10 Credits SPRING

Pre-requisites: MEC115


Aims/Description: The course aims to provide an introduction to engineering design and material selection so as to avoid component failure. The approach taken is a product dissection through which the students gain hands-on experience of an engineering artefact/product, tightly integrated with a lecture course on engineering design and materials. Students perform a functional analysis of all parts of their artefact (selected from items such as a micro-scooter, an electric drill or similar). Supported by the lecture material and following an introduction to the Cambridge Engineering Materials Selector software (CES EduPack), the students learn how to make the assumptions needed to conduct a simple analysis of potential failure through tension/compression and bending loads which their artefact would experience in use. Environmental considerations for the materials used are included, and the severity of failure is assessed using a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. The course concludes with preparation of a report on the material selection for a component of their item, and a brief presentation on how the item could fail and how to avoid this. Practical work is assessed on a group basis, while individual learning is assessed by exam and online quizzes.

Restrictions on availability: Restricted to students registered for Programmes of Study in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and IPO

Staff Contact: Dr. A Beagles
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Laboratory work, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam, Classroom Testing, Presentation, Vivavoce

Notes: Part of the IMechE accredited course

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Mechanical Engineering):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


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 Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn.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.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK