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Unit information: Principles of Design for Manufacture of Composites in 2021/22

Unit name Principles of Design for Manufacture of Composites
Unit code AENGM0041
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Ward
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

Design for Manufacturing is a key skill for the composites engineer, as the design details impact on every element of a part’s manufacture and performance - from its costs to the probability of defects. Developing this key skill can be achieved in three ways:

  1. Analysis of the product design and development process, and how that product design and development process is modified by the differences between conventional and advanced composite materials.
  2. Use of case study material, to identify in what way design requirements can be met in multiple ways and how to select between the various options.
  3. Building on 1 & 2 by considerations of issues such as Design for Assembly, Repair, Maintenance, Recycling, and other industrially critical issues (known as “Design for X”).

In employing all three ways this unit provides a comprehensive study of the principles of “Design for Manufacturing” and other “Design for X” elements in advanced composites, to promote the understanding of the increased complexity of materials properties, design, and manufacture; and the behaviour and analysis methods used for the Design for Manufacture of advanced composite structures. Design for Manufacturing information and methods are presented in a series of lectures including illustrations, worked examples, and guest lectures. Practical understanding of basic and advanced manufacturing processes are also supported by laboratory and in-class demonstrations. The overall aims of the unit are to:

  • Provide students with sufficient background in the principles of “Design for Manufacturing” and other “Design for X” elements in advanced composites.
  • Provide students with the tools to analyse the design of composite products with regards to manufacturability and other “Design for X” elements.
  • Provide students with the framework to support their development of specific composite products
  • Provide students with information on the future directions of advanced composites and Design for Manufacturing, and offer opportunities to experience these in the unit content.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and understand the key issues and methods in Design for Manufacture of advanced composite structures
  2. Apply the basic principles for Design for Manufacturing to distinguish clearly between competing design options (whether conceptual, manufacturability, sizing, preliminary analysis) for advanced composite parts
  3. Apply advanced principles for Design for Manufacturing in order to select the preferred options related to a range of “Design for X” issues in composite parts design and manufacturing.

Teaching Information

This unit’s taught content totals 30 hrs; through a combination of Design for Manufacturing of composites lectures (20 hrs), revision (1 hr) & case study/example classes (4 hrs), and laboratory demonstrations (5 hrs). The remainder of the unit’s time, of a maximum of 70 hrs, is attributed to the planned assessments which are made up of two formative group activities (case studies supported by lab demonstrations/teaching assistants), a summative individual online examination of 10 CP weighting, and student self-study practices. Other than the provision of course content via UoB tools (Blackboard etc.) there are no significant e-learning components to this unit. No distance learning is expected as part of this unit. Guest lectures, from experts applying composites Design and Manufacture tools, are included as part of the taught content.

Assessment Information

The unit is assessed through three (3) assignments - two formative case studies as a group effort, and one summative online examination marked as an individual submission:

  1. Individual online examination based on course content to evaluate student understanding; 10 CP or 100% contribution, 1.5 hours total test duration plus student self-study practise.
  2. First case study group assignment based on a set requirement for a component build; 20-minute group presentation and questions plus laboratory time of approx. 10 hours per student.
  3. Second case study group assignment based on a set requirement for a manufacturing process simulation; 6 min video plus laboratory time of approx. 25 hours per student

Summative assessment:

  • ILO 1: Through wide ranging sets of composites Design for Manufacturing questions as SAQs.
  • ILO 2: Through specific composites Design for Manufacturing problem questions as LAQs.
  • ILO 3: Through specific composites Design for Manufacturing problem questions as LAQs.

Formative assessment:

  • ILO 1, 2, 3: Through guest lectures, example questions, problems, and case-studies (including specialist lab demonstrator/teaching assistant support to guide students to appropriate solutions); with solution checks, and personal as well as online feedback of the formative submissions (inc. professional skills in presentation/communication as well as technical capabilities).


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. AENGM0041).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.