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The ideas behind the course

By the time you’ve finished this course you’ll have new skills in Engineering Mechanics - the practical science that engineers use when they design th
I’m Ganga Prusty. And I’m Robin Ford. We are passionate about engineering mechanics. We thought of a MOOC for a larger audience to share our passion. And there’s more than that Ganga. We want to introduce you to the world of the engineer. We want you to see the world through engineers’ eyes. Imagine you are a test pilot taking the new aeroplane down the runway for the first time. You’d want to know beforehand that it’s going to fly. Or, imagine you are going to build a bridge. You’d want to know before you built it that it’s going to stay up. When you design anything, how do you know that your design will work? You need engineering mechanics.
It starts with physics - forces, acceleration, equilibrium, gravity. That helps you understand the world. That’s classical mechanics. Engineers have developed their own version to change the world to help them design things. That’s engineering mechanics. But for engineers, it’s more than that. Engineering mechanics is built into their souls. It colours everything they see around them. Then they look at a bridge. They think of forces and bending moment. They think of stresses and strains. And when they see an aeroplane fly, they think of lift forces that defy gravity. And they imagine the kerosene fires in the gas turbines that produce the thrust to keep the plane aloft. They see the world through engineers’ eyes. And we would like you to join them.

This course and its companion course “Through Engineers’ Eyes: introducing the vision” will help to develop your skills in Engineering Mechanics – the practical science that engineers use when they design things. And you’ll see the world “Through Engineers’ Eyes”.

Engineering Mechanics (a branch of Engineering Science) is what engineers use to predict forces when they design for mechanical strength, motion, and power. It’s the sort of work that mechanical, civil, electrical and mechatronic engineers do.

How will all this happen?

This course builds on its companion “Through Engineers’ Eyes: introducing the vision”. They both have:

  • experiments to set the context,
  • analysis to provide a framework for understanding, and
  • design activities to show how engineers use this knowledge.

The companion course introduces the basic concepts of Engineering Statics:

  • How to manipulate forces as two-dimensional vectors
  • How to find forces in rigid bodies and systems of rigid bodies using equilibrium and Free Body Diagrams (planar – in two dimensions)

For this course we will assume that you have this background knowledge but there are many ways to gain it. For example, you might have studied similar material somewhere else.

Engineering mechanics must be able to represent the various loads an engineer might have to design for. This course looks at some of them: gravity (centre of gravity), friction, rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag, before finishing off with an introduction to dynamics – work/energy/power, impulse-momentum and projectile motion.

When creating this course we made sure that it is useful, reliable and authoritative., And we made just as sure that we included the bits that we find specially interesting, or fun – for example finding the range of an electric car, or the right ballast weight for a model paper glider.

Will you delight in Engineering Mechanics as we do? Watch the videos and find out.

Meet the team

We have a team of educators waiting to answer your questions and join your conversations. If this is your first UNSW Sydney course, take a moment now to visit our FutureLearn educator profiles using the links below and click the Follow button. That will make it easier for you to see our comments during the course. Gangadhara Prusty, Robin Ford and Amborish Banerjee

Let’s stay connected!

There will be plenty of opportunities to interact with other participants within the course, which we strongly encourage. In the meantime, please take a moment to introduce yourself (if you have not already done so) to your fellow learners in the discussion on the course welcome page.

You can also use the hashtag #FLengmech to follow and contribute to the discussions on social networks.

Need some help?

If this is your first time taking a FutureLearn course, you can visit How it Works for extra support. If you have further questions about how the site works, take a look at the FutureLearn help pages, or select the grey ‘support’ button at the bottom right corner of each page to ask for help.

Ready to start?

Well done, you’ve reached the end of this step. Now click the pink ‘Mark as complete’ button below, then click below this to move on to the next step, which will explain more about the flow of the course.

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

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