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MEC1201 Engineering Materials

Semester 3, 2021 Online
Short Description: Engineering Materials
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 030305 - Materials Engineering
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 21 July 2021


Examiner: Toan Dinh


Materials science and engineering course has come into its own as a field of endeavour during the past 25 years. The central theme in this development is the concept that the properties and behaviour of a material are closely related to the internal structure of that material. The properties (which may be regarded as the responses of the material to its immediate environment) are functions of: (i) the kinds of atoms present and the type of bonding among them, and (ii) the geometrical arrangement of large numbers of atoms, microstructure and macrostructure. As a result, in order to modify properties, appropriate changes must be made in the internal structure. Also, if processing or service conditions alter the structure, the characteristics of the material are altered. Over the same period, noticeable changes have taken place in the teaching of engineering materials to the engineering students. Previously, elementary courses emphasised on the mechanical properties of materials with long dull lists of chemical specifications and descriptions of processing. More recently, elementary courses seek to provide a thorough grasp of the structures encountered in the principal families of materials - metals, ceramics and polymers - and then to show how the properties of important engineering materials depend on these structures. This course seeks to provide a background knowledge of the more commonly used engineering materials. This will be achieved by promoting an understanding of the interrelation of structure and properties in the principal families of materials and the mechanisms by which the structural changes may be accomplished.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify brittle and ductile materials, and calculate the mechanical properties of materials;
  2. Explain the influence of both atomic structure and microstructure on the deformation mechanism of metal materials;
  3. Interpret the principal strengthening mechanisms by which structural change may be accomplished in materials in order to enhance their mechanical properties;
  4. Understand the influence of different cooling process in manufacturing process of metal alloys;
  5. Explain the structure and mechanical behaviour of various polymers;
  6. Explain the structure and mechanical behaviour of ceramics and the possibility of improving their characteristics;
  7. Explain the deterioration in materials specifically the corrosion of materials and the possible methods to reduce the impact of corrosion on materials;
  8. Identify and explain the electrical properties of materials specifically semiconductors and their applications;
  9. Determine the types of cements and how concrete would be formed, and the techniques can be used in their process;
  10. To select the material characteristics for various engineering applications.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to Engineering Materials 10.00
2. Atomic Structure and Microstructure 10.00
3. Deformation of metals 10.00
4. Binary equilibrium phase diagrams 10.00
5. Effects of non-equilibrium cooling and heat treatments of metals 10.00
6. Structure and mechanical behaviour of polymers 10.00
7. Structure and mechanical behaviour of ceramics 10.00
8. Deterioration in service 10.00
9. Electrical and magnetic properties of materials 10.00
10. Cement and concrete 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Nil to be purchased.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Askeland, DR, Phule, PP & Wright WJ 2016, The science and engineering of materials, 7th edn, Cengage Learning, Stamford, CT.
Budinski, KG & Budinski, MK 2010, Engineering materials: properties and selection, 9th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
John, VB 2003, Introduction to engineering materials, 4th edn, Palgrave MacMillan, Bassingstoke, Hampshire.
Schaffer, JP et al 1999, The science and design of engineering materials, 2nd edn, McGraw Hill, Boston.
Shackelford, JF 2015, Introduction to materials science for engineers, 8th edn, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Directed Study 38.00
Private Study 97.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Mechanical Properties of Metal 300 30 01 Dec 2021 1,2 (see note 1)
Phase Diagrams and TTT 300 30 03 Jan 2022 3,4 (see note 2)
Polymers and Ceramics 200 20 28 Jan 2022 5,6 (see note 3)
Corrosion,Semiconductors&Concr 200 20 10 Feb 2022 7,8,9,10 (see note 4)

  1. Assignment 1: Mechanical Properties of Metals
  2. Assignment 2: Phase Diagrams and TTT
  3. Assignment 3: Polymers and Ceramics
  4. Assignment 4: Corrosion, Semiconductors, and Concretes

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no Examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Date printed 21 July 2021