Design and Materials

Module summary

Module code: GEEN1127
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Engineering
Module Coordinator(s): Mark Bingley / Mohammed El Souri



The module provides an introduction to the methods and practice of engineering design, allowing the student to become acquainted with the basic principles of design and the design process. This will include the important link between design and manufacture.
Materials selection, an essential part of the design process, will be facilitated by an understanding of key materials properties, the basis for the selection of materials for a given application. The module also aims to develop the student`s visual thinking skills by giving them practice in sketching, and computational drawing and design tools specific to the student`s discipline. Finally, the development of transferable skills, including team working, verbal and written communication skills will be practiced during a group design and make exercise.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Implement project planning, conceptual design principles, and design tools to successfully bring a design project to fruition
2 Appreciate the importance of team working in carrying out group activities
3 Demonstrate a wide range of communication skills: visualisation; written and oral
4 Analyse and solve engineering problems related to materials property and selection issues.
5 Demonstrate competencies in implementing techniques (practical and analytical) and utilizing tools associated with discipline specific practices

Indicative content

 The Design Process: methods and practice of engineering design; total design; market requirement; product design specification; conceptual design; detailed design; product specification.
 Design Considerations: materials selection; manufacturing process selection; manufacturing; costing; marketing; design for sustainability and product life cycle assessment.
 Materials Properties and Selection: materials and process information for design; materials properties; mechanical, electrical, thermal, general properties; stiffness limited design; strength limited design; fracture limited design; surface degradation of materials.
 Project Planning: team working; design management; decision making; costing tools; sources of literature and information; intellectual property rights; product safety and liability.
 Engineering Communication Skills: sketching; rendering; visualisation of 3D objects; orthographic projection; dimensioning to British and international standards; Use of computational design and drawing software packages specific to the subject disciplines (e.g. 2D and 3D CAD for Mechanical and Civil Engineers; Proteus design and circuit simulator software for Electrical students); Application of CAD to rapid prototyping.
 Group Design and Make Project; An extended group (4-6 members) design and make project will be carried out (either subject specific or cross-discipline) making use of the above skills and knowledge.
 Subject specific study period focussed on practical applications (e.g. surveying Module for Civil Engineers; Chemical and fluid storage tank design for Chemical Engineers; disassembly exercise illustrating manufacturing principles and an understanding of machine elements for Mechanical Engineers)

Teaching and learning activity

Part 1
An understanding of materials and manufacturing will be gained through lectures and supplementary tutorials. It is intended to use a design led approach in which the materials are matched to the property requirements required of the application. An exam will assess the student`s knowledge and understanding of materials

Part 2
Lectures will examine the design process and project planning aspects. These will be supplemented by tutorials. Sketching will be introduced in supervised laboratory sessions. Students will be provided with a set of notes allowing a self-teaching programmed learning approach. Students will be expected to develop their skills by following a set of exercises of increasing complexity. Students will also receive instruction in design and drawing software packages appropriate to their discipline. A detailed conceptual design exercise will be undertaken.
Students will take part in a group activity – a design and make exercise. This will integrate aspects of the design work that they have carried out in Part 1 as well as aspects of Level 4 Engineering theory. Each group (of around 4-6 students) will be allocated a supervisor who will facilitate progress on the project. Students must communicate details of their design through a group oral presentation and a written report. An individual logbook is also to be kept by each student-recording group and individual activities contributing to the project.
The conceptual design exercise, group report and logbook will form part of a design portfolio.

Part 3
Small group activities will introduce students to practical applications associated with their discipline (e.g. surveying for Civil Engineering)


Students are required to pass all components in order to pass the course.

Exam - 20%
LO - 4.
Pass mark - 40%
2 hours.
Closed Book Exam.

Design Exercises - 60%
LO - 1, 2, 3.
Pass mark - 40%
2000 words.
Design Portfolio:
Conceptual Design Exercise.
Group Design Report + Presentation.

Group Report - 20%
LO - 2,3,5.
Pass mark - 40%
1000 words per student.
Group Report with Individual Contributions amounting to 100 words per student.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Observations, Questioning, Discussion, Practice Exam Paper.