Course Title: Apply Principles of Mechanics to Engineering Problems

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: MIET7297

Course Title: Apply Principles of Mechanics to Engineering Problems

School: 130T Engineering (TAFE)

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6069 - Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology

Course Contact : Leon Mattatia

Course Contact Phone: 9925 4668

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Lecturer: Leon Mattatia

Location: 57.5.015

Telephone: 9925 4668


Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency sets out the knowledge and skills required to apply mechanics concepts and principles to solve problems common to all engineering fields. This includes forces, moments, friction and frames.

This unit of competency is intended to apply to any recognised development program that leads to the acquisition of a formal award at AQF level 5 or higher. It is applied to engineering, manufacturing and construction environments where the determination of forces, moments and torque is required to provide a stable mechanical solution.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP231 Apply Principles of Mechanics to Engineering Problems


Apply principles of mechanics in the analysis or design of an engineering solution.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 OH&S and environmental requirements for a
given work area are obtained and understood.
1.2 Safety hazards which have not previously been
identified are documented and risk control
measures devised and implemented in
consultation with appropriate personnel.
1.3 The engineering problem is determined through
requests, design briefs or equivalent and clarified
with appropriate personnel.
1.4 Where appropriate expert advice is sought with
respect to the engineering problem and according
to enterprise procedures.
1.5 Appropriate personnel are consulted to ensure
the work is co-ordinated effectively with others
involved at the work site.
1.6 Resources and equipment needed for the task are
obtained in accordance with enterprise
procedures and checked for correct operation and


Identify mechanic principles embedded in an engineering problem.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 OH&S requirements for carrying out the work
are followed.
2.2 Industry codes, regulations and technical
documentation relevant to the engineering
problem are interpreted and understood.
2.3 Where appropriate, tables and graphs are used to
obtain computational data.
2.4 The appropriate assumptions underlying the
engineering problem are made and recorded.
2.5 The most appropriate analytical, computational or
design methodology is selected and can be
2.6 Resources and equipment required are identified,
obtained and checked as fit for the purpose.


Verify, document and interpret outcomes.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 OH&S requirements for completing the work are
3.2 The results of the analysis or design are recorded
and documented in accordance with requirements
and enterprise procedures.
3.3 Where appropriate, results are graphed and/or
charted and interpreted.
3.4 If required, a formal report to present outcomes is
prepared according to enterprise procedures
3.4 Outcomes of analysis or design are verified and
discussed with appropriate personnel.

Learning Outcomes


1. Apply principles of mechanics in the analysis or design of an engineering solution.
2. Identify mechanic principles embedded in an engineering problem.
3. Verify, document and interpret outcomes.


1. Force and Gravity
    • The concept of a force
    • Characteristics of a force
    • Basic principles
    • Rectangular components of a force
    • Graphical addition of forces
    • Mathematical addition of forces
    • Universal gravitation
    • Variation in gravity
    • Weight as a force
    • Types of supports

2. Equilibrium of Concurrent Coplanar Forces
    • Concurrent forces
    • Conditions of equilibrium 
    • The equilibrant force 
    • Support reactions
    • The three force principle
    • Two and three force bodies

3. Moment and torque
   • Moment of force
   • Addition of moments
   • Equilibrium of moments
   • Torque
   • Equivalent force moment systems

4. Equilibrium of Non-concurrent Coplanar Forces

    • Reactions in Simply Supported & Cantilever Beams

5. Presenting engineering reports

Details of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course are designed to equip students with knowledge and skills in applying the principles of basic vector analysis and static equilibrium to calculate forces and moments including the support reactions of determinate structures, internal forces in plane frames and trusses, internal forces in determinate beams.

The course will be using a combination of lectures, reading tasks, practical work and mainly tutorials/assignments to achieve these objectives.

Readings: Students may be required to read relevant section(s) of the recommended references/class notes prior to the next class.

Tutorial work  & Practical Assignments challenge the students and ensure that participants apply and deepen the theoretical knowledge covered in lectures.

Teaching Schedule

Week No. 1:  Introduction to Course, Books, Assessment, etc; Force/Moment Systems
Week No. 2:  Forces and Gravity  
Week No. 3:  Force Vector Analysis – Vector Diagrams, Resultants and Equilibrants. Equilibrium of Coplanar Concurrent Forces
Week No. 4:  Equilibrium of Coplanar Concurrent Forces
Week No. 5:  Moments and Torque - Resultant and Equilibrant Moments
Week No. 6:  Characteristics and calculation of Moments of Couples
Week No. 7:  Calculation of Moments of Couples/Tutorial/REVISION
Week No. 8:  REVISION/Class Assessment - UNIT TEST No. 1 (Major Assignment No. 1 due)
Week No. 9:  Equilibrium of Coplanar Non - Concurrent Forces - Reaction Forces & Moments on Statically Determinate Loaded Structures
Week No.10: Equilibrium of Coplanar Non - Concurrent Forces - Reaction Forces & Moments on Statically Determinate Loaded Structures                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Week No. 11: Law of "Dry Friction" – Static & Kinetic Friction forces on horizontal surfaces
Week No. 12: Law of "Dry Friction" – Static & Kinetic Friction forces on inclined surfaces, wedges
Week No. 13: Force Analysis of Pin-Jointed Frameworks - Calculation of Internal Forces (Method of  Joints)
Week No. 14: Force Analysis of Pin-Jointed Frameworks - Calculation of Internal Forces (Method of Joints/Method of Sections)
Week No. 15: Force Analysis of Pin-Jointed Frameworks - Calculation of Internal Forces (Method of Sections/Graphical Method)/Tutorial
Week No. 16: REVISION/Class Assessment - UNIT TEST No. 2 (Major Assignment No. 2 due)

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Kinsky, Roger, Engineering Mechanics and Strength of Materials, McGraw-Hill, 1986
Ivanoff, val, Engineering Mechanics, McGraw-Hill, 1996
Hibbler, Russell C., Statics and Mechanics of Materials, 2nd Edition, Pearson, 2004

Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment may incorporate a variety of methods including written/oral activities and demonstration of practical skills to the relevant industry standards. Participants are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment activities to their teacher/assessor. Feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Evidence of student’s competence can be gathered through a variety of ways including:
• observation of processes and procedures;
• oral and/or written questioning on required knowledge and skills;
• testimony from supervisors, colleagues, clients and/or other appropriate
• inspection of the final product or outcome;
• a portfolio of documentary evidence.

Graded Assessment out of 100 Marks will be based on the results obtained for Assignments, Practical Reports & Unit Tests.
Students must gain a pass in ALL forms of assessment in order to gain this competency.

Assessment Tasks

You will be assessed in various ways to ensure you meet the requirements of the course. Your ability to explain the basic concepts of Force & Stress analysis and apply the principles of equilibrium to various types of structure will be tested in the form of participation in formative class tasks, assignments/practical work and unit tests. 

Assessment Matrix

Assessments will comprise:

1. Major Assignments & Practical Work  -  30%

2. Unit Tests (x2) - 70%

Students must satisfy ALL Elements of Competency and pass both sections 1. & 2. above, and obtain a minimum overall mark of 50/100 to pass this course,

Course Overview: Access Course Overview