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    MSc(Eng)
    2022 start September 

    Aerospace Materials

    Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

    Develop knowledge of the manufacturing, processing and properties of the metals and composite materials used in airframes and aeroengines.
    Image of postgraduate materials science and engineering student using equipment with mask

    Course description

    It’s a fantastic time to be a specialist in aerospace materials. Sheffield is at the heart of the UK aerospace industry. Many international aerospace companies look to the department to discover ways to improve both materials and processes for use in their products.

    You’ll develop knowledge of the manufacturing, processing and properties of the metals and composite materials used in airframes and aeroengines. You’ll also be trained in the fundamentals of thermodynamics, structure and mechanical behaviour.

    Accreditation

    Fully accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3). Graduates will have the underpinning knowledge for later professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Core modules:

    Engineering Alloys

    This module covers engineering metallic alloys ranging from alloy steels, stainless steels, light alloys (i.e. aluminium alloys and titanium alloys) and high temperature metallic systems (intermetallics and nickel superalloys). The module centres on the physical metallurgy of such engineering alloys to demonstrate the effect of alloying and implications for the processing, microstructure and performance of structural components in a range of industrial sectors, but predominantly the automotive and aerospace sectors.

    15 credits
    Science of Materials

    This module introduces key concepts involved in materials science to cover general aspects and applications of metallic, polymeric and inorganic materials. Topics covered include: chemical bonding; basic crystallography of crystalline materials; crystal defects; mechanical properties and strength of materials; phase diagrams and transformations; overviews of metals and alloys; polymers and inorganic solids. Lectures will be supplemented with laboratory exercises based on: construction of a binary phase diagram; crystallography; health and safety regulations in the workplace.

    15 credits
    Materials Processing and Characterisation

    This module introduces the processes and technologies involved in the production of metals, polymers, ceramics and composites and the experimental methods used to characterise these materials.
    Processing topics include powder processing, thermomechanical processing and polymer and composites processing. Characterisation topics include X-ray, neutron and electron diffraction, light and electron optics, analytical scanning and transmission electron microscopy, thermal analysis, spectroscopic methods (e.g. Infra-red, Raman, NMR, XANES) and advanced chemical analysis. Lectures will be supplemented with exercises and an assessment on the processing part of the module.

    15 credits
    Practical, Modelling and Digital Skills

    This module develops your skills in three linked areas:

    (a) materials characterisation laboratory skills including safe methods of working, completion of COSHH and risk assessments, and measurements using a range of practical techniques
    (b) the use of computers for data handling and analysis together with an introduction to modelling (using packages such as Excel and MATLAB) and analysis together with an introduction to finite element modelling (using packages such as ANSYS)
    (c) the skills needed to search for scientific literature as well as technical skills for presenting data, including how to avoid plagiarism, referencing, formatting documents, drawing high quality graphs, critically reviewing literature and giving presentations.

    15 credits
    Design and Manufacture of Composites

    This module is designed to provide you 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 you with the basic tools you need to design effective composite parts. Second, manufacture of composites is taught via lectures. You will learn multiple routes for making composite parts alongside practical issues such as defects, machining/joints, failure, testing and non destructive testing, repair and SMART composites. 

    15 credits
    Deformation, Fracture and Fatigue

    Deformation, fracture and fatigue are important mechanical phenomena in both metals processing and use. The role of dislocations in and the effects of microstructural features on the plastic deformation of metals is initially explored. Consideration of fracture starts with linear elastic fracture mechanics including the Griffith equation and Irwin stress intensity factors. The effects of plasticity effects on fracture in metals including plastic zones at crack tips and cyclical fatigue are considered in some detail. Both total lifetime approaches and damage tolerance approaches to fatigue are considered. 

    15 credits
    Advanced Materials Manufacturing: Part I

    This unit covers a range of advanced material manufacturing techniques, including bulk metal forming, lithium battery manufacturing, and coating technology. The students learn how to simulate bulk metal forming using a commercial finite element package, in addition to learning technical insight into key techniques such as battery manufacture and coating technology.  

    15 credits
    Heat and Materials with Application

    This module examines both the transfer of heat to/from materials and thermally activated processes that occur during the manufacture of materials due to the transfer of heat into materials. There is also some consideration of the effects of heat during use. Thus conduction, convection and radiative heat transfer, on their own and in combination are considered, followed by an examination of diffusion (Fick's laws) and sintering (solid state, liquid phase and viscous glass sintering). Finally creep phenomena are considered. The case study part of the module has a twofold aim. Firstly, it is designed to simulate the kind of team work that could be required of you in industry. They aim to increase your knowledge of processing and applications of engineering materials, and your ability to work in a group to cooperate and collaborate efficiently and effectively. Secondly, they are designed to highlight some of the critical issues for processing of materials from both a materials and engineering systems point of view.

    15 credits
    Project

    The research project and dissertation is supervised by one or, in some instances, two members of academic staff. Project supervisors are allocated based both on student choice and academic workload.The topic of the research project will be set in consultation with your project supervisor. Laboratory or modelling work on the project will formally be undertaken during the Second Semester (including the Spring vacation period) and during the summer vacation between about mid-June and mid-August.

    60 credits

    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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.

    Upcoming open days and campus tours

    Duration

    1 year full-time

    Teaching

    Working alongside students and staff from across the globe, you’ll tackle real-world projects, and attend lectures, seminars and laboratory classes.

    Assessment

    You’ll be assessed by formal examinations, coursework assignments and a dissertation.

    Student profiles

    I applied to Sheffield as I thought it was the best place to study materials. I now know this to be true having experienced such a supportive environment where staff are on hand to answer questions and reassure you in your studies.

    Maria Martinez-Escobedo
    MSc Aerospace Materials graduate. Now Edison Engineer at GE Aviation.

    Entry requirements

    A good honours degree in materials, a physical science (chemistry or physics) or a related engineering subject.

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Fees and funding

    Scholarships of up to £3000 are available on the basis of academic excellence and Access and Participation criteria. UK students only.

    Apply

    You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now

    Contact

    mse.pgtadmissions@sheffield.ac.uk
    +44 114 222 5941

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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