The first year MEng in Design Engineering students compete in the Mechanics 1 final to out-calculate each other and shoot the most accurate projectiles from a catapult at a target. They also compete for the best medieval-themed costume.

DE1 Mechanics

Lecturer: Dr Mazdak Ghajari

The aim of this module is to provide the fundamentals of the Mechanics.  The module covers exciting topics such as Dynamics, Statics and Mechanics of Materials. During lectures, several practical examples and demos are used to demonstrate the application of the topics to real-world engineering problems.

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Analyse basic static structures
  • Analyse basic dynamic systems
  • Calculate stress and strain in a variety of engineering structures​

A highlight of the module is the mid-term project, Ancient Mechanics: Catapult. Students work in groups of 4 to 5 to determine the launch parameters (counterweight and release angle) for Design Engineering catapult in order to hit the target at a given distance. They use energy balance and projectile motion and some include drag! On the challenge day, students appear in their medieval costumes to put their predictions into practice. The team with the best shot win a catapult! And the team with the best costume win a treasure box full of chocolate coins. Check out our youtube videos!

Our MEng second year undergraduates were challenged to design a water tower, then destructively test a scale model against their simulations.

DE2 Finite Element Analysis

Lecturer: Dr Mazdak Ghajari

The aim of this module is to enable students to use the Finite Element Method (FEM) to solve engineering problems. The topics covered in this module are: Truss elements, Beam elements, Solid elements, Failure analysis with FEA, Buckling analysis, Vibrations, Nonlinear FEA. A flipped classroom approach is adopted, which involves providing the theory in short videos that student watch before the lectures and hands-on lectures with plenty of time for discussions. Several practical demos and examples are used during interactive sessions to enhance learning and engagement.​

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:​

  • Predict mechanical responses of structures under loading​
  • Troubleshoot their finite element models and simulations
  • Assess the accuracy of the finite element simulation results​
This module includes a practical session, the water tower challenge. Students use the FEM to design and optimise a full-scale lightweight tower. On the day of the challenge they build their towers and we test them to failure. The team that has the closet prediction to the actual results wins the prize, which is a very special invitation to dinner with the DUGS. With this coursework, students learn the differences between real-world problems and models, e.g. in terms of loading and boundary conditions, and learn how to interpret their predictions. Check out our youtube videos!