Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module ENGI44320: Applied Mechanics 4

Department: Engineering

ENGI44320: Applied Mechanics 4

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap None.
Tied to H1KA09


  • As specified in programme regulations


  • As specified in programme regulations

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • As specified in programme regulations


  • This module is designed solely for students studying Department of Engineering degree programmes.
  • The module will provide graduates with advanced knowledge and understanding of computational stress analysis, plates and shells, contact and friction, and of methods of application to modern complex structural analysis.
  • Become familiar with using plates and shells, plasticity, and contact and friction in advanced computational mechanics software.


  • Fundamentals of total Lagrangian finite deformation mechanics
  • Fundamentals of elasto-plasticity theory
  • Integration of elasto-plastic constitutive models
  • Newton-Raphson scheme for non-linear Finite Element Analysis.
  • Theory of plate bending
  • Membrane response and bulking of plates
  • Finite-element implementation of plates
  • Shell theory
  • Analytical solutions for contact
  • Numerical solution of contact problems
  • Elastic frictionless and frictional contact

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An appreciation of the limitations on linear finite-element analysis and an understanding of the consequences of including geometric and material non-linearity.
  • An understanding of the fundamental components of finite deformation mechanics and elasto-plasticity.
  • An understanding of the fundamental concepts of contact analysis and the critical ability to select an appropriate numerical tool to tackle a specific contact problem.
  • An understanding of major plate and shell formulations and appreciation of their implementation within the finite element modelling framework.
  • An appreciation of the techniques used in, and structure the of, non-linear finite-element analysis software.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An awareness of current technology, analysis methods and industrial practices along with the ability to apply those methods in novel situations.
  • To use effectively specialised, advanced computational tools for the analysis of problems in solid mechanics.
  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of specialised and advanced technical and professional skills, an ability to perform critical assessment and review and an ability to communicate the results of their own work effectively.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • Highly specialised numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Highly specialised use of information technology (IT) relevant to the engineering profession.
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of advanced engineering concepts.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The courses material and geometric non-linearity, plates and shells and contact and friction are covered in lectures, and are reinforced by problem sheets, worked examples and short MATLAB scripts, leading to the required problem solving capability.
  • Students are able to make use of staff 'Tutorial Hours' to discuss any aspect of the module with teaching staff on a one-to-one basis. These are sign up sessions available for up to one hour per week per lecture course.
  • A single examination covers all of the lecture material. Written timed examinations are appropriate because of the wide range of analytical, in-depth material covered in this module and to demonstrate the ability to solve advanced problems independently.
  • The written examinations are supplemented by a written commercial finite-element software based coursework assignment based upon computational work. This written assignment provides the mechanism for the assessment of a student's ability to perform independent investigation, analysis and reporting.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Material and Geometric non-linearity lectures 11 Typically 1 per week, first term 1 Hour 11
Plates and Shells lectures 11 Typically 1 per week, first term 1 Hour 11
Contact and friction lectures 10 Typically 1 per week, second term 1 Hour 10
Tutorial Hours As required Weekly sign-up sessions Up to 1 Hour 8
Preparation and Reading 160
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Applied Mechanics 4 3 hours 100% Yes
Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Computational Mechanics Coursework 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University