Course Title: Engineering Biomechanics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Engineering Biomechanics

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2017


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: Prof Peter Dabnichki

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7278

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge
Mathematics first year level (MATH2160 or similar)
Basic principles of engineering dynamics including Newton’s law of motion, inertia moments, moments of area, centre of mass.
Basic principles of engineering statics such as force, moment of force, balance of forces and balance of moments. 

Course Description

This course provides you with theoretical and practical background for working as a biomechanical engineer in a clinical (orthopaedics, neurology, rehabilitation), sports, defence, and industrial (automotive, sporting goods) environment.
This course equips you with the necessary design and analytical skills for experimental and modelling projects. It introduces you with the properties of the human body, to the mechanics and properties of body segments, and to engineering free-body diagram design and analysis.
The course covers force analysis and measurement including clinical gait analysis, body segment kinematics, moment analysis of various joints, muscle mechanics, joint and ligament mechanics, as well as vestibular organ mechanics.
The course is focussed on engineering problem solving and decision making based on mathematical results of practical biomechanical case studies.

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

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:
1. Knowledge skill base
1.1. Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline
1.2. Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline
2.2. Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving
2.3. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources
2.4. Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes
2.5. Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects
2.6. Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour


Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

On completion of this course you should be able to:
1. Measure, calculate, analyse and interpret forces and moments acting on the human body and the body reaction forces.
2. Apply the principles of Newtonian mechanics to human motion analysis.
3. Relate  concepts of freedom in human joint to corresponding muscle forces.
4. Apply biomechanics to clinical, sport and assistive technology applications.
5. Use mathematics, statistics, information technology in biomechanical analysis.

Overview of Learning Activities

In lectures you will learn the fundamental concepts underpinning the understanding of biomechanics of human body, application in clinical practices, biomedical applications and research;
In tutorials you will be applying in practice the acquired engineering knowledge to biomechanical problems
Laboratory practicals and demonstrations conducted in smaller groups to acquire knowledge of the use of engineering devices and information technology in biomechanics;
In seminars and individual feedback sessions where the assignments will be discussed and formative feedback provided.
You are expected to conduct individual self-study, which includes the use of online resources and preparation for lectures and assignments.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will typically need to use professional level resources such as
Prescribed textbooks,
Lecture notes are available on the online learning system (Blackboard),
Specialist books and journals that are accessible in the RMIT library and other major libraries (specific recommended references given with lectures and assignments materials)
Internet sources may be helpful, but will not be sufficient by themselves.

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.
☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment tasks

Early Assessment Task: Home Test
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1

Assessment Task 2: Kinetic Analysis Homework
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1,2,5.

Assessment Task 3: Case study
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 4,5.

Assessment 4: Exam
Weighting 30% 
This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,3