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Through Engineers’ Eyes – final thoughts

This short video tells how we thought your engineers' eyes might have developed over the course. Does it seem that way to you?
GANGA: Well, that’s it. The course is nearly over.
ROBIN: We hope you’ve enjoying exploring engineering mechanics, discovering a way of thinking, and developing new skill. We’ve covered a lot of ground with our experiments, analysis, and design.
GANGA: In of course, we have highlighted the engineering mindset.
ROBIN: We assumed that you already had the basic engineering mechanics toolkit– that’s forces of vector and equilibrium.
GANGA: And free-body diagrams of course.
ROBIN: Of course, and you learned how to use them to find unknown forces in rigid bodies and systems of rigid bodies.
GANGA: But where did the loads on these bodies come from?
ROBIN: We didn’t really say.
GANGA: So, to start this course, we looked at the different types of loads we might want to include on our free-body diagrams.
ROBIN: In week one it was gravity– weight and where it acts. We found the centre of gravity. It’s another application of moments.
GANGA: In week two it was friction. Sometimes we want less friction, sometimes we want more. We saw how a rough and ready theory is applied in practise.
ROBIN: In week three it was wind loads, and that introduced a beautiful equation. We applied the analysis to vehicles.
GANGA: To maintain steady motion of a vehicle, we must overcome drag from our three sources– hill climbing–
ROBIN: That’s gravity.
GANGA: Rolling resistance–
ROBIN: That’s friction.
GANGA: And air resistance.
ROBIN: That’s wind. And we saw how to find the power that a vehicle needs for a specified performance. For that, we needed to know about work, energy and power.
GANGA: In week 4 we started looking at dynamics, accelerations, but mostly that will be for another time.
ROBIN: Now, whatever you choose to do in future, you will have begun to have seen the world through engineers’ eyes.
GANGA: Maybe you have been changed forever.

Congratulations on reaching the end of the course!

The concept wheel shows how the last four weeks fit together. The final short video reviews these weeks. The chances are that you have developed engineers’ eyes.

This is a wrap up week.

Concept wheel highlighting Week 4: Predicting Projectile Motion, Understanding Collisions, Introducing Dynamics (Accelerations) Week 4 concept wheel (Click to expand)

In the experiment for this final week, accelerations were present. So we needed Newton’s second law – the heart of Dynamics – and we needed to understand motion. There’s so much more, but we have come to the end of our course, so deeper study will have to wait.

So, we have seen how to represent loads from gravity, friction, and wind. And although it was brief, we have made a start on dynamics. In fact, you can apply what we have learnt about loads to Dynamics too.

We learnt practical skills in engineering mechanics, and along the way our vision expanded to take in more of the engineering world view.

We hope that you have enjoyed learning about Engineering Mechanics through experiment, analysis and design, and that you are getting used to your ‘engineers’ eyes’.

We’ve enjoyed following your discussions and other contributions. Now we would like your overall impressions of the course in the comments section.

If this course has inspired you to consider further academic study in the field of Mechanical Engineering check out the UNSW Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering website for more details.

We wish you all the very best.

Ganga Prusty and Robin Ford

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

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