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Mechanical Engineering: an Introduction

Mechanical Engineering: an Introduction

An intensive summer programme designed to introduce students aged 19+ to the principles of Mechanical Engineering.

A one-week programme, residential in a college of the University of Oxford.

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Course Summary

Mechanical engineers design and implement practical solutions for products and processes, making the best use of new materials and technologies.

It is a branch of engineering that combines engineering physics and mathematical principles with materials science to analyse, design, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. Mechanical engineering requires an understanding of core areas including mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity. It is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery and has a wide range of applications in such fields as aerospace, energy and power, civil, military, healthcare, chemical, bioengineering and even Artificial Intelligence.

This course will provide students with a detailed overview of key engineering principles that students need to master in order to perform effectively as a professional engineer across a range of industries. This will include an analysis of the effects of forces on materials, tensile testing, forces in structures, heat energy and transfer, thermal expansion, hydrostatics, fluid flow, temperature measurement and gas laws. This course will contextualise such technical concepts in order to enable students to understand real world contexts and will then extend this real world contextualisation to a consideration of environmental sustainability issues along with a focus on the role of mechanical engineering in the practical application of new, emerging technologies.

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course students will understand:

  • How to use the principles covered on the course as the basis for further research and analysis into both existing and emerging modern day mechanical engineering subjects
  • How to apply the enhanced technical proficiency acquired on the course to further analyse and solve both theoretical and real world engineering problems
  • How to integrate environmental sustainability thinking into future mechanical engineering projects

Course Outcomes

Monday Lecture 1: Mechanical Engineering Principles-overview of the core principles
Seminar 1: Promoting green mechanical engineering to improve sustainability- issues and debates
Tuesday Lecture 2: Statics and strengths of materials
Seminar 2: Practical exercises and case studies to assess understanding and develop proficiency in calculating forces, tensile testing and beams
Wednesday Lecture 3: Forces in structures
Seminar 3: Practical exercises and case studies to assess understanding and develop proficiency in assessing structural forces, bending moment and shear force diagrams
Thursday Lecture 4: Heat transfer and fluid mechanics
Seminar 4: Practical exercises and case studies to evaluate understanding and develop proficiency in assessing structural forces, bending moment and shear force diagrams
Friday Lecture 5: Future directions in mechanical engineering- current trends and emerging technologies
Seminar 5: Presentations, course review and action planning


Assessment Methods

1 x Written Assignment (500-750 words)

1 x Group Presentation


Good level of Maths especially calculus


Oxford College Accommodation

  • Location Oxford
  • Ages Ages: 12+, 13-15, 16-18, 19+
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & Shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1096 (University of Oxford)

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