeletal conditions, such as osteoporosis. It is commonly assumed that children are ‘little adults’ when it comes to biomechanics. However, this is not the case, the make up of skeletons in children, particularly infants, are very different from adults. This would affect their gait and injury mechanisms. This project aims to study the fall mechanism in children by analysing qualitative questionnaire data collected in the Emergency Department at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The project student analysed this dataset in order to extract relevant information to aid the creation of an analytical model for the fall event. Such information includes the speed of fall, the relative motion and the material upon impact. Using these information and previous models reported in the literature, we have created an analytical model to predict the impact force based on these input data.

The long term goal of this project is to create a robust dynamic model to represent different fall scenarios in children in order to predict the amount of force exerted onto their skeleton.

The course has taught me that that Engineering is not merely knowing and being knowledgeable nor is engineering the possession of the capacity to get elegant solutions to non-existent engineering problems, instead engineering is practicing the art of the organising forces of technological change. That’s why Engineers operate at the interface between science and society and serve mankind, by making dreams come true.

Hira Nayyar, MSc Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management

Semester 2

MEC6022 Managing - Engineering Projects and Risk - 10 credits

This module introduces engineering students to project management and risk management methodologies, offering an active learning experience underpinned by core concepts. Students will access foundational materials online and in core reading, explore them in discussion, participate in group project and risk management activities and discuss case studies that explore qualitative and quantitative approaches to risk management. We will cover common causes of failure in project and risk management (psychological, behavioural, data), and discuss how evolving methodologies (such as scrum) seek to address these issues.

MEC6314 - Design Innovation Toolbox - 10 credits

The course aims to consider the circumstances in which new ideas are generated and examine the conditions for stable, creative and innovative development. The module will demonstrate how innovation and project management techniques can be applied to improve the planning and control of research and commercial projects.

MEC6414 - Engineering Marketable Solutions: Make a Change! - 10 credits

Essential to the module is the concept that the students work in teams to find solutions to a real problem provided by a real customer. Typically, the customer will be a member or members of the community i.e. children with disabilities, terminally ill people, etc. The challenge is for the student teams to identify a technical solution to the customer problem (making their lives easier or better) and then develop a marketable proposition from this included in a business plan. Students are supported by external contributors from a great range of disciplines including business angels, bankers, marketeers, business advisors, manufacturers, etc. At the end of the course, teams pitch their ideas to an invited audience and judges from a mixed background (technical, commercial and legal). Prizes are then awarded to the best presentations.

MEC6428 - The Professional Responsibility of Engineers - 10 credits

Most engineers will agree that what makes them ‘tick’ is the challenge of solving problems. Many will also openly say that their passion and aspiration is to use their skills to make a positive change to the world. The dilemma, however, is that what is good for some may not be so for others. What is a solution in one area, in one culture, in one industry could be a challenge and even a disaster in another.

Relevant professional bodies such as the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, the Engineering Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering are in agreement about what it means to be a professional engineer: someone trained as such, who ensures their competence whilst acting with integrity and rigour and who puts the public good above all priorities, whilst listening and actively communicating relevant information to all stakeholders. The guidelines otherwise known as codes of conduct help us follow ethical courses of action. But are these guidelines enough?

Professional Responsibilities of the Engineer (PRE) is a core module due to its significance on our professional careers. Engineers are expected not only to “understand their ethical responsibilities” (ABET, 2000) but also to “understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context” (Kerkert 1999). In your degree, we train you to be technically able, curious, creative and ambitious professionals. We are also responsible to prepare you, however, to enter a complex world, where every decision, every action can and will bring about change. Will it be the right change? We should all hope so.

During this course we will aim to equip each of you with the frameworks and tools that you can refer back to, in order to help you reach the best morally justifiable decisions. But the world is very complex to familiarise oneself with all possible courses of action. Therefore, you will also share your view points with the public and in return be exposed to other ideas and feedback and ultimately, inform your final decision.

“This learning technique is an explicit attempt to disrupt that process and invite a wider conversation for students, most of whom will go on to be practitioners responsible of engineering the future.” Dr Bev Gibbs.

Full academic year

MEC6016 - Advanced Experiments and Modelling - 20 credits

This unit allows students to perform three experiments and compare them against analytical solutions using appropriate theories and software. There will be a thermofluids, a solids and a dynamics experiment for each student to engage with. The experiments will teach the students about the difficulties of acquiring meaningful results. Students will learn about validation and the issues involved in producing a useful model of an experiment. Each student will be required to produce three full laboratory reports and a unifying document.

MEC6002 - Individual Project - 40 credits

The aim of this module is to provide students with project planning, management, and research skills. Students will work individually on a industrially focused or research project. The student will be supervised by an academic member of staff who will guide the student through the different steps of a research project. Projects are usually selected from suggestions made by academics. The project is assessed on the basis of a final report and viva.

Optional modules

Students are required to take a set number of credits from each of the following module groups, as follows:

Group A

Students will take 10 credits from this group throughout the academic year.

MEC6008 - Graphical Programming with LabView - 10 credits

The course introduces students to the commercial software `Labview'. Labview is an extremely versatile and widely-used commercial software for capturing and processing measured data and controlling machinery. It is widely-used in different mechanical engineering related applications. This module spans from very basic programming to building more complex data capture and monitoring interface. Students follow a series of on-line tutorials or submit exercises at each stage to ensure they follow and fully understand the subject. These tutorial files are unique for every student. This is followed by a larger project that students carry out for themselves based on their own interests and discussions with their tutor/supervisor.

MEC6009 - Finite Element Analysis with Ansys - 10 credits

The course introduces students to the commercial software `Ansys'. Ansys Structural is used in engineering simulation for mechanical engineering problems, particularly for structural analysis. It is a very powerful tool which can be used for a variety of mechanical engineering related problems. This module spans from basic 2-dimensional starting point to real more complex 3D geometries. The course is split into two parts: tutorial-based learning and evaluation. Tutorials are divided into basic, intermediate and advanced levels. Students follow a series of on-line tutorials or submit exercises at each stage to ensure they follow and fully understand the subject. These tutorial files are unique for every student. This is followed by a larger project that students carry out for themselves based on their own interests and discussions with their tutor/supervisor.

MEC6013 - An Introduction to Solidworks - 5 credits

The course introduces students to the commercial software SolidWorks. SolidWorks is 3D CAD software developed for designing mechanical components. The aim of this module is to get you started using SolidWorks at the University of Sheffield. This is an On-line module. The module will cover getting on to SolidWorks, its architecture, and performing simple 1D-3D drawings. The students will work through a set of on-line worksheets that will guide them through the drawing of mechanical components.

MEC6014 - An Introduction to Matlab - 5 credits

The course introduces students to the commercial software Matlab. Matlab is a computer language that is used to analyse data and model engineering systems. The aim of this module is to get you started using Matlab at the University of Sheffield. This is an Online module. The module will cover getting on to Matlab, its architecture, running simple programs and graph plotting. Students follow a series of on-line tutorials and submit exercises at each stage to ensure they follow and fully understand the subject. This will be assessed along with an online diary detailing their programming approach. Support will be provided by regular drop in session with the course demonstrator. During these sessions student will be able to obtain general advice or ask for detailed questions.

Group B

Students will take 30 credits from this group during semester 1.

MEC6403 - Reciprocating Engines - 10 credits

This module considers the performance of and emissions from reciprocating engines. It should enable students to recognise the salient aspects of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics in SI and CI engines The students will perform thermodynamic calculations; to analyse the performance of engines. The state of the art and future technologies will be examined e.g. turbocharging and variable valve timing.

MEC6405 - Experimental Stress Analysis - 10 credits

In this module the student will learn about the modern techniques available to the experimental stress analyst. They will learn about the principles, advantages and disadvantages of the techniques so that students are able to select the most appropriate technique or combination of techniques for use in a particular situation. Demonstrations will be given on all techniques and the emphasis is on the practical application of the techniques for solving industrial problems.

MEC6411 - Tribology of Machine Elements - 10 credits

This module will provide students with an understanding of the tribological concepts behind a variety of standard machine element contacts, such as bearings, gears, cams, and constant velocity joints. It includes the analytical tools and techniques to determine the performance of these machine elements, in terms of friction, wear, and lubrication, and make recommendations with regards to potential design improvements. This includes techniques to estimate contact area and stresses, friction, material losses through wear, and lubricant films in the hydrodynamic and elasto-hydrodynamic regimes.

MEC6424 - Aerodynamic Design - 10 credits

This module aims to provide the students with a good understanding of basic theories in aerodynamics and its integration in the design process. It emphasises on the role that aerodynamics plays in engineering product design, where the forces exerted by the air flow around the geometries is crucial, e.g. for an aircraft or a racing car. The aerodynamic principles will be demonstrated through their roles in aeronautical and automotive vehicle designs. The students should be able to apply these basic principles to other areas of applications in broader engineering areas, such as the design of wind turbines, engine fans, buildings, sailing boats, etc.

MEC6429 - Mechanical Engineering of Railways - 10 credits

The course will provide students with an understanding of mechanical engineering aspects of railway transport. It provides the analysis methods to make materials choices and understand performance of track and vehicle structures from a mechanical perspective. This includes fatigue performance of track and vehicle structures, crash-worthiness, rail-wheel interface mechanics, vehicle suspension design, and aerodynamic considerations in vehicle design.

MEC6444 - Additive Manufacturing - Principles and Applications - 10 credits

This course will provide students with an introduction to Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing). By the end of this module, students will develop an understanding of the current benefits and limitations of Additive Manufacturing, and will understand the full process chain from part design and costing, to selecting the most appropriate Additive Manufacturing process for a given application. The principles and examples covered will be related to the current state-of-the-art in terms of both industrial and academic practices.

MEC6448 - Acoustics - 10 credits

This course will enable students to understand the physical principles of sound generation and propagation, modern methods and instrumentation for measuring and predicting the basic engineering quantities with which sound waves can be described. These include sound pressure, velocity, intensity, and power. The course will be split into three parts: sound waves in gases and fluids, sound waves in elastic solids, and numerical modelling methods.

MEC6449 - Advanced Fluid Mechanics - 10 credits

The module concerns the theory and applications of the fundamental equations governing the Fluid Mechanics of Newtonian fluids. The Equations of Motion (Continuity, Navier Stokes and Energy Equations) will be derived from the three continuum mechanics conservation laws and an Equation of State. You will be shown how these equations may be adapted and simplified to describe creeping and laminar flows, turbulence, and compressible (subsonic) flows. In particular turbulence present fundamental difficulties and statistical method favoured by engineers results in the 'closure problem’. Appropriate boundary conditions for each type of flow will be presented. This technique then will be compared with other engineering techniques for the solution of a thermofluid problem. The assessment is by coursework only. The aim here is to develop your skills in presenting a correct mathematical description of a unique flow and to demonstrate your understanding of the physics of Newtonian fluid flow - the essential first step in obtaining a meaningful CFD simulation.

MEC6453 - Advanced Structural Vibrations - 10 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 behaviour. We will look at how to model linear and nonlinear systems both analytically and numerically. The module will link theoretical nonlinear models (which are much more complicated than linear ones) with experimental analysis, where our knowledge of the system is derived from measurements (such as accelerations). We will explore the fascinating world of advanced dynamics, random vibration, damping, nonlinear systems and chaos through lectures and dedicated reading. The theoretical learning will be supported by two laboratory experiments to be carried out in groups and tutorial sessions.

Group C

Students will take 20 credits from this group during semester 2.

AER476 - Design and Manufacture of Composites - 10 credits

This module discusses issues relating to selecting and manufacturing advanced polymer-matrix composites. Aerospace applications are the focus, but it is equally applicable to all uses of such materials. The course covers selection of fibres and polymers/resins for different applications. Manufacturing routes are then considered, including the manufacture of sandwich panels. Issues of joining and repairing composite components are considered, as is the use of NDT and smart monitoring for quality control purposes. The principles of laminate design are explored using modern commercial software.

MEC6316 - Renewable Energy - 10 credits

The module provides an introduction to some alternative energy technologies with emphasis on solar and wind energy. It aims to provide students with a fundamental appreciation of the potential and usable energy obtainable from the sun and wind; a general knowledge of wind turbine aerodynamics, wind turbine systems, photovoltaics and domestic photovoltaic systems.

MEC6320 - Computational Fluid Dynamics - 10 credits

The module introduces the fundamental concepts in CFD. Reynolds averaging brings the `closure problem¿ leading to the empirical Turbulence Models. URANS remains the workhorse for engineers though LES will be increasingly important. FVM with an iterative solution technique is most commonly employed in solving the URANS equations. At the end of the module, the students should be able to assess critically the numerical accuracy and physical validity of a solution; have performed an industrially relevant flow system using proprietary software; and be aware of the applications of the technique to model flows involving other physical phenomena, e.g. heat transfer, chemical reactions.

MEC6407 - Fundamental Biomechanics - 10 credits

This module introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of biomechanics and the application of engineering principles to study biological systems. Emphasis will be made on the areas of medicine and physiology where engineering techniques are particularly useful or where a clear need exists for an engineering approach. The module will focus on the fundamentals of biomedical fluid mechanics on the mechanical aspects of how living creatures move in the air or water.

MEC6415 - Condition Monitoring - 10 credits

The course highlights the importance of maintenance on the life-cycle costs of machines and structures. It investigates the factors which need to be considered when organising a maintenance strategy and it presents cutting-edge techniques for the early identification of damage in a variety of situations through real case studies.

MEC6421 - Sports Engineering - 10 credits

This module is designed to introduce students to the topic of sports engineering. It will apply basic engineering concepts and techniques previously gained to the analysis and design of sports equipment, products and surfaces. Students will be shown how related knowledge in solid mechanics, fluids dynamics, mathematics, human perception and materials science can be applied to sports situations.

MEC6430 - Solid Biomechanics - 10 credits

This course introduces students to the field of biomechanics and will bridge the gap between engineering concepts (c.f. statics & dynamics, forces, stresses & strains etc.) and areas of medicine and physiology. The module aims to apply the principles of mechanical engineering in order to describe the complex musculoskeletal system and its various components (muscle, bone etc.). The course will focus on the fundamentals of biomedical solid mechanics.

MEC6445 - Additive Manufacturing - Principles and Applications 2 - 10 credits

Leading on from fundamental principles introduced in Additive Manufacturing 1 (AM1), AM2 will explore advanced topics related to the science of polymer, inkjet and metal processing. Discuss current research trends in AM and demands from industry. Detail scenarios of when it is correct and suitable to use AM. Explore a number of case studies and examples of when industry abandoned conventional manufacturing routes and adopted AM. Discuss developments required by AM (e.g technological development, material variety, education of designers etc,) in order for it to become a manufacturing process of the future.