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Unit information: Smart Materials in 2021/22

Unit name Smart Materials
Unit code AENGM0010
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Toumpanaki
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This is an introductory unit that takes students through the basic understanding of a range of smart materials, their capabilities, and how they can be applied to solve engineering problems. The preparation of an individual, short duration, research project proposal on the topic of smart materials is used to encourage:

  • extended reading around a broad and diverse subject;
  • development of own ideas;
  • communication and writing skills;
  • consideration of how a research idea can be deconstructed into tasks/activities;
  • consideration of planning and resource management for your research project.

The aims of the unit are to enable students to:

  • appreciate and understand the concept of smart materials;
  • describe the scientific principles behind and review the capabilities of, current smart materials;
  • develop a critical understanding of their practical engineering application;
  • develop and refine the skills to devise, prepare and communicate a short research proposal based on the development and application of smart materials.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Have a good working knowledge of the scientific principles and behaviour of several current 'smart' material systems
  2. Formulate and apply a 'smart' materials approach to solving an engineering need
  3. Research, prepare and communicate (both written and orally) a project proposal based on the development of a 'smart' approach to an engineering problem.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, seminars, practical activities, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

  1. Preparation of a short ‘research project proposal’ based on a ‘smart’ material concept [60%]. Focus will be a single person, feasibility study for 6 months duration, with a nominal budget of £3k. [ILO 1-3]
  2. Presentation of ‘research project proposal’ based on a ‘smart’ material concept [40%] to an assessment panel, including a short question and answer session. 10 min. presentation and a 5 min. Q&A. [ILO 1-3]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. AENGM0010).