MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering

Programme Code: MECT53

Course structure and content

The MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering 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

INF6035 - Information Skills for Engineers - 15 credits

Information handling and communication are at the heart of the research process across all discplines. Students are introduced to a range of practical IT facilities available within the University that can support their research, including web searching and web page authoring, presentation software and speadsheets and the management of bibliographical data.

Semester 2

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.

Full academic year

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.

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.

MEC6000 - Individual research project - 60 credits

The aim of this module is to provide students with project planning, management, and research skills. Students will work individually on an 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.

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

Example project

MSC Advanced Mechanical Engineering

Ruiqi Pan - Vibration and noise from unmanned areal vehicles (UAV)

The issue of aircraft vibrations and noise has drawn great attention over recent years. Unmanned aerial vehicle (drones) are becoming ubiquitous in applications for aerial photography, infrastructure inspection, environmental monitoring and entertainment. However, these devices are relatively noisy because their propulsion mechanisms generate strong body vibration and aerodynamic noise.

The significance of this study is that the UAVs are always considered to be a sensitive measuring instrumentation, the performance of which can be affected by the noise and vibration generated from the propeller and the motor.

This project aims to measure the noise and vibration from the drone as well as the mutual transformation between each other. The project data will give a reference for further analyses and simulations and will then become available to the general public and drone manufacturers.

 Vibration and noise can adversely affect the measurement equipment which is installed on-board UAVs. There is a massive lack of data on the levels of noise and vibration which these drones generate. Therefore, the aim of this project is to measure and analyse these levels carefully using precision instrumentation which is available in the Dynamics Research Group at the University of Sheffield.

Kirill horoshenkov, professor of acoustics

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 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.

MEC6427 - Theory and Application of Turbulence - 10 credits

This module will present the basic concepts of turbulence, so that they can use any textbook on turbulence. Students will be familiarised with the equations and mathematical modellings used in turbulence. They will be able to carry out useful interpretations of turbulent phenomena, to quantify turbulence and characterise it. Students will learn how to use statistical tools in engineering in general, with a particular application to turbulence. Students will learn how to analyse random phenomena using modern tools such as the fractal analysis. Students will be able to conduct conservation analysis using Gauss's theorem. Students will be able to discuss the merit of the vorticity equation. They will be familiar with the principles of experimental techniques used in fluid mechanics for application to turbulence.

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 a minimum of 20 credits from this group, and a maximum of 30 credits during semester 2.

AER476 - Design and Manufacture of Composites - 10 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.

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.

MEC6345 - Aero Propulsion - 10 credits

This module provides students with an understanding of principles of operation of gas turbines, pulse-jets, RAM-jets and solid and liquid fuelled rocket engines as applied to aero propulsion. The understanding is built upon fundamental thermodynamic and fluid mechanic analyses of components and systems for each propulsion method. Methods for improving efficiencies and increasing specific work output of components are also introduced as well as an introduction to combustion, losses and efficiencies.

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.

MEC6422 - Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics and Heat Transfer - 10 credits

Nuclear power is a major industry in the UK, producing about 20% of the country's electricity, and plans for new build are well underway. Thermal hydraulics is fundamental in extracting energy from nuclear fuels and converting it to electricity. This module is to study the thermal design fundamentals of nuclear power plants enabling the students to develop (i) a good understanding of the cooling and energy transfer phenomena in nuclear reactor cores and (ii) the ability to perform analysis for flow and heat transfer for the design and safety calculations of such systems. Following an introduction to nuclear energy and power generation systems and principles, the thermal design principles and heat generation mechanisms in the reactor will be discussed. This is followed by studies of the phenomena and design/analysis methodologies of heat transfer in the fuel elements, reactor cooling to single-phase flow (in a gas-cooled reactor) and two-phase flow (in a water-cooled reactor). The course will conclude by discussing the system approaches of core thermal hydraulic analysis used in the nuclear industry and examples of CFD analysis.

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.

MEC6450 - Combustion, Fuels and Emission Control in Future Power Generation - 10 credits

The module will cover future conventional power generation and fundamentals of combustion theory and explosions. Power stations traditionally have large numbers of mechanical engineers contributing to their design, operation and maintenance. This course will give Mechanical Engineering students a grounding in combustion and its place in the future energy mix related to aspects of full scale biomass/fossil power plant design,theory of combustion, flame properties under different modes of combustion, the control of emissions including NOx, SOx and CO2 and plant required. The subject area is closely aligned with research projects in combustion and CCS within the Mechanical Engineering Department and the module includes an external visit to pilot plant research facilities at PACT, Beighton.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's 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.