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Unit Overview


This unit covers the principles of analysis and design of machines' mechanical components and, to some extent, their assemblies using the principles of solid mechanics and engineering standards/codes, introduces students to professional engineering practice (including use of professional references, Australian and international standards and design codes), and provides students with hands-on experience in the mechanical engineering design process.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) analyse selected machine components and assemblies for static strength, fatigue failure and failure due to elastic instability; (2) apply the rudimentary design process for selected machine components and assemblies; (3) make design decisions supported by logical reasoning, knowledge and creativity when provided with uncertain, ambiguous, imprecise and/or redundant information; (4) quantitatively describe/explain the non-static failure mechanism of fatigue and be capable of incorporating it where appropriate into analysis or design; (5) describe selected commonly used mechanical components with the assistance of principles of solid mechanics and mathematical models formulated using these principles; (6) locate and evaluate literature and other sources of information relevant to the unit content; (7) work effectively in a team to achieve professional outcomes; (8) communicate effectively through concise written technical reports, using discourse conventions relevant to the discipline (including engineering drawing); (9) use selected design standards/codes; and (10) explain the development and limitations of selected models used in the analysis and design of machine components and the need to adapt them to changed circumstances.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) assignments; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the final examination component.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Adam Wittek
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical Engineering specialisation)
MECH3403 Mechanical Design
Advisable prior study
ENSC1002 Material Behaviour from Atoms to Bridges, MATH1001 Mathematical Methods 1, MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2, ENSC3001 Mechanisms and Machines, ENSC3002 Materials and Manufacturing
and ENSC3004 Solid Mechanics (co-requisite: CITS2401 Computer Analysis and Visualisation)
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week
specialised lectures and seminars: 3-5 hours per semester
practical classes: 2 hours per week

Budynas, R. G. and Nisbett, J. K. Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design, not older than 8th edn: in SI Units: McGraw-Hill 2008

Juvinall, R. C and Marshek, K. M. Fundamentals of Machine Component Design, not older than 5th edn: John Wiley & Sons 2012

Beer, F. P. et al. Mechanics of Materials, any edn: McGraw-Hill

Gere, J. M. and Goodno, B. J. Mechanics of Materials, any edn: Cengage Learning

Lecture notes: Wright, D. C. Design and Analysis of Machine Elements, latest edn: UWA School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering


  • 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.