Why this course?
Mechanical engineers are recognised for their knowledge and skills in conceiving, designing, implementing and operating devices, machines, engines and energy systems.
You'll learn how to design aircraft engines, control systems, landing gear and about the many complex parts which sustain flight.
Many of the aero-related topics, such as aerodynamics and lightweight structures, are of special interest and value to a wide variety of engineering activities outside the field of aeronautics.
Graduates from the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering - which is consistently rated in the top 10 such departments in the UK - are part of a new breed of engineer who can take on challenges ranging from traditional industries to areas such as new materials, sustainable development and aerospace.
Study abroad is an option for all Mechanical Engineering courses.
What you’ll study
The majority of our students follow five-year MEng courses. All students experience the same learning pace in the first two years and BEng students can, and often do, transfer to the MEng programme. The Aero-Mechanical courses diverge from the core earlier to develop specialist themes.
Studying MEng Aero-Mechanical Engineering you'll learn about:
- flight and spaceflight mechanics
- aero-propulsion systems
- gas dynamics
- computational fluid dynamics
- materials for aerospace applications
- lightweight structures
Many of our students take part in Formula Student, the national competition to build a Formula Student racing car, (at which Strathclyde is the top-performing Scottish university).
Other activities include the Outdoor Management Skills course at Outward Bound Scotland, the British Model Flying Association’s University Challenge, and ‘Gala,’ the annual employers’ networking dinner.
Accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Engineering Mechanics 1
Knowledge of mechanics is a fundamental tool for a mechanical engineer. This introductory class aims to investigate classical mechanics - force, motion, energy, work and momentum – from a conceptual viewpoint to understand how these are connected and how they can be applied, through formal problem solving, to real-world engineering.
Mechanical systems rely upon electrical and electronic circuits for many reasons: the delivery of drive power; sensing temperature, pressure etc.; the delivery of sensor data for condition monitoring, control and operation. This course covers how external data is acquired, conditioned and used and will equip students with an understanding of the basic theories underlying electronics.
Heat & Flow 1
Knowledge of thermodynamics, heat and fluid flow are important for the understanding and design of thermal and hydraulic systems involving energy conversion and transmission, such as engines and turbines, pumps and compressors, and associated pipework. This class introduces the basic concepts and applications of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, as a foundation for further studies.
Mechanical Engineering Design
The aim of this class is to place the essential elements of design at the heart of courses for mechanical engineering students. It shows how the disparate elements of engineering science may be brought together and used to create a safe, durable and cost-effective solution to a perceived engineering need. This course continues in later years.
Experimental & Laboratory Skills
This class introduces students to a range of experimental and laboratory related skills appropriate to mechanical engineering. This includes elements of laboratory and workshop safety including risk assessment. Students will gain familiarity with a range of hand tools and welding/joining procedures and develop an understanding of how to conduct experiments, record data, evaluate errors and write technical reports.
Engineering Analysis & Numerical Methods
This module aims to give a basic introduction to some of the tools of engineering analysis used in the course through relevant application software in an engineering context. This module aims to teach the basic principles of programming and the solution of mathematical problems with numerical techniques in an engineering context. Specifically students will be introduced to the engineering numerical simulation software MATLAB, which is widely used in industry and research. This course continues in later years.
This class aims to review and extend the student’s basic understanding of the concepts and applications of mathematical functions, differentiation, complex numbers, vectors, integration and matrices. Specifically: the mathematical foundations of algebra and geometry, vector algebra, further studies in complex numbers and fundamental calculus including differentiation & integration. This topic continues into the second year of the course.
During the first year of the course students take at least 20 credits (out of a total of 120 credits) of elective classes from topics in modern languages, engineering, science, business, bioengineering and others (depending on timetable availability).
Flight & Spaceflight 1
The first year of this class aims to give a theoretical and historical background to the development of modern aircraft and spacecraft design. It covers the history of flight, basic aerodynamics (lift, drag, thrust and bluff bodies), flight instruments and the fundamentals of spaceflight (history of rocket development, rocket engines, multi-staging and escape velocity)
Engineering Mechanics 2
The second year of engineering mechanics aims to develop the skills to analyse more advanced dynamics problems associated with solid bodies and simple mechanisms and introductory knowledge in new topics of structural analysis and basic stress analysis: static equilibrium, shear force and bending moment diagrams, beams in bending, shear and torsion and 2D stress and strain.
The aim of this class is to create awareness of, and develop some of the skills, expected in graduate professional engineers. These include development of communication skills, self-awareness and group working skills, professional conduct, ethics and the legal aspects of professional responsibility, engineering ethics and societal and contemporary issues.
Electrical Machines & Control
Engineering students from non-electrical disciplines often require a working knowledge and appreciation of electrical power devices and their use. This class develops the theory underlying simple electrical circuit analysis, transformers and electrical motors, and seeks to develop an understanding of their application through example and laboratory work.
Aero Design & Flight Test
This class builds on the initial work carried out in Flight and Space Flight 1. The taught part of the class is reinforced by experimental investigation, flight experience and flight test. The class is also intended to introduce students to the mathematical modelling tools they will require in the third year aero design class. The class covers the following: Aircraft design process, airworthiness, longitudinal stability and control, and flight performance using a flight simulator. During the class all students undertake the flight test course at Perth (Scotland) Airport.
Heat & Flow 2
This class continues the study of fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. The behaviour of fluids is an important aspect in the performance of engineering systems: the underlying physics of fluid flow and its application to simple systems is presented. Thermodynamics is the science that is devoted to understanding energy in all its forms and how energy changes form; the aim of is to supply the necessary analytical tools to study these changes when applied in engineering situations, in particular for transportation and power production.
Mathematical Modelling & Analysis
This class develops a general approach to the solution of engineering problems and involves mathematical modelling, numerical methods and the application of computer software. A wide range of engineering topics is presented and includes problems in structures, dynamics, fluids and heat transfer to emphasise the general applicability of the solution processes with practical application using Mathcad.
Materials Engineering & Design
The class aims to provide basic concepts of material science and engineering for mechanical design and materials selection. Topics include: the structure of solids, strength and stiffness of engineering materials, metals and alloys, strengthening mechanisms and heat treatment, ductile and brittle failure, elasticity, plasticity and creep, fracture toughness, linear elastic fracture mechanics and fatigue.
Mechanical Engineering Design 2
The study of engineering design continues to develop understanding of the design process and effective design procedures. This module aims to cover two aspects of mechanical design. Firstly, to develop competency in mechanism design using the PTC Creo software suite including part creation, assembly and drawing creation competencies. Secondly, to develop competency in materials selection for engineering design, using the CES Selector software.
The class consists of a semester-long design/build/test group exercise. The projects available each year will depend upon the staff involved in this class. A typical project, which might be available, is the BMFA “University Challenge”: Groups of approximately 5 students design, build and test a small-scale remote control aircraft to take part in the BMFA University Challenge. Over the 12 weeks of the semester, the groups will develop their design, build, test and optimise the design. The aircraft are taken by the teams to fly off in the competition held at Elvingon Airfield, York, in June. A small budget is allocated to each group.
This class is a continuation of the structures element of class 16232. Topics include: two-dimensional stress and strain; multi-axial elastic constitutive relations and yield criteria; general equations of elasticity leading to classic solutions for thick and thin cylindrical structures; further analysis of beams; energy methods of analysis; instability and buckling.
Flight & Spaceflight 2
The second year of this class builds on the initial work carried out in Flight and Spaceflight 1 and Aero Design 1 and is intended to introduce students to the mathematical modelling tools they will require in the third year design class. Experimental Aerodynamics is introduced and the experimental methods used by researchers in this area are explained. It also introduces the mathematics of flight simulation and the technology involved in flight simulator hardware and software including longitudinal stability and control.
Dynamics & Control
The first part of this class is a continuation of the dynamics element of class 16232 including principles of the kinematics of rigid bodies; equations of plane motion; angular momentum; vibration of mechanical systems with laboratory practice and demonstrations. The second part aims to introduce control theory and the modelling of linearized physical systems and design of feedback control systems.
Engineering Analysis III
This continuing class aims to introduce the theory and application of the two most widely used numerical methods in engineering analysis: Finite Element Analysis (Structural & stress analysis and the commercial FEA program ANSYS) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (Analysis of flow field; recirculation zones/stagnation points; boundary layers and an introduction to the commercial CFD program FLUENT).
Heat & Flow 3
This class builds on the students’ previous study of thermodynamics and heat transfer to cover: mixtures, psychrometry, exergy and its applications; conduction, convection and radiation in heat exchanger design. The study of the laws of conservation of mass, energy and momentum moves to a more advanced level and knowledge of fluid flow is extended to provide an appreciation of boundary layers and fluid flow in rotating machinery.
Strategic Analysis of Engineering Business Case Studies
An introduction to the concept of the conscious pursuit of competitive advantage by engineering businesses is developed in this class. Following introductory lectures and case studies, students work in groups to analyse and prepare for presentation a selection of engineering business cases from a variety of sources, moderated by industrial mentors.
The study of engineering ethics helps students prepare for their professional lives and to develop widely applicable skills in communication, moral reasoning and reflection in order to engage with other aspects of the course such as group work and work placements. This class follows the approach outlined for the teaching of Engineering Ethics recommended by the Royal Academy of Engineering using case studies.
Case Studies in Engineering
Professional engineers need to have an awareness of the impact of engineering and technology on society. This class provides this awareness through case studies presented by senior representatives from industry, and visiting academics, from a spectrum of engineering industries to cover project management, technical sales, planning and industrial relations and more traditional topics.
Computer Aided Engineering Design
This class continues class 16363 and aims to provide an appreciation of computer aided design, analysis and simulation methods over a range of engineering problems and to provide practical experience of the use of industry standard engineering simulation and analysis software to design and investigate the behaviour and performance of specific systems or components.
Engineering Materials Selection
Engineers must be aware of the importance of materials selection in the design process. An introduction to the philosophy of materials selection in design is given. Consideration is given to the various classes of available engineering materials, with some background to the underlying factors that determine their general properties, providing an overview of their general or specific properties and an insight into their uses and selection criteria for design.
Individual Project - Aerospace
Students pursue an intensive research, development or design project under the supervision of a member of academic staff to produce a major dissertation and technical paper. The project should be on an aerospace related topic. At the end of both semesters, panels of academic staff conduct oral examinations to assess student performance and the technical paper. The supervisor assesses the work separately.
Advanced Mechanics & Dynamics
The aims of this class are two-fold: to develop the students' ability to apply analytical techniques to the solution of engineering problems where dynamic behaviour is important and to provide practical experience in designing lightweight structures to ensure that they have sufficient strength and stiffness to prevent failure, particularly by buckling, when in service.
Heat & Flow 4
An understanding of heat, mass and momentum transfer processes is a basic requirement for practising engineers. This class aims to build upon the students' previous three year’s exposure to the basic energy transfer mechanisms of conduction, convection and radiation so that multi-dimensional, steady state and transient problems can be recognised and analysed.
Students are given an introduction to the principles of experimental aerodynamics and computational aerodynamics performance assessment together with an appreciation of vehicle aerodynamics. The class also provides an introduction to the importance of aeroelastic phenomena on aerodynamic design for a range of applications. The aim is to emphasise the importance of understanding the aerodynamic flow field and its importance in the design process, and the interaction of the aerodynamic loading with the structure.
MEng Group Project - Aerospace
The class aims to give students an authentic experience of managing and contributing to a complex group project of an aerospace nature and is a requirement of professional accreditation for a Master’s degree. It includes an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the technical aspects of the project, in addition to demonstrating competence in project management, technical risk management and safety risk assessment.
Aerodynamic Propulsion Systems
The principles of propulsion systems for aircraft and rockets are covered. Throughout the class, the overall procedure and methodology for designing a propulsion device, starting from the aircraft concept and the associated engine requirements, through to the aero-thermal design of engine components is presented and discussed. Students will develop an understanding of the overall design process and the performance of aerospace propulsion systems.
Control Systems Design
This advanced module covers techniques for the design of control laws for engineering systems. The material builds on the fundamentals learned previously on the systems modelling and analysis of open and closed loop control for engineering systems. This module emphases developing computer models for the simulation and analysis of linear control systems and the design of associated control laws. Advanced concepts such as non-linear systems and optimal control theory are introduced.
The promise claimed for new materials in engineering is most likely to be realised through the use of composites and ceramics. This class aims to give a basic understanding of modern composite materials and an appreciation of predictive modelling and design implications when composites are applied to engineering structures. The main composite manufacturing processes will be outlined.
This class aims to introduce the subject of industrial Pressurised Systems and ensure competency in the use of Standards and Design Codes. Pressurised Systems are inherently dangerous since they contain stored energy which must be carefully controlled. A methodology is set down whereby a range of pressurised components can be designed, manufactured, installed and operated to a high degree of safety.
This class adopts an analytical approach to dynamic problems which occur in conventional and modern machines with a view to developing good design and control practice and analytical skills. It covers mathematical preliminaries, out of balance and balancing of rotor-dynamic and reciprocating machines, 1&2 degree of freedom machines and high-dimensional machines such as autonomous underwater vehicles and spacecraft.
Machinery Diagnosis & Condition Monitoring
Condition monitoring and fault detection in structures and machinery plays an important part in the maintenance and protection of equipment, and has come to the fore since the recent advances in computer-based systems. This class provides an understanding of Condition Monitoring (CM) and its relevance to industry. Particular attention is paid to vibration-based health monitoring and signal (time series) analysis.
Mathematical Modelling in Engineering Science
Mathematical modelling remains an important tool for engineers to understand complex phenomena and to predict the behaviour of complex systems. This class is designed to provide insights into generic problems in engineering science through ordinary differential equations. Examples include the use of bifurcation methods to understand buckling and the use of (singular) perturbation methods to understand boundary layers in fluid flow.
This class is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of spaceflight mechanics, including both orbit and attitude dynamics. The classic two-body problem is solved then used to investigate various modes of orbit transfer and attitude stabilisation for both spin- and 3-axis stabilised spacecraft. The various elements of the class will be brought together to illustrate the mission analysis and design process.
Advanced Topics in Fluid Systems Engineering
Complex fluid flow and heat transfer problems are central to many advanced fluid engineering systems often at the cutting-edge of modern engineering. These include human biological flows, multiphase flows, micro- and nano- scale flows. In all of these our physical understanding is limited, which limits our engineering design ability. This class gives students the opportunity to identify and explore a number of advanced topics in heat transfer and fluid flow.
This class is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of spaceflight systems. An overview of the complete spacecraft lifecycle from proposal, through delivery and operations is covered, along with the function and purpose of the spacecraft sub-system level components. The various elements of the class are brought together through the production of competitive proposals for a typical spaceflight system development program.
Advanced Research Project A
The object of the project is to expand and enlarge on work completed in the 4th year Individual Project, ME409, in order to carry out a feasibility study for the preparation of a full paper for submission to a refereed engineering journal.
Advanced Research Project B
The object of the project is to expand and enlarge on work completed in class ME409 to prepare a full paper for submission to a refereed engineering journal. This may involve further research and background study, further experimental and/or simulation work, more detailed analysis and discussion of results, or other activities, to be agreed by the individual supervisor.
Polymer & Polymer Composites
Polymer and polymer composite materials have been increasingly used in modern engineering applications such as aerospace, automotive, construction, marine, oil and gas. This class aims to provide background knowledge of polymers and a basic understanding of modern polymer composites. The class is balanced between the study of science and engineering in order to prepare students for further advances in the field of polymer and polymer composites.
This module aims to introduce concepts in Engineering Plasticity in metals and their application to problems in Engineering Design and Structural Integrity Assessment. The course will introduce students to basic concepts in plastic deformation, including local and structural failure mechanisms, through one-dimensional analytical models. These will then be expanded to three dimensions, introducing stress and strain tensors and multi-axial yield criteria.
Introduction to Engineering Optimisation
This class aims to provide an introduction to optimization techniques for continuous problems and to the approaches to the formulation and solution of optimization problems in engineering. Using a combination of lectures and project-based activities, students will develop an understanding of the overall design optimisation process and the performance of different optimisation algorithms, when applied to solve real engineering cases.
Our assessment methods include:
- written exams
- coursework assignments
- individual/group projects
The final award classification is normally based on inputs from first assessed attempt at compulsory and specified optional classes across all years, except Year 1, plus, if appropriate, an oral exam.
Learning & teaching
In the early stages, learning skills are developed through interactive teaching, problem solving and problem-based learning. In later years, students will take part in lectures, tutorials, web-based interactive learning, practical work and computer based learning. The emphasis on individual and group projects increases as our students’ skills develop.