Module ICL-1017:
Mechanical Eng Principles

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Overall aims and purpose

This unit aims to build on L3 and L4 engineering science UNITS and delve deeper into understanding the forces governing static, dynamic, mechanical and thermodynamic engineering systems through an applied hands on approach which emulates real-world situations.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

Mechanical Design Principles

  • Understand the theory of material properties and failure and how this influences mechanical design choices
  • Understand the theories of static strength, resilience, toughness and creep
  • Understand the principles of design for static strength and how to apply these
  • Understand the theory of fatigue failure including terminology, measurement, characteristic curves; Miner's Rule and S-N curves.
  • Understand failure reliability of an assembly and the cost of reliability and the tools for exploring the failure of a design including fault trees, failure modes and effects analysis
  • Understand and analyse engineering thermofluid systems, based on mass and energy conservation
  • Design products for thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and turbomachinery applications
  • Understand the principles of structural design, including; statics and dynamics, simply supported beam and torsion


  • Understand the Ideal Gas Law and its applications.
  • Understand the principles of heat and thermodynamics in chemical reactions
  • Understand and apply basic thermodynamic concepts: thermodynamic systems, states, properties, work, heat, energy.
  • Represent power generation and refrigeration cycles on T-S and P-H diagrams and determine the power generation or requirement for a given thermal duty.
  • Describe the significance of Chemical Potential in mixtures.
  • Use Standard heats and free energies of formation to evaluate equilibrium constants, and hence determine equilibrium concentrations in reacting mixtures at elevated temperatures and pressures.
  • Understand deviation between ideal vs. real cycles
  • Be able to apply basic thermodynamic relationships to real problems
  • Carry out material and energy balance calculations separation processes by hand and using a computer package.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain thermodynamics and solve related problems.

  2. Explain mechanical design principles and solve related problems.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Thermodynamics Lab

Individual written Laboratory assignment that demonstrates the ability to solve a series of problems involving thermodynamic principles.

COURSEWORK Mechanical Design Lab Assignment

Individual written laboratory assignment, solving a series of problems involving mechanical design principles.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Tutor-directed private study, including preparation.


A series of interactive lectures, workshops, web-based learning, problem solving exercises, individual and group activities and linked tutorials. Consideration of experimenting on materials will form an important part of the delivery illustrating the application of themes to real-world situations.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Formulate and analyse requirements and practical constraints of products, processes and services, place them in an engineering context and manage their implementation;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Communicate proposals persuasively and respond positively to feedback;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current advances and contemporary approaches in the discipline and have strategies for keeping that awareness current;


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Bedford A, Liechti K and Fowler W (2002) Statics and Mechanics of Materials, Prentice Hall

Bolton W (2001) Engineering Science, Newnes

Hannah J and Hillier M J (1995) Applied Mechanics, Longman

Hannah J and Hillier M J (1999) Mechanical Engineering Science, Pearson

Courses including this module