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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MECH5700M Aerospace Structures

15 creditsClass Size: 140

Module manager: Dr Greg de Boer

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successfully completed 3 years of an MEng degree within the School of Mechanical Engineering or alternatively should have been awarded at least a BEng Honours 2:1 degree with an average mark of 60%.


MECH1010Computers in Engineering Analysis
MECH1230Solid Mechanics
MECH1520Engineering Mathematics
MECH2610Engineering Mechanics
MECH3900Finite Element Methods of Analysis

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
Understand the uniqueness of aerospace structures and develop the theoretical basis of aerospace structural analysis as well as solving real-world aircraft structural problems.

Learning outcomes
After successfully completing this course, student will be able to:
1. Understand energy-method solutions for structural problems.
2. Analyse stiffened panels and tension field beams;
3. Understand the principles of stressed skin construction as applied to aerospace structures;
4. Carry out analysis to determine bending, shear and torsion of open and closed thin walled aerospace structures;
5. Carry out stress analysis of aerospace structures;
6. Determine and analyse the effects of structural constraints on aerospace structures.

Upon successful completion of this module the following UK-SPEC learning outcome descriptors are satisfied:

A comprehensive understanding of the relevant scientific principles of the specialisation (SM1m, SM7M)
Knowledge and understanding of mathematical and statistical methods necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline and to enable them to apply a range of mathematical and statistical methods, tools and notations proficiently and critically in the analysis and solution of engineering problems (SM2m)
A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of mathematical and computational models relevant to the engineering discipline, and an appreciation of their limitations (SM5m)
A critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights most of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the specialisation (SM8M)
Understanding of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to undertake critical analysis of key engineering processes (EA1m)
Ability to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques (EA2)
Ability both to apply appropriate engineering analysis methods for solving complex problems in engineering and to assess their limitations (EA6M)
Apply their skills in problem solving, communication, information retrieval, working with others and the effective use of general IT facilities [G1]

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module students will have acquired the following skills: analytical, problem solving, mathematical derivations and solutions.


1. Revision of Elasticity and St Venant's Principle, torsion of solid sections
2. Energy methods, strain & potential energy, principle of virtual work, deflection problems (determinate and indeterminate).
3. Principles of stressed skin construction, materials, loads on structural components, function of components, fabrication methods.
4. Bending of open and closed sections, approximations for thin walls.
5. Shear of open section beams, shear centre, closed sections, twist and warping.
6. Torsion of closed and opened thin walled beams, warping.
7. Analysis of combined open and closed beam sections.
8. Structural idealisation, bending, shear flow, torsion, warping.
9. Deflection of open and closed beams.
10. Stress analysis of aircraft components, tapered beams, opened and closed beams, variable stringer area, fuselages, wings, frames, cut-outs.
11. Structural constraints, stress distribution, thin walled, torsion, shear lag, closed and opened sections

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Class tests, exams and assessment150.0050.00
Private study hours65.00
Total Contact hours85.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students are to spend on average 0.5 hours preparation/revision for each lecture (17 hours total), approximately 50 hours of work for the one piece of coursework, 48 hours for the exam preparation and 2 hours to do the exam.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Throughout the course there will be number tutorial classes within the lectures, together with one piece of coursework mid-course to guarantee appropriate feedback before the end of course. Formative feedback will be provided for all work.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

1) Coursework marks carried forward and 70% resit exam OR 2) 100% exam

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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