Course Title: Aerospace Materials

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Aerospace Materials

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

Course Coordinator: Professor Adrian Mouritz

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6269

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides you with the skills required to assist the design process of aerospace structures and components considering the broad range of engineering materials available. You will learn both qualitative and quantitative methods of materials selection. You will also study the main properties, domain of application and fabrication processes of aerospace materials, with a particular emphasis on lightweight alloys and composite materials. You will investigate the impact of different materials in critical areas pertaining to the operation of aircraft, such as structural integrity (including prevention methods), airworthiness requirements (including testing and maintenance), sustainability/recyclability issues and cost effectiveness. Furthermore, you will be exposed to state-of-the-art materials topics (e.g., nanomaterials and smart materials), and assess pathways for the development of aerospace structures and components with optimised features.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.(;ID=eyj5c0mo77631)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:
• Apply qualitative and quantitative methods in the selection of materials as a fundamental step in the design phase of aerospace structures and components;
• Evaluate the properties, performance and applicable domain of typical aerospace materials;
• Describe the main damage mechanisms affecting different types of aerospace materials and propose adequate mitigation actions;
• Critically discuss the influence of different materials in the initial and continuous airworthiness of aircraft, observing the applicable professional practices and existing standards;
• Select the best fabrication processes to meet the design and operation requirements of aircraft structures and components;
• Identify alternative and viable materials in light of recent concerns towards the sustainability and recyclability issues of modern aircraft from a global perspective;
• Demonstrate awareness of recent scientific and technological developments in the field of aerospace materials, and assess their potential to enhance the performance of aircraft in near future (e.g. smart-materials, nano-materials, functionally graded materials, new alloys and fabrication processes);

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes:

1. Needs, Context and Systems
• Describe, investigate and analyse complex engineering systems and associated issues (using systems thinking and modelling techniques)
• Exposit legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental interests, values, requirements and expectations of key stakeholders

2. Problem Solving and Design
•  Anticipate the consequences of intended action or inaction and understand how the consequences are managed collectively by your organisation, project or team

3. Analysis
• Apply underpinning natural, physical and engineering sciences, mathematics, statistics, computer and information sciences.

4. Professional Practice
• Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline
• Communicate in a variety of different ways to collaborate with other people, including accurate listening, reading and comprehension, based on dialogue when appropriate, taking into account the knowledge, expectations, requirements, interests, terminology
• Display a personal sense of responsibility for your work

5. Research
• Be aware of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline. 

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities can include lectures and class discussions,  laboratory experience, tutorials, quizzes/exams and self-study oriented assignments.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course-related resources will be provided on the course Blackboard, which is accessed through myRMIT. This can include lecture material, tutorials and references.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment may include:
• Class tests/quizzes/exam
• Assignments
• Laboratory Report