Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit covers the fundamentals of material behaviour and engineering statics. The use of appropriate materials is critical to all engineering applications. The properties of a material are ultimately dependent on its microstructure and the behaviour of a material is dependent on how it reacts to, or interacts with, forcing conditions. External forces and moments applied to a structure must be safely accommodated through internal distribution of stress within elements of the structure. Material characteristics dictate how this distribution occurs. Fundamental equations of static equilibrium are used to calculate a structure's internal stress distribution, overall stability, and conditions under which failure will occur. This unit highlights the relationship between material behaviour and structural design, and the appropriate use of different materials for different engineering applications.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) explain how interatomic bonding, geometrical atomic arrangements and atomic defects dictate important properties of solid materials. ; (2) describe common classes of engineering materials and their general chemical, physical and mechanical properties. ; (3) describe various mechanical properties, their effect on materials performance, and how they are measured.; (4) describe common forms of corrosion and their common mitigation strategies.; (5) draw free body diagrams of simple structures under different loading and support conditions; (6) apply Newton's first and third laws to analyse static equilibrium of simple systems; (7) calculate axial, shear and bending stress in simple structures and apply this information to assess strength of beams and bars; (8) analyse 2D truss structures using the method of sections and the method of joints.; (9) articulate technical concepts clearly and concisely in oral, written and visual forms.; and (10) work effectively in a team and take responsibility for team outcomes..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) projects (including peer assessment); and (3) mid-semester test and final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor James Doherty (Semester 1) and Dr Yimiao Huang (Semester 2)
Unit rules
(Mathematics Specialist ATAR
or WACE Mathematics: Specialist 3C/3D
or MATH1722 Mathematics Foundations: Specialist) and (Chemistry ATAR
or WACE Chemistry 3A/3B
or CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry) and (Physics ATAR
or WACE Physics 3A/3B
or PHYS1030 Bridging Physics)
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
information sessions: 2 hours per week
workshops: 2 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.