The University of Southampton

ELEC1203 Mechanics

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To introduce the students to fundamental concepts of mechanics. To give the students an appreciation of the importance of mechanics in the context of electrical engineering. To equip the students with basic techniques of engineering mechanics with emphasis on the application of these methods to the solution of typical problems. To provide a foundation for more advanced topics in mechanics.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Basic concepts and principles in mechanics of solids
  • Energy methods
  • Dynamics of particles and vehicles; rotation of a rigid body
  • Energy and momentum conservation
  • Statically determinate and indeterminate systems
  • Relations between stress, strain and deformation
  • Mechanical properties of matter
  • Basics of beam design and structural analysis
  • Applications of superposition principle
  • Buckling and stability of columns
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work in a small team to conduct an experiment
  • Operate simple instrumentation equipment
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the meaning and consequences of mechanics
  • Demonstrate theory of mechanics applied to simple practical situations
  • Explain the design principles for simple mechanical devices
  • Apply mathematical methods and vector algebra to mechanical problems
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Derive particle and vehicle trajectory equations
  • Predict motion of rigid bodies
  • Calculate stresses and strains in mechanical systems
  • Formulate stability criteria and explore mechanical instabilities
  • Analyse simple mechanical systems
  • Indentify failure criteria for mechanical systems
  • Calculate beams deflection and twisting of shafts
  • Apply superposition principle for analysis of combined loading


Introduction - Basic Concepts - Fundamental Laws - Units - Scalar & Vector Particle Dynamics - Newton's Laws of Motion - Particle motion for constant and variable force - Energy and Momentum - Work done by Force - Kinetic and Potential Energy - Energy and Momentum Conservation - Friction - Linear Momentum - Collisions between particles Dynamics of Rigid Bodies - Rotation of rigid body about a fixed axis - Angular Momentum - Conservation of Angular Momentum - Moments of inertia - Inertia Matrix Mechanics of Engineering structures - Statics, structural and solid body component - Stress, strain and deformation, elastic and plastic deformation - Tension, compression and torsion - Determinate and indeterminate systems Theory of Torsion - Solid and thin-walled cylinder, torque, shear stress and angle of twist Two Dimensional Analysis of Stress - Stresses on a plane inclined to the direction of loading; normal and shear stresses - An element subjected to a general two dimensional stress system - Mohr's stress circle, principal stresses and planes, maximum shear stress Shearing Force, Bending Moment and Torque Diagrams - Sear force and bending moment diagrams; torsion of members - Relations between torque, shear stress & strain, angle of twist - Principle of superposition Bending of Beams - Shear forces, bending moment distributions and deformation - Stress-strain relationship in pure bending - Section modulus and flexural rigidity, properties of areas - Deflection of beams due to bending moments, effects of support conditions, double-integration method and Macaulay's notations - Beams made of dissimilar material - Eccentric loading and Asymmetrical bending - Statically Indeterminate Beams Strain Energy - Elastic strain energy, normal stress and shear, strain energy in bending - Buckling Buckling instability, effects of support conditions.

Learning and Teaching

Wider reading or practice55
Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Follow-up work18
Completion of assessment task13
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Hibbeler RC (2008). Mechanics of Materials. 

Benham PP, Crawford RJ, Armstrong CG (1996). Mechanics of Engineering Materials. 

Beer FP, Johnston ER (1977). Vector mechanics for engineers: statics and dynamics. 

Anthony Bedford A, Fowler WL (2001). Engineering mechanics: dynamics. 

Meriam JL, Kraige LG (2007). Engineering mechanics, Vol. 2, Dynamics. 


Assessment Strategy

These technical labs consider Stress, Strain and Structural Beam Theory, addressing the above-listed learning outcomes. They are conducted under the umbrella of ELEC1029 but the marks contribute towards this module.


MethodPercentage contribution
Dynamics of particles 5%
Exam  (2 hours) 75%
Statics and Dynamics of rigid bodies 10%
Technical Laboratories 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework marks carried forward %
Exam %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Facebook Google+ Twitter Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.