1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Introduction to Biomechanics

Introduction to Biomechanics (BMEN30005)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeBMEN30005
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


The main aim of this course is to introduce students to the basic concepts of the kinematics and dynamics of human motion and the architectural features and mechanical properties of musculoskeletal tissue. Tissue function is then illustrated in the context of normal and pathological movement.


Specific topics covered include: Motion of a Rigid Body (reference frames, angular velocity, two points fixed on a rigid body); Measurement and Processing of Kinematic Data; Body Anthropometry (calculation of centre of mass and mass moment of inertia); Forces and Moments (moments of force, muscle moment arm, inverse dynamics analysis); Work, Energy, Power (kinetic energy, potential energy, elastic strain energy); Tissue Biomechanics (muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage and bone); Orthopaedic Biomechanics: biomechanics of gait across the lifespan, biomechanical adaptations to training, knee osteoarthritis).

Intended learning outcomes


Having completed this subject the student is expected -

1 - to understand the basic concepts of mechanics and appreciate the ways in which they can be applied to the study of human movement;
2 - to learn about some of the common experimental methods used in biomechanics, with particular emphasis on movement;
3 - to understand about some of the basic principles of tissue biomechanics, especially bone, cartilage, ligament and muscle.

Generic skills

On completing this subject, students should have developed -

  • The ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals.
  • The ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution.
  • The ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance.
  • Proficiency in engineering design.
  • The ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large.
  • A capacity for creativity and innovation.
  • The ability to function effectively as an individual and in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, as a team leader or manager as well as an effective team member.
  • A capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.

Last updated: 10 August 2019