Mechanical Design

Subject MCEN30014 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours of lectures and 14 hours of workshop sessions
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours

Postgraduate -

  • Admission into the Master of Engineering (Mechanical)

Undergraduate -

Corequisites: N/A
Recommended Background Knowledge: N/A
Non Allowed Subjects: 436-285 Design and Materials 1
436-286 Design and Materials 2
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Colin Burvill


Melbourne School of Engineering Office
Building 173, Grattan Street
The University of Melbourne
VIC 3010 Australia
General telephone enquiries
+ 61 3 8344 6703
+ 61 3 8344 6507
+ 61 3 9349 2182
+ 61 3 8344 7707
Subject Overview: Topics covered include: general approach to design problems; invention, analysis, decision making; terminologies such as ‘goal’, ‘objectives’, ‘criteria’ and ‘constraints’; strategies for synthesis and decision making; technical, ergonomic and economic factors; appraisal of benefit and cost; fault and failure analysis; probability, uncertainty, and assessment of risk; and interfacing geometric and mathematical models, sensitivity analyses, combinatorial search, structured approaches to material selection; failure modes for engineering systems, failure predictors for engineering components under multi-axial stress conditions; rational assessment of safety factors and maximum credible accident; integrity of structures and machines, design against failure; modelling of complex load-bearing systems in terms of simple engineering components; design of elements of structures and machines from first principles; and approaches to uncertainty in design problems, including those related to the environment.

Objectives: At the conclusion of this subject students should be able to:
• Describe engineering design methodologies that can assist the creation of mechanical artifacts and systems
• Synthesize solutions to reasonably ill-defined design problems
• Manage relatively complex mechanical engineering design projects
• Determine the integrity of structures and machines, to design against failure

  • One two-hour end-of-semester examination (40%).
  • Four assignments (projects), of equal weight, each of three weeks duration, completed during the semester not exceeding 25 pages or equivalent per student (60% total).
  • Assignment submission is expected to occur at the end of weeks 3, 6, 9 and 12.

All assignments must be submitted and earn a mark of at least 50% (per assignment) as a prerequisite for admission to the written examination.

Prescribed Texts: Either:
Budynas, R.G. and Nisbett, J.K, “Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design”, McGraw-Hill, 2008
Juvinall, R.C. and Marshek, K.M, “Fundamenals of Machine Component Design”, Wiley, 2006

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills

• Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals

• Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution

• Capacity for creativity and innovation

• Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance

• Proficiency in engineering design

• Ability to conduct an engineering project
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Master of Engineering (Mechanical)
Mechanical Systems

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