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Engineering CPD courses

Based on our experience delivering industry-based MSc programmes, our range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules combine theoretical and applied technical training and are delivered at the National Structural Integrity Research Centre, our dedicated post-graduate research facility near Cambridge.

Frequently asked questions: 

What is flexible learning and can it lead to a qualification?

We understand the changing learning environment and the need for flexible modes of study to support your career development, by providing a route to undertake credit bearing (post-graduate) training to support Chartership applications, or progression onto a higher award. Our CPD modules are taken from three industry-based MSc programmes, delivered at the National Structural Integrity Centre (NSIRC); a joint industry initiative with TWI.

If you are interested in accumulating credit to progress onto a Post-graduate Certificate (PgCert), or a higher qualification, such as a Post graduate diploma (PgDip), or Master of Science (MSc) degree, please contact us for further information. 

For details regarding the content of the modules, please see the 'Find the right CPPD module for you' section on this page.

How are these modules taught?

Taught in condensed blocks of one / two week duration at our dedicated teaching facility (NSIRC, Granta Park, CB21 6AL), each module consists 30-35 contact hours. The range of activities depends upon the module, but will involve a combination of lectures, case studies, computational / experimental lab sessions and tutorials. Assignments are provided at the end of each module and designed to be completed within four weeks. Examinations will coincide with the University examination periods, typically January and May.

Whilst face-to-face teaching is our preferred method of delivery, there may be opportunities to support duel / hybrid delivery. Please get in contact to discuss your individual requirements and to confirm the timings for each module.  

How much do these modules cost?

Fees for EU applicants – For entry in 2022/23 academic year, eligible EU applicants will have the same tuition fees as UK students to continue our support during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.

A fee will be charged for each module of study.

The cost of the fee will depend on the size of the module (10 credits, 15 credits, 20 credits or 30 credits).

Please refer to the Fees for Associate module students for the latest fees.

If you choose to apply we will confirm the fee to you when we make you an offer and you will be invoiced for the fee once you enrol.

What are the entry requirements?

A minimum of a UK 2:2 Honours degree (or equivalent internationally recognised qualification) in mathematics, physics, or an engineering related discipline. Academic requirements may also be offset with relevant work experience. Your application will be reviewed by the relevant module lead who may contact you to discuss further.

English language requirements: Whilst there is no formal English language entry criteria, because these modules are taught and assessed in English applicants should have be able to communicate fully in English to the standard of GCSE grade C (IELTS 6.5 with 6 in all skills).

How do I apply?

To apply, click the apply now button on this page. After submitting your application, please complete the Module Choice Form to select the modules you're interested in and upload it to the your my applications portal. Once we have received your module choice information, we will assess your application and contact you by email with the outcome.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

If you would like further information about any of the modules, assessment, accumulating credit for a higher award, or the application process, please contact our NSIRC Enquiries team via NSIRC@brunel.ac.uk.  

 

Find the right CPD module for you: 

Fatique and Fracture Mechanics

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE / H100PSTINARM
Module code: ME5600
Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: November/December
Credits: 15
Assessment: Examination (60%), Charpy Test Report (20%), Fatigue Test Report (20%)
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc
  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc

Module details:
This module provides fundamental knowledge and training to support Engineers responsible for making decision regarding the structural integrity of equipment containing flaws.

Delegates will gain a better knowledge and understanding of fracture mechanics of metallic materials, providing the necessary background to analyse cracked and un-cracked structures. 

The module will cover analytical aspects of the main parameters including primary and secondary stresses, local and global collapse, fracture mechanics (Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics and Elastic-Plastic Fracture Mechanics using the J-Integral, CTOD, etc) and fatigue analysis. 

Details of standard tests for fatigue and fracture toughness will be demonstrated through practical hands-on lab sessions, in addition to computer lab sessions using finite element analysis.

Indicative content:
Historical failure cases; failure of materials; yielding, local and global collapse; stress intensity factor; mode of fractures; Primary and secondary stresses; Linear elastic and elastic-plastic fracture mechanics; J integral, CTOD; Material testing against fracture; Fatigue and design against fatigue; creep.

Metallurgy and Materials

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE /H100PSTINARM
Module code: ME5601
Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: November
Credits: 15
Assessment: Assignment (60%), Examination (40%)
Full course:  A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc
  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc

Module details:
To develop an understanding of metallurgy and materials science for material classes commonly used in engineering applications: structural and low-alloy steels, corrosion resistant alloys, alloys for high temperature service, light-weight structural materials (Ti-based alloys, Al-based alloys, composites) and polymers.

The module will focus on production routes such as welding and joining, standard tests for evaluation of material properties, covering hardness, corrosion, wear, microstructure, composition and degradation mechanisms (environmentally assisted cracking, creep, high temperature oxidation, corrosion and wear). 

The training providing in this module will help delegates better understand the failure of structures and support materials selection for engineering applications.

NDT Inspection Methodology

Course code: H100PSTINARM
Module code: ME5602
Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: March
Credits: 15
Assessment: Assignment (70%), Practical UT Exam (10%), Exam (20%)
Full course:  A module from

  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc

Module details:
Delivered through TWI Training and Examination Services, this module provides the theoretical knowledge covering the basic principles of major conventional NDT methods:

  • Visual Testing (VT)
  • Penetrant Testing Theory (PT)
  • Magnetic Particle Testing Theory (MT)
  • Ultrasonic Testing (UT), including Phased Array (PAUT)
  • Radiographic Testing

Delivery blends self-guided e-learning and face-to-face sessions, including practical “hands-on” sessions using conventional NDT methods.  You will also have access to an 8m pipe loop demonstrator to experience in “in-field” UT measurements on machined defect maps. 

The module also covers the principles of planning an inspection strategy to allow you to identify and evaluate the correct inspection methods for a specific task, to ensure it meets inspection requirements (outlined in international standards) and provide relevant input into an engineering assessment.

After successful completion, TWI will issue a certificate of attendance (NDT Appreciation Course), which can be claimed against CPD points required for any professional recognition.  There is further opportunity to work towards CSWIP Level 2 Inspector Certificate for Liquid Penetrant Testing (PT) and/or Magnetic Particles Testing (MT).  

Reliability Engineering 

Course code: H100PSTINARM
Module code: ME5605
Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: February
Credits: 15
Assessment: 
Assignment (50%), Examination (50%)
Full course:  A module from

  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc

Module details:
This module provides a comprehensive understanding of the main mathematical and numerical aspects for assessing and quantifying the reliability of individual components and structures. 

Through topics including the rules of probability, continuous and discrete distribution functions, fitting continuous distribution functions to discrete data and load-strength interference, this will allow Structural Integrity engineers to consolidate and apply these techniques to the analysis of individual components and systems composed of two or more components.

Indicative content: 
Bayes’ Theorem; Probability tree analysis; Reliability of items; Weibull analysis; Continuous and discrete probability distributions; Parameter estimation; Reliability of systems; Reliability block diagrams; Markov analysis; Reliability of structures; Monto Carlo Simulation.

Structural Health Monitoring

Course code: H100PSTINARM
Module code: ME5611
Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: March
Credits: 15
Assessment: 
Assignment (100%)
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc
  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc
  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
All structures deteriorate as they age, which if left unchecked, could result in catastrophic failure.  Non-destructive testing (NDT) can be used to monitor known defects, but how do you know where / when to inspect? 

Structural health monitoring (SHM) involves using sensors attached to a structure to provide real-time data on its condition, allowing structural integrity engineers to observe changes in structural health caused by new defects or deterioration of existing flaws.

This module will discuss the design and implementation of structural health monitoring systems, the types of damage and the levels of detection using in-service monitoring technologies. 

Focusing on damage detection using vibration data, the techniques for processing signals will be presented (time and frequency domain), together with correlation techniques for damage location and identification (operational modal analysis). 

Finally, uncertainty quantification of data (robustness) will be covered to inform decisions on maintenance and safe operation.

Indicative content:

  • Health Monitoring Systems – design of structural health monitoring systems;
  • Types of damage, levels of detection;
  • In – service monitoring technologies;
  • Ageing structures problems;
  • Emerging smart technologies;
  • Damage Detection using Vibration Data;
  • Model based detection, model updating techniques;
  • Modal environmental effects;
  • Correlation techniques for damage location and identification using output only measurements (operational modal analysis);
  • Damage Detection Using Stress and Ultrasonic Waves.
  • Signal Processing for Damage Detection;
  • Time-frequency analysis (wavelet) analysis;
  • Uncertainty Quantification computational tools and applications.

Structural Materials

Course code: H850POILGA
Module code: ME5621
Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: November/December
Credits: 15
Assessment: Examination (60%), FractureTesting Report (20%), Fatigue Testing Report (20%)
Full course: A module from

  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
This module aims to provide an understanding of failure of materials and structures used in offshore application and includes topics such as: fracture mechanics and fatigue for pipelines; offshore and onshore structures;  selection and testing of materials; degradation due to service conditions; corrosion and corrosion protection; fail-safety and damage tolerance.  Laboratories sessions are included to cover material testing aspects.

  • To provide an understanding of material behaviour under various service and environmental conditions.
  • To equip delegates with a theoretical and working knowledge of fatigue; linear fracture mechanics and damage accumulation. 

Indicative content:
Plane elasticity; Fracture energy criterion and Griffith balance equation; The stress intensity approach; Stress analysis of cracks; The J- Contour integral; Ductile fracture, cyclic loading and fatigue; Low and high cycle fatigue; Damage accumulation due to fatigue at various stress levels.

Structural Integrity and FEA

Course code: H850POILGA
Module code: ME5622
Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: November
Credits: 15
Assessment: Assignment (40%), Examination (60%)
Full course: A module from

  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details: 
The module aims to provide knowledge of structural analysis methods including error assessment, defect assessment, failure criteria relevant to pipelines, floating and fixed steel structures.

At the core of the module is the development of key skills in finite element analysis of structures. The module includes lectures and practical computer sessions to cover fundamental topics and a selection of applications in structural and finite element analysis.

  • Provide advanced theoretical knowledge in Finite Element Analysis and Structural Design.
  • Equip delegates with the knowledge on some useful applications of Structural Design and FEA to Oil and Gas relevant structures
  • Provide skill in use of a contemporary CAE package for structural and component design, including finite element analysis (FEA)

Multiphase flow fundamentals and Flow Assurance

Course code: H850POILGA
Module code: ME5623

Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: January
Credits: 15
Assessment: Assignment (100%)
Full course: A module from

  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
This module introduces the fundamentals of multiphase flows and issues related to flow assurance of hydrocarbon mixtures by introducing theory and predictive models for pressure drop, transition between flow patterns and heat transfer in two phase flows.

Indicative content:

1. Introductory concepts and flow patterns

Covers two and three phase flows and applications involving gas, oil, water and particle (sand) transport:

  • Applications and appearance of two-phase flows
  • Definitions
  • Flow pattern maps, gas-liquid, liquid-liquid and gas-oil-water
  • Effects of parameters such as fluid properties, pipe diameter and inclination on flow patterns

2. Models for predicting two-phase flows

Covers the various modelling approaches for predicting pressure drop, including:

  • Equations for pressure drop
  • Homogeneous flow model
  • Empirical and phenomenological models

3. Flow pattern transitions and slugging

Transitions between the different patterns will be discussed and predictive models presented:

  • Stratified-non-stratified flow transitions
  • Transition to annular flow
  • Transition to dispersed flow
  • Phase inversion in liquid-liquid flows

3. Rheology of oil-water dispersions

Discussion on the rheological properties of two-phase mixtures, particularly liquid-liquid ones:

  • Viscosity models for gas-liquid flows
  • Viscosity models for liquid-liquid flows

4. Heat transfer in two-phase systems

Covers techniques to predict heat transfer rates in two-phase flow systems, including:

  • Convection during two-phase flow
  • Flow freezing and boiling
  • Applications to sub-sea pipeline operations

5. Topics in flow assurance

  • Overview of flow assurance.
  • Fouling – waxing, hydrates, asphaltenes.
  • Operations – normal and off-design operations: start-up, shut-in etc.
  • General safety issues 

Finite Element Analysis: Numberical Modelling of Solids and Structures

Course code: H100PSTINARM
Module code: ME5624
Module mode of attendance: full-time
Start date: November
Credits: 15
Assessment: Assignment (60%), Examination (40%)
Full course: A module from

  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc

Module details:
This module is accredited by meeting core finite element competencies of the NAFEMS Professional Simulation Engineer Scheme.​

Finite Element Analysis is a widely used and industry standard technique to simulate complex, real-world engineering problems.  With an appropriate mathematical model representative of the engineering physics, FEA provides structural insight into the load path, identification of design faults, reducing the need for physical prototypes, as well as the potential for design optimisation, or investigate “what if” design changes virtually.  However, for those new to FEA, the learning curve is steep, not only in developing the model, but also in post-processing results.

This module provides an understanding of the inner workings of the finite element method through introducing key numerical and mathematical aspects.  Knowledge and training to solve day-to-day structural mechanics problems will be demonstrated through progressive examples using commercial analysis codes. 

The lessons learned relate to good finite element practice and are code independent to help avoid common numerical and modelling user errors, many of which stem from a “blackbox” approach to this technique.

Indicative content:

  • Background, history, applicability to different physics problems;
  • Illustration of direct stiffness method based on 2 dimensional beam elements;
  • Principle of Minimum Potential Energy;
  • Development of stiffness and mass matrices for a 2-dimensional membrane element;
  • Isoparametric 1,2 and 3D elements;
  • Numerical integration;
  • Problems and errors associated with applying FEM to the solution of actual problems;
  • Practical aspects of FE modelling:  1-2-3 dimensional meshing;
  • Geometric modelling of simple components;
  • Importing of geometric models from other software;
  • Simulation of different types of loads and boundary conditions for different types of analyses;
  • Mesh generation (quality) and selection techniques;
  • Application of commercial codes for linear / nonlinear structural analysis;
  • Advanced post-processing and interpretation of results.

Codes and Standards in Structural Integrity

Course code: H100PSTINARM
Module code: ME5628
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: March
Credits15
Assessment: Assignment (100%)
Full course: A module from

  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc

Module details:
To develop industry ready Structural Integrity engineers responsible for operational safety decisions for components containing defects, this module covers design codes, standards associated with welding and weld quality, together with standards for carrying out structural integrity assessments.  These latter standards (principally BS 7910 and API 579) are expanded upon and the principles of fitness-for-service assessment are described through numerous case studies.

Taught by TWI specialists, the module provides an opportunity to undertake a range of assessments using commercial software tools developed by TWI:

  • CrackWISE® fitness-for-service (FFS) software

Evaluate the integrity of pipelines, pressure equipment and structures containing flaws in line with BS 7910.

  • IntegriWISE™ API 579 fitness-for-service software

Evaluate the integrity of ageing pipework, pipelines, storage tanks, boilers, pressure vessels and high temperature equipment through a fitness-for-service (FFS) assessment (i.e. automates Level 1 and 2 FFS assessments from API 579 / ASME FFS-1).

Indicative content:
Introduction to BS7910, API 579-1 and relevant codes and standards for design and welding quality; Failure Assessment Diagram; Fracture assessment procedure Option 1, and 2 analysis; Fatigue assessment procedures; fracture mechanics based calculations of fatigue crack growth; Assessment of non-planar flaws.

Petroleum Production Fundamentals

Course code: H850POILGA
Module code: ME5634

Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: February
Credits15
Assessment: Group Assignment – poster and oral presentation (30%), Examination (70%)
Full course: A module from

  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
The module aims at developing knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of how hydrocarbons are extracted, production processes, fundamental geoscience/physics, reservoir fluids, flows in porous media, the relationship between properties of hydrocarbons to process and temperature and the effects of process equipment to those. The module includes contemporary issues including shale oil and gas and fracking. The aims of the module are: 

  • Develop critical understanding of the identification and assessment of petroleum and gas reserves
  • Develop knowledge in petroleum extraction and production processes
  • Develop skills in critically assessing practical and sustainability issues associated with traditional and new methods of petroleum and gas extraction and production. 

Dynamics of Petroleum Structures

Course code: H850POILGA
Module code: ME5635

Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: Feburary
Credits15
Assessment: Assignment (50%), Examination (50%)
Full course: A module from

  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
This module aims at the development of knowledge, understanding and skills for the prediction and analysis of the dynamic response of onshore and offshore structures under external dynamic loading conditions such as wave and wind forces, providing delegates with the following training: 

  • To enhance perception on the dynamic behaviour of deformable bodies and introduce the concepts of vibration theory and wave motion
  • To introduce the principles of the dynamic response of offshore and onshore structures under the influence of dynamic excitation such as wave, wind and earthquake loading
  • To introduce computational methods for the dynamic analysis of structures
  • To introduce the concept of vibration mitigation methods for petroleum structures 

Design and Construction of Installation

Course code: H850POILGA
Module code: ME5636

Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: March
Credits15
Assessment: Group Assignment (50%), Examination (50%)
Full course: A module from

  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
The module includes the engineering aspects of onshore, pipelines and offshore structures including geotechnical and structural engineering approaches, codes of practise and standards for construction to prevent failure.   Additional topics include engineering project management techniques, investment appraisal, testing and commissioning.

Aims:

  • To develop understanding of how infrastructure is designed and built, with a focus on oil and gas facilities;
  • To develop knowledge of the design and construction process; 
  • To develop critical understanding of project planning and construction of oil & gas infrastructure; 
  • To develop skills in critically assessing Health & Safety and sustainability issues associated with design & construction.

 Indicative Content: 

  • Types of oil & gas infrastructure (onshore and offshore) e.g. fixed, spar, jack-up, tension, moored, floating;
  • Design standards & codes; Quality control;
  • Environmental impact assessment;
  • Construction risks;
  • Contractor selection;
  • Site preparation; Temporary works; Foundations and other geotechnical structures;
  • Mooring structures; Platforms; Pipelines; Testing and commissioning. 

Reliability Engineering and Risk Management

Course code: H850POILGA
Module code: ME5637
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: February
Credits15
Assessment: Assignment (50%), Examination (50%)
Full course: A module from

  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
This module provides a comprehensive understanding of the main mathematical and numerical aspects for assessing and quantifying the reliability of individual components and structures, through the following aims: 

  • Develop critical understanding of sources of risk in oil & gas production facilities, in particular reliability and Health & Safety
  • Develop knowledge of risk mitigation by reliability engineering and risk management
  • Develop skills in critically assessing qualitative and quantitative approaches to risk management and mitigation in oil & gas production, including advanced techniques in reliability engineering and an ability to apply them to structural analysis and safety of existing and proposed systems.

Indicative Content:

  • Risk Analysis Theory;
  • Hazard identification;
  • Risk management strategies and standards;
  • Reliability engineering as part of risk management and design process; Bayes’ Theorem;
  • Probability tree analysis;
  • Reliability of items;
  • Weibull analysis;
  • Continuous and discrete probability distributions;
  • Parameter estimation;
  • Reliability of systems;
  • Reliability Block Diagrams;
  • Markov Analysis;
  • Reliability of Structures;
  • Monto Carlo Simulation.

Applied Engineering Mathematics

Course code: H850POILGA
Module code: ME5639

Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: October
Credits15
Assessment: Assignment (100%)
Full course: A module from

  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
This module will extend the mathematical background of students and provide underpinning mathematical concepts for all other modules in terms of advanced numerical methods for solving differential equations along with the use of advanced linear algebra operations in an appropriate software environment. The module content and teaching of those techniques and methodologies will be in the context of Oil and Gas engineering and will be based on relevant physical examples.

Indicative Content:

Linear algebra
Computer based solution of systems of algebraic equations obtained from engineering problems, matrix theory, Gaussian elimination, solution of non-linear algebraic equations for eigenvalues and eigenvectors.

Paid differential equations and numerical methods
Discretisation of differential equations; outline treatment of classical methods of solution of partial differential equations (for example: separation of variables, Laplace transforms, Fourier transforms, wavelet transforms, Green’s function). The Poisson equation in 1D and 2D, the Galerkin finite element method and finite difference methods.

Introduction to programming for engineeers
Will introduce an appropriate generic programming language and outline the use of open source Finite Element codes and numerical libraries. The students will thus be exposed to the practical computer implementation of numerical techniques and by doing so acquire an understanding of how commercial codes function and allow them to develop their modelling skills. 

Stress Analysis

Course code: H100PSTINARM
Module code: ME5640
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: September
Credits15
Assessment: Assignment (40%), Examination (60%)
Full course: A module from

  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc

Module details:
This module reviews key topics in stress analysis and underpins the analysis of material and structural failure developed in subsequent modules for metallic and composite materials as part of the Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc.  The first section provides a thorough understanding in stress analysis with emphasis on statically determinate and indeterminate structures under axial, bending and torsion loads, the relationship between material properties and constitutive laws and implications of failure criteria.

The second section introduces the role of composite materials in engineering design, whereby mechanical properties can be tailored to meet performance targets and includes a review of standard lamination theory for prediction of stiffness, strength and failure.

Indicative Content:

  • Material response, definition of stress / strain, plane stress / plane strain transformations;
  • Analysis and design implications of statically determinate and indeterminate structures;
  • Response of structures under axial, bending and torsional loads; Review of failure criteria for ductile and brittle materials;
  • Energy methods of structural analysis; State of the art of high performance composites materials technology, key characteristics / properties, fabrication methods and manufacturing; 
  • Elasticity of long and short-fibre composites, equivalent elastic properties and stress-strain relationships;
  • Lamination theory for prediction of stiffness, strength and failure.

Composite Materials and Structures

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE
Module code: 
ME5644
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: October
Credits15
Assessment: Assignment (100%)
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc

Module details:
Composite materials are routinely used in the development of lightweight engineering structures as they can be developed with tailored mechanical properties to meet specific performance targets. 

Consequently, the module provides a synthesis of the principles of composite and high-performance materials design and selection under linear and non-linear dynamic loading, including the evaluation of those materials in impact and energy absorbing structures.  The module also includes an introduction to damage mechanics, fatigue and fracture/failure modelling in advanced CAE tools, together with practical issues related to numerical modelling. 

Indicative content: 

  • Introduction to composite materials:   key characteristics / properties, fabrication methods and manufacturing; 
  • Elasticity of long and short-fibre composites, equivalent elastic properties and stress-strain relationships;
  • Lamination theory for prediction of stiffness, strength and failure; 
  • Interlaminar / thermal residual stresses as a consequence of complex material structure; 
  • Introduction to strength/stiffness optimisation; 
  • Design case studies: optimum lay up for buckling, bonded joints, crash energy absorption; 
  • Introduction to damage mechanics and damage modelling, principles of fatigue and failure; 
  • Static and dynamic material characterisation methods: strain gauges and non-destructive testing methods for composites;
  • Finite Element Modelling, including static and dynamic examples using commercial FE codes;
  • Simulation of composite damage and failure at different loading rates: low to high and hyper velocity impact.

Thin-Walled Structures

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE
Module code:
ME5645
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: March
Credits15
Assessment: Examination (100%)
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc

Module details:
Thin-walled structures are commonly used in the design of lightweight structures, allowing an engineer to minimise material cost, whilst at the same time, ensuring sufficient strength / stiffness in order for a component or structure to meet performance targets in automotive, aerospace, offshore and transportation sectors.  However, the buckling stability of such structures is often one of the key parameters driving the design.  This module provides fundamental knowledge and understanding of thin walled structures, subject to shear and torsional loads, covering:

  • A first principles approach to calculate stress, shear flows around open / closed sections, together with warping and warping restraint effects.
  • Buckling and post buckling collapse of thin walled structures.

Indicative Content:

  • Stress analysis of open / closed thin walled structures under shear and torsion loads;
  • Warping and warping restraint effects
  • Shear Lag;
  • Buckling of thin-walled structures: Columns, plates and shells.
  • Stable and unstable equilibrium – principle of minimum potential energy;
  • The Rayleigh-Ritz method and alternative methods for buckling analysis for columns / plates.
  • Elastic buckling, shear buckling of plates, torsional buckling, combined buckling;
  • Post-buckling behaviour of plates;
  • Buckling of stiffened plates;
  • Use of ESDU sheets for buckling analysis. 

Automotive Integral Vehicle Structures

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE
Module code:
ME5646
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: March
Credits15
Assessment: Examination (100%)
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc

Module details:
Thin-walled structures are commonly used in the design of lightweight structures, allowing an engineer to minimise material cost, whilst at the same time, ensuring sufficient strength / stiffness to meet performance targets.

To support the conceptual vehicle design process, the Simplified Structural Surfaces (SSS) approach can greatly simplify modern automotive integral structural design.

Based on the principles of Statics, this approach allows an engineer to identify load paths in a vehicle body-in-white (BIW) for integral cars, light truck and vans for different load cases. 

Using a first principle approach, you will learn how to identify and propose design solutions for load path faults and carry out preliminary component sizing through detail stressing. 

The training provided will enable you to take key structural design decisions before investment in further detailed design. 

 Indicative Content: 

  • Background and development of SSS method;
  • Vehicle load cases and load factors;
  • Overview of principle vehicle structural types;
  • Vehicle body load paths for major load cases using the Simple Structural Surfaces (SSS) approach;
  • Consideration of different vehicle types:  Bus, hatchback, estate and pick-up truck;
  • Stress analysis of thin walled structures under shear and torsion loads;
  • Warping and warping restraint effects;
  • Shear lag. 

Structural Mechanics Fundamentals 

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE
Module code:
ME5703
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: September
Credits15
Assessment: None, but can be arranged if needed for CPPD credits.
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc 

Module details:
This module reviews key topics in stress analysis and underpins the analysis of material and structural failure developed in subsequent modules for metallic and composite materials as part of the Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc.  The first section provides a thorough understanding in stress analysis with emphasis on statically determinate and indeterminate structures under axial, bending and torsion loads, the relationship between material properties and constitutive laws and implications of failure criteria.

Indicative Content:

  • Fundamental concepts of stress and strain, including Plane Stress and Plane Strain transformations;
  • Analysis and design implications of statically determinate and indeterminate structures;
  • Response of structures under axial, bending and torsional loads;
  • Section properties;
  • Energy methods of structural analysis;
  • Review of failure criteria for ductile and brittle materials.

Applied Continuum Mechanics 1 – Fundamentals

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE
Module code:
ME5704
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: January
Credits15
Assessment: Assignment (50%), Examination (50%)
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc

Module details:
The basic principles and mathematics of continuum mechanics is fundamental to modern engineering structural and solid mechanics analysis.  This module introduces these principles and mathematics along with their numerical implementation within the material models used in non-linear analysis computer code.  Topics include an introduction to tensor calculus, motion and deformation of continuum bodies, the concept of stress and the fundamental equations governing the motion of a continuum.  The second part discusses the use of this fundamental knowledge within engineering analysis computer codes and the numerical implementation of constitutive laws.

Indicative Content:

  • The fundamental rules and standard results of the tensor algebra used in continuum mechanics;
  • Gradients and related operators for vector and tensor functions;
  • Motion of continuum bodies, measures of deformation and strain;
  • Concept of stress in the current configuration; Stress in reference and intermediate configurations;
  • Conservation of mass, momentum balance, energy balance;
  • Computational continuum elasticity and plasticity;
  • Numerical implementation of constitutive relations within structural and solid mechanics computer codes.

Applied Continuum Mechanics 2 – FEA

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE
Module code:
ME5705
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: November
Credits15
Assessment: Assignment (50%), Examination (50%)
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc
  • Structural Integrity (Asset Reliability Management) MSc
  • Oil and Gas Engineering MSc

Module details:
Finite Element Analysis is a widely used and industry standard technique to simulate complex, real-world engineering problems.  With an appropriate mathematical model representative of the engineering physics, FEA provides structural insight into the load path, identification of design faults, reducing the need for physical prototypes, as well as the potential for design optimisation, or investigate “what if” design changes virtually.  However, for those new to FEA, the learning curve is steep, not only in developing the model, but also in post-processing results. 

This module provides an understanding of the inner workings of the finite element method through introducing key numerical and mathematical aspects. Knowledge and training to solve day-to-day structural mechanics problems will be demonstrated through progressive examples using commercial analysis codes. The lessons learned relate to good finite element practice and are code independent to help avoid common numerical and modelling user errors, many of which stem from a “blackbox” approach to this technique. 

Indicative Content: 

  • Background, history, applicability to different physics problems;
  • Illustration of direct stiffness method based on 2 dimensional beam elements;
  • Principle of Minimum Potential Energy;
  • Development of stiffness and mass matrices for a 2-dimensional membrane element;
  • Isoparametric 1,2 and 3D elements;
  • Numerical integration;
  • Problems and errors associated with applying FEM to the solution of actual problems;
  • Practical aspects of FE modelling: 1-2-3 dimensional meshing;
  • Geometric modelling of simple components;
  • Importing of geometric models from other software;
  • Simulation of different types of loads and boundary conditions for different types of analyses;
  • Mesh generation (quality) and selection techniques;
  • Application of commercial codes for linear / nonlinear structural analysis;
  • Advanced post-processing and interpretation of results.

Advanced Transient Simulation Methods

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE
Module code: ME5706
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: February
Credits15
Assessment: Report (80%), Oral Presentation (10%), Poster (10%)
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc 

Module details:
Designing advanced lightweight structures to perform an intended function over its lifecycle, when subject to static and dynamic loading conditions encountered during normal operation and extreme loading conditions, requires expertise in a range of areas. 

This expertise primarily relates to the application of advanced numerical simulation to understanding non-linear material and structural response over different operating conditions, which may include large or rapid deformation, failure (static and transient), and high strain rate loading (inertial effects, wave propagation and shockwaves). 

As new simulation and material technologies emerge, there is a continuing need for engineers with a strong, applied understanding in structural analysis and testing, together with competent technical skills in non-linear numerical simulation (mesh and meshfree methods) that can be directly applied to industrial problems. 

This module will review the available numerical methods, including their strengths and weaknesses, covering both theoretical background and numerical implementation.  To reinforce the underlying theory, practical computational lab sessions are used to simulate a range of non-linear, transient problems.

Indicative Content:

  • Nature and treatment of geometric and material non-linearities;
  • Space discretisation (semi-discretisation) methods, Lagrangian, Eulerian and hybrid approaches;
  • Solution procedures for static analyses and time integration procedures dynamic analyses, formulation and implementation;
  • Review different element technologies: beam, shell and solid elements;
  • Strain, strain rate and temperature dependent strength models and equations of state;
  • Contact algorithms, including coupling of different discretisation methods;
  • Smoothed particle hydrodynamics and meshless methods approach to large deformation, transient problems;
  • Supporting case studies, including dynamic structural collapse and high velocity impact;
  • Practical computational lab sessions using non-linear transient analysis codes.

Impact and Crashworthiness

Course code: 1JA8PLISTIE
Module code:
ME5707
Module mode of attendancefull-time
Start date: February
Credits15
Assessment: Report (80%), Oral Presentation (10%), Poster (10%) 
Full course: A module from

  • Lightweight Structures and Impact Engineering MSc

Module details:
To understand the response of lightweight engineering structures and materials to impact loading, requires an understanding of the physics involved, which are characterised by large or rapid deformation, failure (static and transient), and high strain rate loading (inertial effects, wave propagation).   

Part one covers a conceptual understanding of how solids and structures respond to different rates of loading, ranging from low through to hypervelocity impacts.  The specialist experimental methods needed for dynamic testing at different strain-rates of interest will be reviewed, together with different impact protection systems from low, high and hypervelocity regimes for land, air and space applications.

The second part provides the principles involved in the analysis and design of crashworthy structures, by reviewing relevant crash regulations and understanding the implications of local and global collapse of thin and thick-walled sections.  The module will cover methods of analysing structural collapse using hand calculations and hybrid (numerical) approaches in order to design a structural assembly able to provide appropriate stiffness and strength properties for impact loading.

Indicative Content:

  • Overview of crash and impact protection:  Threats and design context; Occupant protection & injury criteria;
  • Large deformation and strain-rate dependent material behaviour of structural materials;
  • Stress wave propagation, equation of state of solids;
  • Energy management approach to design; modes of energy absorption; absorption mechanism control; dynamic effects;
  • Review of aerospace and automotive crashworthiness and impact regulation;
  • Material vs structural response to impact: design of structural impact protection systems;
  • Local collapse of structural components: Collapse of thick-walled sections; collapse of thin walled sections;
  • Global collapse of structures: Identification of collapse mechanism, geometric effects;
  • Impact testing of structures and materials: material test methods, structural crash and impact testing;
  • Analysis methods: analytical methods (energy balance), hybrid numerical models, capability of detailed numerical models.

 

  

The following courses are delivered by the National Structural Integrity Centre in Cambridge