Mechanical Engineering in the UK is a major contributor to the economy, and there is evidence of increasing demand for professional engineers in the field. Furthermore, as recent reports show, median salaries are also on the increase. As the President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers puts it “….if humanity is to somehow manage to adjust its behaviour in any controlled way to a position of sustainability, we have limited time in which to do it, and we will need to do it with products and processes based on today’s technology and not tomorrow’s.”
There is an increasing demand therefore for high-quality engineers with flexible postgraduate experience and a good range of transferable skills in the broad field of mechanical engineering. This demand has been demonstrated by recent surveys indicating salaries for young Professional Engineers significantly outpacing national averages.
Students will have the option to choose two streams: "Solid Body Mechanics" or "Thermofluids". During the first two terms (September - March) they will take eight modules out of which:
* four are the same for both streams (core modules - 15 credits each);
* the other four (15 credits each) are different for the two streams.
In May the final examinations for the taught modules will take place and in their third term (June - September) students will complete the final dissertation.
* Strategic Management and Enterprise
Prepares graduate engineers to perform the managerial and business functions expected of staff in first level management positions in engineering organisations.
Main topics include: financial ownership issues; human resources management; organisation of a business; marketing concept; ethical business; marketing communications.
* Research Methodology and Innovation
Enables students to carry out research using appropriate research methods, including underlying notions of enquiry, from a theoretical and practical perspective.
Main topics include: practical research issues; information retrieval; risk management; innovation.
* Advanced Modelling and Design
Provides students with the ability to employ advanced numerical models for the analysis of complex engineering problems.
Main topics include: finite element analysis: two-dimensional elements: triangular, quadrilateral and isoparametric; applications to steady and transient heat transfer; applications to two-dimensional stress analysis; optimisation: types of optimisation problems; objective function; constrained and unconstrained optimisation; multivariate search methods, penalty function, Lagrange multipliers; applications to linkage synthesis; manufacture: computer applications in manufacturing practice, optimisation in design for manufacture, management procedures and quality requirements, application to company practice; design: use and application of Computer Aided Engineering Software in engineering manufacture; the integration of computer aided engineering and manufacturing methods in company practice.
* Advanced Computer Aided Engineering
Shows how the entities points, edges, surfaces and solids are modelled for CAE and how to use their implementation on a contemporary CAE software to create the computer model of a part or assembly. Covers some useful applications of computer models such as mechanism synthesis and analysis, NC manufacture and Rapid Prototyping. Provides the skill on the use of a contemporary CAE package for Mechanism Analysis, NC code generation and Rapid Prototyping.
Main topics include
o Representation and manipulation of the entities points, lines and curves, surfaces and solids (components and assemblies) for use in CAD/CAM applications, with a hands on training in a contemporary CAE system.
o Analysing the motion aspects (position, velocity and acceleration) and force aspects of connected links or chains used in products (Dynamics).
o The use of a CAE package for analysing mechanisms.
o Basics of NC manufacturing and the use of a contemporary CAE package for generating NC codes.
o Principles of Rapid Prototyping (RP) and the use of a RP system and a contemporary CAD software
* Dissertation (Individual project)
Stream 1 – Thermofluids
* Advanced Thermofluids
Includes advanced experimental and modelling research tools in thermofluids.
Main topics include: methods and instruments in fluid flow measurements: laser doppler anemometry (LDA), particle image velocimetry (PIV), hot-wire anemometry (HWA); Fluid flow and heat transfer simulations by Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) modelling, large eddy simulation (LES) and direct numerical simulation (DNS).
* Advanced Heat and Mass Transfer*
Presents theory and practical concepts of single and two-phase heat transfer and applies this to heat and mass transfer equipment.
Main topics include: concepts of heat transfer; boiling; condensation; heat exchangers; mass transfer concepts and equipment
* Energy Conversion Technologies
Provides familiarisation with the principles and practice of modern energy conversion technologies.
Main topics include: principal fuels for energy conversion; production of thermal energy; nuclear reactors; conversion of thermal to mechanical energy; environmental impacts of power plant operation; cooling and heating equipment.
* Sustainable Development and Energy Use: Energy in Transport and Industry
Introduces the main issues related to energy supply and demand and its environmental impact.
Main topics include: sustainable development : ecological, economic and social conception of sustainability; indicators of sustainability; sustainable development in the UK; europe and international; international sustainable development initiatives; principles of life cycle assessment including examples of input/output data; energy: definitions. historical review; energy economics; energy sources; energy and climate change. anthropogenic influence on climate; energy as a strategic issue and economic factors; energy use: energy markets; energy consumption by sector in the uk and internationally; emissions trading; energy as business issue: overview of costs; typical large company and SME costs; energy purchasing and impact of deregulation; benchmarking; degree day analysis; monitoring and targeting systems; energy audits; industry: energy use by industry. industrial heating and ventilating systems; industrial processes and energy use. water and trade affluent management; low energy factory design; transport: energy use by transport systems and travel; advanced transport systems; vehicle innovations and energy sources; zero emission vehicles and fuel cell developments. demand responsive systems. intelligent vehicle highway systems. Agenda 21 and sustainable cities.
Stream 2 – Solid Body Mechanics
* Advanced Solid Body Mechanics
Covers specialist advance research topics in solid body mechanics and introduces further techniques and analytical topics in experimental stress analysis.
Main topics of study include: applications of contact mechanics; time dependent fracture mechanics; engineering design and analysis of silos; biomechanics; biomaterials; experimental stress analysis; strain gauges, photoelasticity, brittle coatings; stress functions in Cartesian and polar coordinates; plasticity in structural elements; analysis of plates in bending.
* Dynamics and Modal Analysis*
Covers specialist advance research topics in dynamics and modal analysis based on our recent and current research work.
Main topics include: matrix treatment of mechanisms both open and closed loop; optimisation and synthesis related to mechanism design; inverse dynamics applied to human body motion.
* Structural Design and FEA
Gives students advanced theoretical knowledge in Finite Element Analysis, Structural Design and Design of Components.
Main topics include: structural design: statically determinate and statically indeterminate structures; energy methods: strain energy, external work, Castigliano's theorems; the principles of virtual work, forces and displacements; unit load method; plasticity and instability of columns; beams and plates; optimum structural design, limit analysis, dynamic programming; FEA: fundamental concepts, theory of elements and discretisation, applications of finite element method on stress analysis and modal analysis of real world problems; introduction to the FEA software; problem formulation and guidance on the solution methodology using the software; application on stress and frequency analyses.
* Physical Human Factors in Design
Main topics include: introduction to human factors in design, anthropometry, biomechanics, metabolism, subjective evaluation, whole-body vibration, hand-arm vibration; designing to fit body posture; designing for movement and design of controls and displays.
* If the number of students that choose this stream is low this module may be replaced with an alternative related module