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Unit information: Materials 1 in 2020/21

Unit name Materials 1
Unit code MENG11100
Credit points 20
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 Physics or equivalent



School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Properties of Materials is concerned with two main questions: how do we choose the best material for a given application given their properties and why do different materials exhibit different properties? Materials selection is approached via the Ashby approach. This uses a graphical approach to selection with simple mechanical models to derive material indices (measures of merit). Different properties are first approached in terms of basic definitions, then how engineers can select the best material under different conditions using property data charts. Only then is the materials science presented.

Mechanics of Materials covers the basic principles of stress analysis, structural behaviour and interpretation of force systems. At the end of the course, successful students will be able to explain how structural engineering relates to science, mathematics and human needs; understand the basic principles of force systems, equilibrium and elastic analysis, and how these may be applied to the design of engineering structures; be able to solve simple problems in structures and stress analysis and know how to devise mathematical models of simple structural problems.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  1. Derive and use material indices for material selection in stiffness, strength and fracture limited applications;
  2. Express the key principles of material structure for several classes of material and how this translates to stereotypical properties;
  3. Provide specific definitions of material properties;
  4. Use mechanical test data to obtain accurate values for material properties;
  5. Apply the basic principles of force systems, equilibrium and elastic analysis to the design of engineering structures;
  6. Solve elementary problems in structures and stress analysis;
  7. Devise mathematical models of simple structural problems.

Teaching details

Properties of Materials:

Students receive 1 lecture per week for new material, problem solving, tutorial solutions. Extensive written handouts are provided to support the lectures. The lectures will be additionally supported by a series of example sheets to improve student understanding.

Mechanics of Materials:

  • 1 hour per week of lectures and examples.
  • All materials available on-line. All notes written by the lecturer during the lectures are scanned and provided via the course page.

Assessment Details

  • Exam paper 100%: Learning outcomes 1-7

Reading and References

Ashby, M.F. Materials : engineering, science, processing and design Butterworth-Heinemann 9780081023761 2019 TA403.6 ASH & eBook
Ashby, MF and Jones, D Engineering materials 1 Butterworth-Heinemann 9780080966656 2012 TA403 ASH & eBook
Ashby, MF and Jones, D Engineering materials 2 Butterworth-Heinemann 9780080966687 2011 TA403 ASH & eBook
Ashby, M.F. Materials Selection in Mechanical Design Butterworth-Heinemann 9781856176637 2011 TA403.6 ASH
Beer, F. Mechanics of Materials McGraw-Hill 9780073398235 2014 TA405 BEE
Archer, A.R. An Introduction to the Mechanics of Solids McGraw-Hill 9780070134416 1978 TA350 INT
Gonzalez, O. A First Course in Continuum Mechanics CUP 9780521886802 2008 QA808.2 GON & eBook
Nair, S. Introduction to Continuum Mechanics CUP 9781139129473 2009 QA808.2 NAI & eBook