SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHH126676
Module Leader Andrew Cowell
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Mechanical Engineering
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Computer Aided Engineering (or equivalent) Manufacture and Materials 3 (or equivalent)

Summary of Content

The module is designed to equip the student with modelling skills that will develop the ability to analyse and review complex engineering systems and understand the theoretical underpinning of the formulation of engineering systems and gain competency in the use of simulation language and the use of industrial standard visual interactive simulation software packages. This module encompasses computer aided design through Finite Element Analysis and manufacturing simulation. The finite element analysis will encompass both static and dynamic analysis and a comparison of two dimensional and three dimensional analysis methods. Whereas the manufacturing simulation aspect covers digital twinning in some detail using an industry leading software package.


Computer Aided Design Finite Element Process: Review of Displacement/Shape functions, equivalent nodal loading, stiffness matrix, stiffness matrix assembly, solution method. Modelling Methodology: Idealisation, element selection, loading, boundary conditions, symmetry, load cases. Import of 3D models from appropriate parametric modelling software. Static Analysis: Small displacement linear elastic solution of beam and planar/axisymmetric structures. Small displacement linear elastic analysis of simple 3D models. Dynamic Analysis: Eigenvalue (normal modes) solution of beam and planar structures. Forced vibration analysis of simple 3D models. Explicit Dynamic Analysis: Analysis of dynamic contact and collision problems. Determination of critical time step and the relationship to material properties. Analysis Validation: Convergence, mesh refinement, nodal/element results, results processing. Manufacturing Simulation The nature and purpose of simulation. How organisations can use simulation to solve manufacturing management problems and why it is often far more suitable than other analytical methods. Typical applications and case studies. Sampling and distributions, generation of random numbers and standard theoretical distributions. Approaches to model building. This will include graphical representation of a system through the use of interactive software. Verification and validation of the system under construction. Simulation methodology.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, student should be able to:- 1. critically analyse and review complex engineering systems for consideration of potential change, applied to engineering and industry in both public and private sectors 2. demonstrate an understanding of the role of simulation and the types of applications to which the simulation approach can be applied in the context modern industrial practice including Industrie 4.03. describe and examine the procedure required of the finite element process, including, but not limited to, planar element formulations and system matrices and their application4. build and use visual interactive simulation models for solving complex engineering problems5. critically analyse output from models and understand the requirements for validation and correctly validate the model and its analysis results

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 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. Each teaching session combines a lecture period where key aspects are communicated to the students, followed by a consolidation period where a practical operation is completed to reinforce the relevant aspects of the learning outcomes, and finally a period of directed learning where the students are expected to complete independent exercises further consolidating the required learning outcomes. Formative feedback will be given throughout the consolidation period. The module content is made accessible to all through support from GCULearn, including, in addition to the core course content, notices regarding relevant professional body talks in the local area. In addition, 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 methods developed within the module, 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

-567 Books and articles: Computer Aided Design 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. Hellen, T.K. and Becker, A.A., Finite Element Analysis for Engineers - A Primer, ISBN 978-1-874376-98-9, NAFEMS, 2013. Logan, D.L., A First Course in the Finite Element Method, Fifth Edition, SI (prepared by K.K. Chaudhry), Cengage Learning, 2012. Manufacturing Simulation Law, Simulation Modelling and Analysis, McGraw_Hill 2007 Pidd, M, Computer Simulation in Management Science, Wiley, 2004 Carrie, A, Simulation in Manufacturing Systems, Wiley, 1998 Online sources: ANSYS Case Studies,

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: 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) 110.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Tutorials (FT) 24.00
Practicals (FT) 36.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 30.00 35% Analysis of 2D object using FEA
Course Work 03 n/a 50.00 35% Simulation of a manufacturing system
Course Work 02 n/a 20.00 35% Analysis of 3D object using FEA