Skip to main content


MEC3015 : Instrumentation and Drive Systems (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr John Hedley
  • Lecturer: Dr Andrew Smith
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 5
ECTS Credits: 8.0


The module aims to equip students with the knowledge and understanding of the operating characteristics and design of a range of sensors and motors and their integration into appropriate control systems within a specific mechanical design.

Outline Of Syllabus

-       Introduction to basic types of sensors and actuators.
-       Sensor types for a range of measurands including force, strain, pressure, position, velocity,
acceleration, temperature and luminosity.
-       Basis of selection of sensor type to meet application requirements, e.g. analog versus digital,
response, range and resolution.
-       Functional static and dynamic characteristics of a range of analog and digital sensors, including
accuracy, sensitivity, and calibration.
-       Principle of operation of motors including brushed, brushless, servo and stepper motors.
-       Introduction to motor control.
-       Introduction to data acquisition systems.
-       Selection and integration of sensors and software tools for data capture and analysis, to include signal
conditioning, filtering and sampling.
-       Introduction to control system design and integration including PID controllers and tuning strategies.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Structured presentation of syllabus
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00In-lab coursework assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Computer based examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1010:00100:00Practical application of material learnt towards a goal orientated project
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion103:0030:00Computer based tutorials and trial exams
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion104:0040:00Recommended reading for required knowledge of module.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical32:006:00Extended activity (computer and lab based) to introduce necessary skills required for module
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00Drop-in problem classes ("tutorials") to support independent study and reinforce skills practice
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

-       Guided reading and trial exams convey the underlying engineering science and the approaches required to
apply this to the discipline- specific problems identified
-       Tutorials support the students' self-study in reading around the lecture material and learning to solve
the practical engineering problems posed by the module
-       Practical work enables students to obtain hands-on experience in analysing and designing real
engineering problems using relevant hardware and software tools

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A40Computer based exam to cover full syllabus
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M60Demonstration of project coursework
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

-The examinations provides an appropriate way to assess both theoretical understanding and practical problem solving skills under time-constraint as required in industry.

For the purposes of professional body accreditation, in order to obtain a passing mark overall for this module (40%) at the first attempt the minimum acceptable mark for each of the assessment items specified below shall be 30%, with the maximum possible module overall mark where this is not the case being restricted to 35% (Undergraduate Progress Regulations):

40% Exam Computer based
60% Practical Exercise 1

Reading Lists