Module Catalogue 2023/24

MAR8104 : Optimisation in Engineering Design

MAR8104 : Optimisation in Engineering Design

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr David Trodden
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



A1. To learn how to carry out design integration using formal optimisation methods.
A2. To acquire knowledge on how and when to model single/ multiple objective problems.
A3. To understand how detailed considerations affect design.

Outline Of Syllabus

Classical optimisation methods, unconstrained optimisation, equality and inequality constrained optimisation, Lagrange multiplier, search methods, penalty functions, application in problems, hybrid and multi-criteria approaches, first/second order SLP, integer variables, computing aspects, uncertainty in optimisation models, evolutionary algorithms.

This module will include preschool reading, examples, an intensive school (five days), an in-class examination during the intensive week and a post school assignment.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
IKO1. How optimisation problems arise in design and selection;
IKO2. How various search strategies work;
IKO3. Alternative strategies with a view to matching tools to problems;
IKO4. How hybrid search methods can be assembled and used;
IKO5. The influence of practical constraints.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to develop the following subject specific skills:
ISO1. When and how various optimisation algorithms can be used with benefit;
ISO2. The essentials of multi-objective optimisation;
ISO3. Implications for software development will be examined;
ISO4. IT skills;
ISO5. Decision making ;
ISO6. Communication skills;
ISO7. Data evaluation;
ISO8. Project planning;
ISO9. Project management;
ISO10. Collation, analysis and evaluation of data;
ISO11.Problem formulation;
ISO12.Problem solving;
ISO13.Time management;
ISO14.Ability to work alone.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion114:0014:00Prepare for and complete in-class examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion114:0014:00Pre-School Assignment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Present-in-person Lectures and tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00Review and study lecture materials, notes and general reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students are encouraged to develop their knowledge and understanding of the subject by independent reading for which they are given guidance in the distance learning material. The preschool study is reinforced via lectures during the intensive school itself. The use of design during the intensive school and work-based assessments and application after the intensive school also enable the students to learn (IKO1-5). Subject specific skills are developed via the module learning materials. Cognitive skills (problem solving/ decision making) are taught primarily through case studies and design classes, and developed through work based assignments. Key transferable skills (communication, time management, ability to work alone etc) are developed through the work based post school assignment and via completion of the module itself, including the distance learning material (ISO1-14).

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901M100In-Class Examination to take place at end of block teaching week.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MPre-School Assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding are assessed via the unseen written examination and the written assignment. Subject-specific and cognitive skills are assessed via the module assignments, as are communication skills.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.