ENME401-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Mechanical Systems Design

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


This course involves a series of lectures on applying the process of engineering design. Students will learn to develop their ability in design while completing two design assignments. The first assignment involves a conceptual design task. This task description will be vague and incompletely specified. Students will gather and critically assess information required to clarify the task. During the process of conceptual design students will create alternative design solutions. These solutions will be evaluated and the most suitable design concept selected and developed. The second assignment involves an embodiment and detail design task. Students will start with an engineering concept and will evolve this concept towards a detailed technical system in which performance, reliability and economy are maximised. These objectives are achieved under the umbrella of two overriding objectives, namely, safety and sustainability.

Sample of lecture topics:
Design Process; Context of Design; Clarification of the Task; Conceptual Design; Safety; Materials Selection in Mechanical Design; Embodiment Design; Structural Design of Machine Elements; Gearbox Design; Hydraulic System Design; Detail Design; Design analysis methods.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning Outcomes and National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

    Knowledge outcomes:
  • To understand the principles and practice of engineering design
  • To understand design in the context of the wider organisation

    Skills outcomes:
  • To define the engineering task, given a generally and incompletely specified need;
  • To gather and critically assess information required to clarify the task and support conceptual design;
  • To create alternative conceptual design solutions;
  • To evaluate concept choices and decide on the most suitable design concept; to carry out embodiment and detail design of mechanical systems;
  • To communicate the design in drawing and written report form.
  • To be able to synthesise an engineering system design, drawing on acquired knowledge in engineering sciences, technology and engineering economics.
  • To be able to carry out design in a context of social responsibility, and with due awareness of safety, legal and commercial requirements.
  • To be proficient in the use of CAD and mathematical tools for engineering analysis.
  • To integrate design with the manufacturing processes.
  • To be able to design effectively in a new and unfamiliar area.
  • To become competent in applying the process of engineering design.

    Personal attributes developed:
  • To be able to present a clear and competent description (written or oral) of a component or system design to either a technical or non-technical audience.
  • To be able to recognise one’s personal limits of design competence and when to seek more expert advice.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


Timetable 2021

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 11:00 - 12:00 E5 Lecture Theatre
22 Feb - 4 Apr
3 May - 6 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00 E5 Lecture Theatre
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 09:00 - 11:00 E5 Lecture Theatre
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Keith Alexander


Digby Symons


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Conceptual design 01 Apr 2021 33%
Embodiment & Detail Design 04 Jun 2021 33%
Final exam 34% Three day examination

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Hales, Crispin , Gooch, Shayne; Managing engineering design ; 2nd ed; Springer, 2004.

Recommended Reading

Adams, James L; Conceptual blockbusting : a guide to better ideas ; 3rd ed.; Addison-Wesley, 1986.

Ashby, M. F; Materials selection in mechanical design ; 2nd ed; Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.

Deutschman, Aaron D. , Michels, Walter J., Wilson, Charles E; Machine design : theory and practice ; Macmillan, 1975.

Dieter, George Ellwood; Engineering design : a materials and processing approach ; 3rd ed; McGraw-Hill, 2000.

Johnson, Ray C; Optimum design of mechanical elements ; 2nd ed; Wiley, 1980.

Pahl, G. , Wallace, Ken., Blessing, Lucienne; Engineering design : a systematic approach ; 3rd ed; Springer, 2007.

Pugh, Stuart; Total design : integrated methods for successful product engineering ; Addison-Wesley Pub. Co, 1991.

Shigley, J.E.,; Mechanical Engineering Design ; 1st Metric Edition; McGraw Hill, 2007.

Ulrich, Karl T. , Eppinger, Steven D; Product design and development ; 2nd ed; Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2000.

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

* Harassment of any sort will not be tolerated.  Each UC student is here to learn and to experience a friendly and supportive community.
* It is every student's right to expect: respect and courtesy from staff and other students, including freedom from harassment of any sort; fair treatment; the ability to speak out about any issues that concern them, without fear of consequences for their safety and well-being.
* Furthermore, each student has the responsibility to: respect the rights and property of others; attend to their own health and safety, and that of others; and behave in a manner towards each other that does not reflect badly on the student body or the University.
* If you, or someone you know, has experienced harassment, please talk to your lecturers, directors of study, or head of department.

Dishonest Practice
* Plagiarism, collusion, copying, and ghost writing are unacceptable and dishonest practices.
* Plagiarism is the presentation of any material (test, data, figures or drawings, on any medium including computer files) from any other source without clear and adequate acknowledgment of the source.
* Collusion is the presentation of work performed in conjunction with another person or persons, but submitted as if it has been completed only by the named author(s).
* Copying is the use of material (in any medium, including computer files) produced by another person(s) with or without their knowledge and approval.
* Ghost writing is the use of another person(s) (with or without payment) to prepare all or part of an item submitted for assessment.

Do not engage in dishonest practices. The Department reserves the right to refer dishonest practices to the University Proctor and where appropriate to not mark the work.
The University regulations on academic integrity and dishonest practice can be found here.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,114.00

International fee $5,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Mechanical Engineering .

All ENME401 Occurrences

  • ENME401-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021