SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHH123523
Module Leader Andrew Cowell
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Mechanical Engineering
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Finite Element Analysis

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to equip the students will the skills needed to apply computer aided design to the realistic solution of Engineering problems, building on in part the knowledge gained previously in Finite Element Analysis. The subject areas covered include mechanism/linkage analysis, sensitivity and optimisation techniques/studies for a range of Engineering Systems, including static stress, dynamic modal analysis and heat transfer analysis; an introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas: Geometric Modelling: Geometric modelling of engineering systems as an assembly using commercially available software tools. Mechanism Analysis: Transfer and describe assembly, in terms of mass properties, cams, slots, connections materials, loads, drivers and boundary conditions. Sensitivity and Optimisation: Define a range of design variables for geometric and material properties for sensitivity studies for linear elastic static, dynamic and thermal problems to establish initial parameters. Perform optimal solution using selected design variables for specified optimisation goal and imposed design constraints, such as displacement, stress, temperature and/or frequency. Define the concepts of Design of Experiments and Six Sigma analysis and apply the concepts to sensitivity studies for and optimisation of engineering components. Computational Fluid Dynamics: modelling and solution schemes are implemented to solve laminar and turbulent fluid flow through ducts and over profiles.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Model an engineering system as an assembly suitable for mechanism analysis in order to establish parameters such as acceleration, velocity, displacement and force.2. Critically evaluate the important considerations for the conduct of sensitivity and optimisation studies for selected components e.g. statics, dynamics or thermal problems.3. Understand the concepts of Design of Experiments and Six Sigma analysis and the application of these techniques to the optimisation of engineering components.4. Critically evaluate the important considerations for the conduct of a fluid analysis involving laminar and turbulent flow, and the differences between these.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. This is a practical module, but the teaching strategy ensures that the underlying theory required to understand the outputs from the analysis software relevant to the particular subject area is integral to the presentation of the material. This is important in ensuring that the skills developed can be applied to the solving of real world problems. The teaching sessions contain a combination of lecture material for the communication of key aspects to the students, followed by a consolidation period where a practical operation is completed to reinforce the relevant aspects of the learning outcomes, including directed learning exercises where the students independently consolidate the required learning outcomes. Formative feedback will be given throughout the consolidation period. The teaching is supported by an extensive database of additional learning materials made available by the software supplier to further enhance the students' opportunities for independent learning. The software is made available in laboratories with enhanced hardware to improve the student experience, but is also made available campus-wide for flexible learning opportunities through the Application Jukebox software. The assessments are designed to expose the students to real world problems from international examples of engineering problems that can be solved using the relevant analysis method, preparing them for their practice of this method in employment. At all stages, the importance of validating their results is emphasised to reinforce the importance of professional responsibility in ensuring that only valid assumptions and results are presented. Feedback on assessments will be provided electronically through GCU Learn, either using the Grade Centre or by the email facility.

Indicative Reading

Chen, X. and Liu, Y., Finite Element Modeling and Simulation with ANSYS Workbench, ISBN 978-1-4398-7384-7, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015. Jiju, A., Design of experiments for engineers and scientists, ISBN 9780080994192, ebook available at, last accessed 24/01/2015. ANSYS Design Xplorer and ANSYS CFX Case Studies,

Transferrable Skills

D1 Specialist knowledge and application. D2 Critical thinking and problem solving. D3 Critical analysis. D4 Communication skills, written, oral and listening. D5 Numeracy. D7 Computer literacy. D8 Self-confidence, self-discipline & self-reliance (independent working). D10 Creativity, innovation & independent thinking. D15 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management (organising and planning work). D17 Presentation skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 128.00
Practicals (FT) 36.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Lectures (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 03 n/a 60.00 n/a Sensitivity and Optimisation Analysis (3000 words)
Course Work 02 n/a 20.00 n/a Mechanism Analysis (1000 words)
Course Work 01 n/a 20.00 n/a Computational Fluid Analysis (1000 words)