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


Fundamentals of Materials Engineering introduces students to the basic principles, structures and properties of engineering materials. The unit also covers: failure modes of materials (plastic yielding, fatigue, fracture and

creep); thermo-mechanical behaviour of materials; recycling of materials and

sustainability in the context of recycle and reuse; and the impact of materials failure on society and the environment.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Automation and Robotics Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering major sequences

Students are able to (1) describe basic classes of engineering materials, their properties, structures and applications; (2) explain the relationship between stress and strain in metals, ceramics and polymers; (3) determine both the elastic and plastic properties of a material from tensile stress-strain curves; (4) recognise various failure modes of engineering materials and explain design principles that could be employed to prevent in-service failure; (5) evaluate the thermal properties of engineering materials; and (6) discuss recycling of materials and the impact of materials selection on society and the environment.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) laboratories; and (3) examinations. 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)
Professor Ali Karrech
Unit rules
Chemistry ATAR
or CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry
or CHEX1003 Introductory Chemistry
Mathematics Methods ATAR
or MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods
or MATX1721 Mathematics Foundations
Physics ATAR
or PHYS1030 Physics Bridging Unit
or PHYX1030 Physics Bridging Unit
, or equivalent or higher
ENSC1002 Material Behaviour from Atoms to Bridges
ENSC1004 will be offered in both semesters in 2022. However it will be offered in Semester 2 only from 2023 onwards.
  • 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.