Skip to main content


MEC3029 : Advanced Mechanics and Structural Optimisation

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Francis Franklin
  • Lecturer: Dr Barry Gallacher, Mr Robert Davidson
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1. Kinematics and kinetics of spatial rigid bodies.
2. Analysis and optimisation of structural elements to meet operational constraints.
3. Finite element analysis case studies of structural elements and materials.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Kinematics and kinetics of spatial rigid bodies, and Free Body Diagrams of spatial systems in 3D.
2. Moments of inertia, products of inertia, principle axes and the inertia tensor.
3. Angular and linear momentum, gyroscopic torque, and the Euler qquations of motion for collection of particles and rigid bodies.
4. Response of structures and structural elements to static loading, and the Castigliano method.
5. Introduction to honeycomb and sandwich structures, and hyperelastic materials.
6. Introduction to heuristic optimisation techniques.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00PiP - Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Target hours to complete coursework assignment submission
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion128:0028:00Recommended revision for exams, assuming prior regular independent study throughout teaching
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00End of Semester Examination.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching151:0015:00PiP - Tutorial sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching103:0030:00PiP - Computer cluster sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study165:0065:00Recommended regular personal study throughout teaching period to follow up taught classes
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures convey the underlying engineering science and the approaches required to apply this to the discipline-specific problems identified. Tutorials provide additional support to the students and further consolidate taught knowledge. Private study supports the students’ self-study in reading around the lecture material and learning to solve the practical engineering problems posed by the tutorial questions.

Alternative online sessions will be offered to students if present-in-person sessions are not possible to take place due to unforeseen circumstances: - The 20 hours lectures will be replaced by 20 hours non-synchronous lecture materials; the 15 hours tutorial sessions will be online synchronous (Q&A / tutorial) sessions. (The lecture content is theory-heavy and students will benefit more from learning at their own pace.)
- The 30 hours cluster sessions will be replaced by 10 hours non-synchronous tutorial materials, and 20 hours online synchronous (Q&A / tutorial) sessions.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M40Report 1 - Hook design-make-test coursework and logbook submission (max 40 hours)Hook design-make-test coursework and logbook submis
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination tests the understanding of material presented in lectures and further reading under time constraint as required in industry.
The assignment tests the ability to apply the principles of engineering science and technological data to an open ended engineering problem. If in-person written examination is not possible due to unforeseen universal circumstances (such as a pandemic), a 24 hour take home examination will be carried out instead.

Reading Lists