The University of Southampton

SESM6039 Introduction to Advanced Mechanical Engineering Science (AMES)

Module Overview

This module consists core mechanical engineering topics to cover the six themes in Advanced Mechanical Engineering Sciences (AMES) MSc program, i.e. Engineering Materials, Biomedical Engineering, Mechatronics, Computational design, Propulsion and Engine Systems, and Advanced tribology. Fundamental knowledge relevant to each theme is included as part of module. Current issues in these advanced mechanical application areas are considered. Key laboratory skills in mechanical characterisation of engineering materials, biomedical engineering, computational design and tribology are taught and practiced. Literature review, proposal writing and presentation skills for research projects are taught and evaluated.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Demonstrate an understanding of core mechanical engineering topics and knowledge relevant to selected theme. • Give an overview of current issues in the different themes of advanced mechanical engineering science. • Develop literature searching, information processing, research and laboratory skills to build an expertise in advanced mechanical engineering science.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The fundamental scientific and technical aspects of selected themes in AMES
  • The technical background of mechanical engineering science in selected areas to permit study of the current literature, identification of gaps and in information and changing nature of AMES in specific fields as well as the need to gain new knowledge through further study and teamwork in your professional field.
  • Specific techniques with application to your own research and advanced scholarship.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Make decisions and arrive at solutions in complex situations
  • Recognise the limitations of your present knowledge and gain new knowledge through further study and teamwork in mechanical engineering science
  • Communicate fluently through oral and written professional presentation of research project information.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate practical laboratory skills associated with specific themes of mechanical engineering science.
  • Demonstrate skills in literature search, technical writing, research planning and preparation for the full-time work on a research project.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Synthesise and Analyse information and ideas, and apply creative and original thought in order to propose appropriate new solutions to complex problems.
  • Identify challenging research project and plan to its completion in AMES remits.


• Introduction: An introduction to the MSc, the Module and its Assignments, and the MSc Project. (1 Lecture). • Information Skill Session: Hartley Library (2 hours). • Themed Lectures (6 Lectures): an overview of each theme through introducing related research topics from associated research groups, respectively. • Fundamentals Lectures (6 Lectures): providing fundamental knowledge required for the 6 themes, respectively. • Engineering Materials Theme---fundamentals (crystalline structures, defects, diffusion, etc.); mechanical properties, microstructures and control, failure and fracture mechanics, non-metal materials. • Mechatronic theme---Motors and drives; key control systems. • Computational design theme—CAD, FEA, engineering design, design validation and verification • Advanced tribology theme—lubrication, friction, deformation, coatings, wear. • Biomedical engineering theme—Biomechanics, Biomedical implant, Biomaterials. • Propulsion and Engine Systems Engineering---Thermodynamics, heat transfer, condition monitoring, noise control etc. • Current Issues in Mechanical Engineering Sciences (6 lecturers). Guided reading material (for example a recent review paper) is given for each of the "current issues" to give additional depth in each theme. • Practical Laboratory Skills (12 lab hours): o Biomedical engineering lab (3 hours) o Advanced tribology lab (3 hours). o Engineering Materials lab (3 hours). o Computational engineering lab (3 hours). • Presentation skills (2 Lectures): o Provide guidance for written presentation of project proposal assignment as well as oral presentation skills. o Additionally, the student is encouraged to attend optional Group research Seminars organised by the Research Groups. This option may help in the preparation of the Proposal assignment by giving ideas and make contact with other academics and researcher. • Oral Presentations of students’ selected topics (8 hours) Oral presentation, feedbacks and discussion tutorial.

Special Features


Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures • Specialist themed talks • Designed lab exercise. • Class discussions. Learning activities include • Access to exam question bank. • Directed reading. • Coursework assignment: Preparation and submit answers to questions based on “fundamental in..” lectures. • Coursework assignment: Preparation and submit answers to questions based on “current issues” lectures reading materials – to develop literature surveying skills and presentation skills. • Coursework assignment: An oral presentation to peers/the Lecturer (and question time) – to develop literature surveying skills and oral presentation skills of technical material. • Coursework assignment: preparation of formal proposal - to propose a research project which may result in the MSc • Project if a interested/willing academic supervisor is found. This may also give the opportunity to develop the area further into a PhD project after the MSc. • Lab assignments.

Supervised time in studio/workshop12
Completion of assessment task102
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

W. Bolton (1996). Experimental Methods. 

Jack P. Holman (2000). Experimental Methods for Engineers. 

W.D. Callister,. Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction. 


Assessment Strategy

General feedback will also be provided throughout the course, within lectures or communication via Blackboard, email and personal appointment with the module tutors.


Laboratory Assignment


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 30%
Coursework 30%
Coursework 30%
Literature Survey and oral presentation 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 30%
Coursework 40%
Coursework 30%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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