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Unit information: Modelling 2 in 2015/16

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Unit name Modelling 2
Unit code MENG21712
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Michael Patterson
Open unit status Not open

MENG11511 or equivalent



School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

Computing-based Modelling:

During the first seven laboratory sessions, students will be required to undertake a computer-based project, during which they will develop a model of a either an engineering/scientific or rules based system in the Matlab environment. Examples of these have included: stream functions, the diffusion of ideal gases, parametric models or the development of a chess engine. Supporting notes are provided. These projects will be assessed during the eighth session. During the final laboratory, students will be given a brief overview of the Simulink package.

Physical Modelling:

This part of the unit will enable students to model and physically realise engineering systems, evaluate design alternatives, manufacture working prototypes and assess their performance. This is achieved through specific application to an engines laboratory, design and build of an amphibious vehicle and the build phase of a vending machine.


Computing-based Modelling:

To extend the students knowledge of scientific computing via Matlab and Simulink. To increase their ability and confidence in the development of programs to model physical systems.

Physical Modelling:

To provide students with foundation skills in developing (conceiving, designing and building) engineering systems to meet a specification and analysing performance for existing systems and critically appraising their performance through presentations, demonstrations and written reports. These activities together broaden the students understanding of the design, development and test process, and in particular, provide hands-on experience to realise their designs.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Computing-based Modelling:

  • Students will be able to develop simple Matlab and Simulink-based models of a range of engineering systems.

Physical Modelling:

At the end of this part of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Understand the processes involved to develop engineering systems to meet to a specification;
  • Select appropriate standard components and provide reasoning for their choice;
  • Using basic hand tools and standard materials, to manufacture their designs;
  • To assess performance of engineering systems in relation to a specification;
  • Be proficient in the interpretation of engineering drawings;
  • Experience a range of problem-solving opportunities and work in teams;
  • Disseminate technical material proficiently in both written and oral form.

Teaching Information

Computing-based Modelling:

  • 1 hour lectures followed by 8 x 3 hour laboratory sessions.

Physical Modelling:

  • 1 hour lecture and 1 x 3 hour lab.
  • DMP Build Phase  5 x7 hours of build classes and 1x3 hour presentations.
  • Amphibious Vehicle Build  3 x 3 hour design/build classes, and 1x3 hour demonstration session.

Assessment Information

Computing-based Modelling:

  • Project assessment (60%).

Physical Modelling:

  • DMP Build Phase  presentation and build assessment (20%)
  • Amphibious Vehicle Build  demonstration and build quality (20%)

Total = 10 credits

Reading and References

Computing-based Modelling:

  • A Guide to Matlab, B.R. Hunt et al., (Cambridge University Press), 2001. In addition, Matlabs on-line help is extensively used.

Physical Modelling:

  • No texts are needed, this aspect of the course being adequately supported by handouts.