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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MECH5700M Aerospace Structures

15 creditsClass Size: 140

Module manager: Dr Hamed Yazdani Nezhad

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Bachelor degree in Science,
Engineering or equivalent.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module introduces to the students an understanding of aircraft loads and structures. It will provide fundamental techniques for design and analysis of aerospace structures. The module will develop students’ comprehension of how aerospace structures are designed and analysed using classical stress analysis techniques.


On completion of this module, students will 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
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes :

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 Engineering Council Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP) learning outcome descriptors (fourth edition) are satisfied:
7. 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)
8. 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)
9. Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed. (M3)

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:

Problem solving and analytical skills, Critical thinking


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

Methods of Assessment

We are currently refreshing our modules to make sure students have the best possible experience. Full assessment details for this module are not available before the start of the academic year, at which time details of the assessment(s) will be provided.

Assessment for this module will consist of;

1 x Coursework
1 x In-person closed book exam

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours117.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Throughout the course there will be a number of 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.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2024


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