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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?
GANGADHARA PRUSTY: Well, that’s it. The course is nearly over.
ROBIN FORD: We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring engineering mechanics, discovering a way of thinking and developing new skills. We’ve covered a lot of ground with our experiments, analysis, and design.
GANGADHARA PRUSTY: And of course, we have highlighted the engineering mindset.
ROBIN FORD: In week one, we looked at what a load does to an elastic element. And we saw the difference between static and dynamic conditions.
GANGADHARA PRUSTY: In week two, we used the free body diagrams to reveal forces. We saw how forces add and checked it out with force transducers.
ROBIN FORD: And equilibrium appeared. The design task highlighted engineering responsibility.
GANGADHARA PRUSTY: In week three, we explored twisting effects.
ROBIN FORD: They introduce a new equilibrium equation.
GANGADHARA PRUSTY: We saw how to draw FBDs for rigid bodies, and use them with equilibrium to solve practical problems.
ROBIN FORD: It was a magic moment. Now, whatever you choose to do in future, you will have begun to see the world through engineers’ eyes.
GANGADHARA PRUSTY: Maybe you have been changed forever.

Congratulations on reaching the end of the course!

This has been the most important week of the course. You saw how to analyse rigid bodies that are ‘planar’ – that is, two-dimensional, flat. You can often solve three dimensional problems with two dimensional models – the design task demonstrated that.

Of course you needed to understand twisting effects. We used various terms – moments, couples and torque. You’ve probably got that sorted out by now.

FBDs are even more important with rigid bodies, and the interactions you must represent are more complicated. Luckily there are standard methods for this – ‘conventional interactions’.

And so, you used equilibrium to find forces in planar rigid bodies. This is the basic capability that this course offers. By calling upon Newton’s 3rd law you extended this capacity to ‘two dimensional statics of systems of rigid bodies’ – in your case a folding washing line.

That’s it. You can now find unknown forces in systems of two-dimensional rigid bodies. 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’.

If you did you might like to continue with the sequel Through Engineers’ Eyes: expanding the vision, where you can learn to find centres of gravity, understand friction, calculate aerodynamic drag and get insights into collisions.

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.

Gangadhara Prusty and Robin Ford

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

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