Mechanics Elasticity and Strength of Materials Module

Rationale

This module is part of a series of modules defining  competencies that an engineering analyst or simulation engineer would be expected to possess in order to carry out safe and effective analyses in the various module areas. In this regard the modules may be considered to be defining standards of competency in this area. The competencies and modules as they stand would define necessary requirements, but not sufficient requirements, for safe and effective analysis and simulation. In particular, industry specific competencies and non-technical competencies have not yet been included, as discussed below.

Download Mechanics, Elasticity and Strength of Materials (MESM)_Statements of Competence

In general most modules will have specified pre-requisites and any pre-requisite modules should be examined for relevant competencies. It should also be recognised that most engineering analyses and simulations will involve competencies from quite a few modules.

Not all modules will be relevant to all analysts (e.g. buckling may not be an issue for the components being designed and manufactured by a particular company) and not all competencies in modules will be relevant to all analysts and organisations (e.g. welding may not be a process used and hence competencies relating to fatigue of welds may not be relevant).

As well as defining a general standard level of competence, the statements with their links to specific references, should also provide a good basis for informal learning in a work-based environment (a refresher for some and a basis for a move into new areas, preferably under the guidance of a mentor, for others). That is not to say that the competencies could not also be used for the development of short courses, text books or other learning material. For such structured purposes, the competencies would no doubt benefit from a re-sequencing in some areas. The competencies could also be used as the basis for interview questions and the production of self-test quizzes and even formal examinations. In this case each competency would benefit from the development of associated threshold statements, defining a base level of achievement as well as a comprehensive  level.

This module aims to provide a non-industry-specific coverage of necessary background and under-pinning for practicing analysts in the structural area. The following points are also worthy of note:

1. It is recognized that effective analysis will require a much broader range of competences than is presented in this module. Many of these will be covered in other modules within the Competence Framework. However, it may be noted that non-technical competences relating to project management, finance, ethics, interpersonal skills, human resource management etc are not included at this time. New modules in these and other areas may be added to the competence framework in the future.

2. All competence statements and references can be modified, deleted or replaced as necessary. New modules can also be added. In this way, the competence framework can be tailored to particular sector or company needs.

3. The module is not designed to provide a comprehensive coverage of all aspects of mechanics, strength of materials or structures (not even those inherent in typical undergraduate courses). The goal in developing these was to provide sufficient underpinning for an engineer engaged in analysis and simulation using modern tools, to ensure effective and safe analysis.

4. The module has an industrial focus and therefore does not address research topics, areas not in general use across industry sectors or techniques specific to a sector.

5. Clearly effective analysis will require a range of industry-specific competences and these have yet to be developed. It is anticipated that in the future, various competence frameworks will be developed to address the needs of particular sectors. These generic modules will provide the basis for this.¬† This will involve the development of new modules as well as a “flavouring” of the current generic modules to provide specific industry focus. This will no doubt include specific materials, specific codes of practice and design procedures, an understanding of more complex loadings and structures involving bridges, aircraft wings, automotive chassis etc.