SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH225199
Module Leader Martin MacDonald
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Mechanical Engineering
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to provide knowledge of advanced engineering mechanics, such as the theory of shells, fracture mechanics, creep, plasticity, buckling, composite structures, matrix structural methods. Topics such as Fracture and Fatigue, Creep and Plasticity, begin with a short revision from BSc/BEng (Hons) level and then extend the knowledge base as appropriate for postgraduate students.


Fracture and Fatigue: Linear elastic fracture mechanics, elasto-plastic fracture mechanics, CTOD, J-integral, failure assessment diagrams R6. Composite Structures: Constituent Materials, lamina stress strain relationships, effective modulii of continuous lamina, strength of continuous fibre lamina. Analysis of discontinuous fibre reinforced lamina. Analysis of laminates. Failure criterias. Creep: Creep testing, creep laws, stress relaxation, stress redistribution, creep rupture, creep-fatigue interaction. Shells: Combined bending and tension of rectangular and circular plates. Axisymmetric shells under axisymmetric loading. Plasticity: Elastic-uniaxial systems - initiation and flow, stress-strain relationships, material idealisations, multi-axial systems - yield criteria and flow, elastic-plastic strains, plastic deformation theory, plastic incremental theory, normality theorem, residual stresses, shakedown analysis, limit analysis, yield surface, lower/upper bound theorems. Stability of thin walled structures: Buckling, Rayleigh-Ritz, instability assessment. Matrix analysis of structures: Stiffness matrix formulation, structural stiffness matrix assembly, loading vectors.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students should be able to:1. have a critical understanding of a range of specialised theories and concepts;2. apply the principles of Fracture Mechanics to the design and assessment of component and systems;3. design and assess structures operating in the plastic regime;4. solve design problems which involve the phenomena of creep;5. apply shell theory to the design of pressure vessels;6. assess the structural stability of thin walled structures;7. design and analyse composite structures;8. use matrix methods for structural analysis.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The material covered during lectures will be reinforced and consolidated through tutorials, seminars and practical laboratory work. Students will study and solve real world engineering problems encouraging divergent thinking and broader, deeper learning. Students will take part in practical laboratory work which will enhance data acquisition and manipulation skills, individual and group working skills, technical report writing skills and communication skills in general. Through the use of the managed learning environment GCU Learn, students will become more engaged, flexible and independent in their learning as there will be a wide range of learning resources available on line. In addition to the core module content, links to relevant databases for the sourcing of additional reading material from the current research in the subject area from around the world, and notices regarding relevant professional body talks in the local area will be made available. The assessment of the students will incorporate laboratory and design and analysis work based on real world engineering problems through group and individual coursework, and an examination. Students will receive individualised feedback on their performance through one-to-one contact with tutors at tutorials and seminars and marked coursework, which will reinforce the students' learning, and examination results.

Indicative Reading

Stress Intensity Factors Handbook, Vols I & II, Y.Murakami, Pergaman Press, 1988. The Mechanics of Fracture and Fatigue, A.P.Parker, E&FN Spon. 1981. Stress Analysis for Creep, J.T.Boyle & J.Spence, Butterworths, 1983. Principles of Composite Materials Mechanics, Ronald F.Gibson, McGraw Hill, 1994. Design with Advanced Composite Materials, Leslie N.Phillips, The Design Council, 1989. Theory of Elastic Stability, S.Timoshenko & J.Gere, McGraw Hill, 1988. Theory of Plates and Shells, S.Timoshenko, McGraw Hill, 1983. Mechanics of Solids and Structures, D.W.A.Rees, McGraw-Hill, 2000. Engineering Elasticity, R.T.Fenner, Ellis Horwood, 1986. Plasticity, R.M.Dixit and U.S.Dixit, CRC Press. 2014.

Transferrable Skills

Manage and present data in a variety of ways and be proficient in generic IT skills. Creative and innovative approaches, and critical thinking combined with scientific and engineering evidence to real world engineering problem solving. Time management skills, professional behaviours, reflective approach to learning, communication skills including oral, written and visual, and team working.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 28.00
Independent Learning (FT) 90.00
Tutorials (FT) 10.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 10.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 3.00 30.00 45% Related to Learning Outcomes
Exam 01 3.00 70.00 45% Related to Learning Outcomes