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Unit information: Engineering Science in 2021/22

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Engineering Science
Unit code MENG10004
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Peel
Open unit status Not open

A-level standard in Maths and Science, or equivalent



School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit will provide a coherent introduction to the fundamental knowledge and problem-solving skills required of an engineer. Students will be taught how to convert everyday language to specific engineering terms and express the underlying science. They will learn how to identify methods to solve problems and use mathematical techniques to calculate solutions of appropriate precision and accuracy. This will occur on two broad levels, albeit with considerable overlap:

• The detailed solution to domain specific problems of narrow scope, with an emphasis on accurate answers and rigorously correct methodology.

• The application of multiple methods to solve problems of broader engineering significance, likely including multiple - and even contradictory - requirements.

There will be an emphasis on dealing with uncertainty. Conceptually, this unit will sit between the mathematics units, that provide core skills, and the more design-oriented units that will make use of the methods taught here. Explicit links will be drawn between the different units to ensure students make the correct associations between material taught in different contexts. Topics for the unit will include: an introduction to mechanics, which will be applied to the loading of structures, the dynamics of bodies and the behaviour of fluids; the behaviour and selection of materials; the basics of thermodynamics; and the principles of electrical science.

Intended learning outcomes

1. Provide concise descriptions of key engineering terms and concepts and correctly identify when they apply to scenarios and problems.

2. Recall and apply fundamental mathematical techniques to more complex or layered problems of engineering significance.

3. Interpret problems and determine the correct path to the solution even when presented in an unfamiliar context.

4. Construct appropriate diagrams to aid in the solution of problems with clear annotations and supported by appropriate discussion.

5. Infer the assumptions and physical principles pertinent to a given engineering problem.

6. Execute calculations to determine quantities in correct SI units and present the results to an appropriate degree of precision.

7. Critique the solution to problems - accounting for simplifications, known limitations on methods and any experimental or observational data available.

Teaching details

  • Recorded lectures demonstrating derivations, key concepts, skills and problem solving.
  • Live sessions for demonstration/use of techniques and examples of context and application.
  • Student-led teaching sessions incorporating examples classes and problem-based learning, focussing on interdisciplinary problems.
  • Regular formative progress tests.

Assessment Details

The unit is assessed using a two-part summative assessment (ILOS 1-7). Each part will cover different aspects:

1. Technical assessment – focussing on accurate interpretation and solution of domain specific problems with a narrow focus. The emphasis will be on correct use of equations and units, accurate calculations and general rigour.

2. Design assessment – focussing on appropriate solutions to broad, often interdisciplinary, problems. There will be an emphasis on drawing together multiple strands of the course, making good engineering judgements and supporting them with solid arguments.

This is a pass/fail assessment and students will receive feedback on their performance.

Reading and References

  • White F., “Fluid Mechanics” 2015, 8th ed., McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 0073398276
  • Rogers G. and Mayhew Y., “Engineering Thermodynamics: Work and Heat Transfer”, Longman Scientific & Technical, 4 th ed., ISBN: 9780582045668
  • Ashby M., Materials : engineering, science, processing and design, Butterworth-Heinemann, ISBN: 9780081023761
  • Bedford A. & Fowler W., Engineering Mechanics: Statics. (2008), 5th ed., Pearson Education. ISBN: 9810679394.
  • Beer F., Mechanics of Materials, McGraw-Hill, ISBN: 9780073398235