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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MECH5345M Fundamentals of Tribology

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Seunghwan Lee

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Undergraduate degree in Physical or Engineering Sciences

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Tribology is the study of Friction, Lubrication, and Wear. But more importantly it is the study of how engineering materials interact at the surface. The success of engineered systems will often depend on these interactions.


With a strong foundation delivered through in-person lectures and guest seminars the application of tribology and its current challenges will be introduced across the Mechanical, Medical (Biotribology), Automotive, and Aeronautical Engineering disciplines.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:
1. Analyse and evaluate the key concepts of tribology: Friction, lubrication, and wear
2. Develop an appreciation for how real surfaces interact in engineered systems
3. Apply engineering theory to a range of real problems (Hertzian analysis, characterisation of surfaces, laws of friction, wear mechanisms, lubrication regimes)
4. Evaluate tribological challenges across multiple engineering disciplines
5. Measure key tribological parameters in a lab setting.

Upon successful completion of this module the following Engineering Council Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP) learning outcome descriptors (fourth edition) are satisfied:

6. Apply a comprehensive knowledge of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles to the solution of complex problems. Much of the knowledge will be at the forefront of the particular subject of study and informed by a critical awareness of new developments and the wider context of engineering. (M1)
7. Formulate and analyse complex problems to reach substantiated conclusions. This will involve evaluating available data using first principles of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles, and using engineering judgment to work with information that may be uncertain or incomplete, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed. (M2)
8. Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed. (M3)
9. Evaluate the environmental and societal impact of solutions to complex problems (to include the entire life-cycle of a product or process) and minimise adverse impacts. (M7)

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills:
The ability to understand, interpret, analyse and manipulate numerical data.
The ability to gather information from a range of sources, analyse, and interpret data to aid understanding and anticipate problems.


- Introduction to Tribology
- Real Surfaces and Contact Mechanics
- Friction
- Wear and Fretting
- Lubrication
- Biotribology
- Automotive Tribology
- Aeronautical and Aerospace Tribology

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours10.00
Private study hours105.00
Total Contact hours35.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

2 x MCQ tests will be returned with feedback
Lab report assessed and returned with feedback
Monitoring of Minerva/Teams discussion board

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical ReportLaboratory40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Resit students do not have to retake the laboratory if they’ve already done this and will only need to submit a new analysis report.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S1)2 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:16:42


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