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MEC8049 : Orthopaedic Engineering

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Philip Hyde
  • Lecturer: Dr Ana Ferreira-Duarte, Dr Piergiorgio Gentile
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim is introduce students to themes in medical or orthopaedic engineering where mechanical engineering knowledge is used to achieve new or improved medical or orthopaedic products. Anatomy and physiology will briefly be covered with the focus on engineering applications pertinent to orthopaedics in both the mechanical and biological domains.

Outline Of Syllabus

Overview of orthopaedic engineering. Anatomy and physiology. Natural joints compared to artificial joints. The science of artificial joint performance. An engineering critique of designs with emphasis on avoiding problems. Biomechanics of the human body. Materials for orthopaedics. Additive manufacturing. Biological strategies for improving osseointegration. Biological complications and management. Simple in vitro models of cell therapy. An overview of standards in orthopedics. Individual reports and exam.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Lectures split between part 1 and 2 of the module (PiP)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00Lectures split between part 1 and 2 of the module (online non-Synchronous)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion132:0032:00Recommended revision for Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Written Exam (Exam half)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Tutorials / contact time to discuss report (x2) (PiP)
Guided Independent StudyProject work125:0025:00Report 1 (covering part 1 material)
Guided Independent StudyProject work125:0025:00Report 2 (covering part 2 material)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study192:0092:00Recommended regular personal study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures convey the underlying engineering science and the approaches required to apply this to the discipline-specific problems identified. The two individual reports are designed to get the students to learn the lecture material and read around the lecture material to present and critique a contemporary issue in orthopaedic engineering. Personal study is required to solidify information gathered in lectures into knowledge. The exam adds another type of assessment challenge where the retention of knowledge and the application of it to a problem is tested. The balance of report and exam is designed to be fair to all. In class tests are not present. Alternative online sessions will be offered to students if in-person sessions are not possible (due to unforeseen circumstances such as a pandemic). In that case, in-person lectures will be replaced by non synchronous online sessions and tutorials will be replaced with synchronous online sessions.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M25Assessed via report. Report 1 (2000 words)
Report2M25Assessed via report. Report 2 (2000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This course will have two primary assessments: Exam and a Problem Based Learning assignment (reports). The Examination assessment will be to determine student knowledge and learning and will be supported by in-lecture problem questions (i.e. mini tutorial sessions). The two reports will use knowledge from part 1 and part 2 of the lecture course to investigate a contemporary issue in orthopaedic engineering. Assessment outcome will then be determined by the quality of the report (by marking criteria given to the students in advance), and background investigation performance by the student. 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