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MEng Aerospace Engineering

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Tools for Engineers (Aerospace)

Course unit fact file
Unit code AERO12101
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit consists of two parts, both cover the use of computer software for solving engineering problems. The parts are: Computer Aided Design (CAD) using Solidworks and Programming using Matlab.


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates



The aim of this part of Tools is that, by the completion of their study of Solidworks, students should have attained a level of competence which enables them firstly, to produce 3D models and drawings of reasonably complex objects and secondly, to achieve further advancement and improvement in their use of Solidworks by self study.

Matlab :

The aim of the programming part of the Tools for Engineers module is to introduce the basics of computer programming via the Matlab programming language, enabling the students to perform a variety of numerical tasks involved in the solution of engineering problems (e.g. data manipulation and analysis, calculations relating to engineering design problems).


1. 2D sketch creation:
o  Create and defined sketch geometry from which a 3D model is created.
2. Model creation:
o Give a sketch volume/depth, turning a 2D sketch to 3D sketch with volume.
3. Drawing generation from 3D model:
o Produce a technical engineering drawing using the data held within a 3Dmodel to enable parts to be manufactured. Topics covered within this part of the module are, setting up of drawing sheets, creating drawing views of components and applying dimension schemes. 
4. The creation of engineering assemblies:
o Generate an assembly, with its assembly drawing, which is needed for designs comprising of a number of components (also called “parts”).
5. Bill of Materials:
o The creation of a Bill of Materials (BOM) or parts list:  The BOM lists each part number, part name, part quantity and the material the part is made from. It thus provides information in addition to the assembly drawing. For small assemblies, the parts list is part of the assembly drawing.
6. Surfaces
o The creation and use of flat, curved and blended surfaces in CAD.   The method that is commonly used in industry to create 3D surfaces is explained. This involves the use of curves and splines from which 3D surface are created. The creation of blended surfaces between adjacent curved surfaces is an essential part of the design process in the automotive and aerospace industries.

The Solidworks component of Tools for Engineers is delivered on even weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 & 12.
All classes are computer based (6 x 3hrs sessions) that enables maximum hands on time.
Please note a Solidworks open book assessment will take place in week 12 in the normal time tabled slot.

1. Introduction:
o Matlab working environment, basic commands
o Meaning of variables, their values (numeric or character), dimension, creation and use
o Writing elementary programs (script files)
2. Vectors (i.e. one-dimensional matrices/arrays):
o  Creation of vector variables and their manipulation
o   Use of vectors: plotting (graphics), strings, solution of polynomial problems (including data fitting)
3. Programming language constructs and logical sequence:
o Programming language constructs for repetition (loops) and conditional tasks:  FOR, WHILE statements, IF statement, FIND function
o  Logical sequence within programs: algorithms  and the use of flowcharts to express them
4. Custom functions (subroutines)
o Writing custom functions
o Their use within a main program, enabling structured programming
5. Two-dimensional matrix variables (two-dimensional arrays) and their manipulation

     Matlab programming is delivered as 6 × 1hr lectures (Aero/Mech combined) in alternate weeks (weeks 1, 3,…11) followed by hands-on sessions in Matlab in the computer cluster in the same week.  During weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, the practical sessions are two separate 2hr sessions (for Aero and Mech respectively).  During these sessions, students work from tutorial sheets supervised by Dr Bonello and various assistants.  In week 11, the separate 2hr sessions for Aero and Mech are merged into one 4 hr session to enable an in-class test to be held for Aero and Mech in back-to-back sessions.

Assessment methods

In class test - Solidworks 37.5%, Matlab 25%

Assessed tutorial work - Solidworks 12.5%, Matlab 25%

Feedback methods

Feedback sessions where model answers are presented and, in case of assessed questions in tutorial sheets, return of marked coursework.
 Detailed generic feedback will be emailed for the first 5 exercises within 2 weeks from date of deadline of each submission. Comments will be marked on the electronic file submitted by the student.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 6
Tutorials 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 64

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Azam Tafreshi Unit coordinator

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