MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering

Programme Code: MECT53

Course Structure and Content (2019 entry)

The MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering 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.

Core Modules

Full academic year (Sept - 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 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 problem at the forefront of the specialism. 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)

MEC606: MSc Individual Research Project – 60 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; and - 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.

Optional Modules

Students are required to take 60 credits from the following sets of optional modules. A maximum of 30 credits can be taken during Autumn (semester 1).

Autumn (Semester 1)

ACS6501: Foundations of Robotics - 15 credits

This is an introductory module on the foundations of robotics. The aim of this module is to consolidate fundamental robotics engineering aspects, including ethical ones, as well as introduce relevant topics to those new to the discipline. The module is separated into five distinct themes: - Introduction to robotics and robot ethics - Introductory maths - Systems modelling and simulation - Control systems analysis and design - Introduction to programming.

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.

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.

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

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.

MEC457: Computational Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System - 15 credits

This module aims to provide students in-depth knowledge of the state-of-the-art approach for modelling the musculoskeletal system. Students will use the Virtual Reality tablet to familiarise themselves with the anatomy. They are then introduced to a range of the latest research-led modelling methods applied to a variety of bones and muscles. More specialised topics will be introduced relating to clinical applications and the wider social impact of personalised medicine. The second part of the course involves several computational labs where the students will apply the advanced biomechanics skills to generate personalised models to investigate a specific musculoskeletal disease.

MEC461: Engineering Commercial Success: And making the world a better place! – 15 credits

Students work in interdisciplinary teams to create solutions to a real problem provided by a real customer. Typically the customer will be a member or members of the community e.g. children with disabilities, terminally ill people, etc. Student teams learn how to solicit needs from user interviews and go on to create (and where possible prototype) solutions that meet functional, commercial and social requirements. Students are supported by a variety of external experts including investors, marketeers, business advisors and manufacturers. Teams pitch their proposals to an invited audience and expert judges. Prizes are then awarded to the best presentations.

Spring (Semester 2)

IPE61007: Applied Modelling Skills and Virtual Reality - 15 credits

This module aims to combine computational modelling with state-of-the-art virtual reality and demonstrate the synergistic value of these technologies. Students will apply advanced finite element and finite volume modelling skills to investigate biomechanics problems associated with both cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, and deliver their results in the virtual reality format. Students will also experience clinical radiation technologies such as X-ray and Angio systems through VR. The course involves a combination of theory (lectures) and computational labs. The students will use the virtual reality tablets to study human anatomy and the virtual reality lab to deliver their final presentations.

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.

MAT6516: Materials for Energy Applications - 15 credits

This module aims to develop students' understanding of materials (ferrous & non-ferrous alloys, ceramics, composites) used for energy generation.

MEC447: Automotive Powertrain - 15 credits

This module considers the performance, design and emissions of automotive powertrain - from the combustion chamber to the driven wheels. Environmental and societal developmental drivers of the attributes required of modern, globally applicable powertrain will be established. It will enable students to apply specialist knowledge (thermofluids, dynamics, materials) to internal combustion engines and their associated driveline components. Students will perform analysis of engine performance and select materials and design features to maximise efficiency before reviewing peers' proposals. The industrial state of the art and future technologies from research will be examined e.g. variable valvetrain, hybridisation and electric drive, modern combustion strategies.

MEC450: Advanced Energy and Power - 15 credits

This module will introduce students to the rapidly changing landscape of conventional power generation. The course will provide a greater depth and range of specialist knowledge for advanced plant design for the future including carbon capture. This will provide a foundation for leadership and a wider appreciation of future conventional power station design. Students will become knowledgeable in the sources of pollutants and mitigation techniques employed by the industry and a wider appreciation of social and environmental considerations. The course will permit the students to engage in fundamental design of key components in power generation (burners, boilers) as well as in the simulation of carbon capture plant.

MEC456: Human Factors and User-Centred Design - 15 credits

The module is designed to give students an introduction to human factors and user-centred design and how they are used within the design process (alongside engineering analysis, manufacturing considerations, marketing etc.). The module concentrates on developing an understanding of how populations are characterised and how that influences design decisions. It gives an overview of the theory and practices surrounding design with humans before asking students to apply those theories in a series of case studies. The module gives students an opportunity to work within a team and learn from peers as they tackle the case studies.

MEC458: Cardiovascular Biomechanics - 15 credits

This module will enable student to apply fundamental engineering principles to analyse the physiology of the cardiovascular system. The module starts with a brief review of relevant theories in Fluid Mechanics, followed by anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system, including blood rheology and vessel tissue mechanics. Students will learn the cardiovascular anatomy using state-of-the-art Virtual Reality equipment. The second part gives students an overview of the modelling, analytical and experimental methods applied to several parts of the cardiovascular system. The final part will focus on more specialised topics, like the application of modelling techniques to investigate correlations with disease.

MEC460: Human Movement Biomechanics - 15 credits

Biomechanics of human movement is the science concerned with the internal and external forces acting on the human body and the effects produced by these forces. This module will teach the students both the kinematics (the branch of biomechanics of entailing the study of movement from a geometrical point of view) and kinetics (the branch of biomechanics investigating what causes a body to move the way it does) of human movement and leverage on practical laboratory sessions to expose them to the most advanced technologies to measure and model the associated mechanical phenomena of interest.

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.

Full academic year (Sept - June)

MEC448: Railway Engineering and Sustainable Transport - 15 credits

Railway Engineering and Sustainable Transport introduces the interdisciplinary field of railway transport through application of mechanical engineering in the context of creating a sustainable transport system. Linking engineering fundamentals to application in the rail industry it focuses on skills and expertise needed to make rail transport and its operation resilient to technological, demographic, economic, social and environmental change. Evaluation and problem solving for rail transport issues provides context for developing widely applicable transferable skills. These include justification of engineering decisions through evaluation of data, and assessment of engineering's economic and social impacts. Themes are explored using a local field trip.

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.