• University of New South Wales

Through Engineers' Eyes - Introducing the Vision: Engineering Mechanics by Experiment, Analysis and Design

Learn the basic techniques of engineering mechanics and use them to interpret experiments and make designs that will work.

803 enrolled on this course

Through Engineers' Eyes: an engineering mechanics experiment
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

When you design anything, how do you know that the design will work?

Engineering mechanics is the science-based analysis that engineers use to predict how their designs will perform. It is vital to ensure engineers can meet their responsibilities for performance and safety.

In this course and its companion course Through Engineers’ Eyes: Expanding the Vision, you will learn analytical skills, use them to understand experiments and apply them in design. Through experiments, analysis videos, paper and pencil tutorials and adaptive tutorials, you will experience living in the engineer’s world.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Before the first rivet was hammered, they knew that this bridge could take the load. Well before the very first takeoff run, they knew that this aircraft would fly. When you design anything, how do you know beforehand that it will work? Livelihoods depend on it. Lives do too. It’s an awesome responsibility. To meet it, you need to look at the world through engineers’ eyes. And to get engineers’ eyes, you need engineering mechanics. Engineering mechanics starts with physics– forces, equilibrium, acceleration, gravity. This helps you to understand the world. That’s Classical Mechanics. Engineers developed their own version to help them change the world, to help them design. That’s Engineering Mechanics. But for engineers, it’s more than that.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 seconds Engineering Mechanics is built into their souls. It colours everything they see around them. When they look at the bridge, they think forces and bending motion. They feel stresses and strains. When they see an aeroplane fly, they visualise the lift forces that defy gravity. With just a little mathematics, in this course you’ll learn some basic engineering mechanics. You’ll learn by experiments, analysis, and design. And you’ll start to see the world through engineers’ eyes. But be prepared. Once you’ve opened your engineers’ eyes, there’s no going back. Get ready for a life-changing experience.

What topics will you cover?

  • Week 1: The nature of loads, springs and other elastic behaviour, static and dynamic loads
  • Week 2: Force as a vector, Free Body Diagrams, Equilibrium of forces that act at a point
  • Week 3: Twisting effect of a force, Couples, Torque
  • Week 4: Equilibrium of two-dimensional rigid bodies and systems of rigid bodies

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe how to manipulate forces as vectors
  • Apply techniques and skills in using free-body diagrams and equilibrium to analyse and predict forces;
  • Explore how engineering mechanics is used in design
  • Describe and calculate the twisting effect of a force

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in engineering mechanics. Learners will need to have basic mathematical skills and access to a scientific calculator.

Who will you learn with?

Gangadhara is a Professor in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at UNSW Australia and has received multiple teaching excellence awards, including Australian Awards for Teaching.

I am a retired Associate Professor from the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing, UNSW Australia and hold several teaching awards. I like to look for new ways of presenting Engineering Mechanics.

Who developed the course?

UNSW Sydney

Established in 1949 with a unique focus on the scientific, technological and professional disciplines, UNSW is a leading Australian university committed to making a difference

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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