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Engineering Materials (ENGR20003)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeENGR20003
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


The subject aims to provide knowledge about construction materials, their properties, manufacturing processes and key issues associated with their applications in structural engineering. The subject also introduces the relationships between the structure of a material and its properties.

This subject must be taken early in the progression of training to be an engineer as it is a prerequisite of structural design subjects, and contributes valuable insights into the role of materials in other disciplines of engineering such as geotechnical engineering. It partners with ENGR20004 Engineering Mechanics to build a student's understanding of the way objects behave when load or deformations are applied to them.


The subject is divided into three components: materials science; construction materials; and, mechanics of materials. In the material science component; basic concepts on inter-atomic bonding, microstructure of solids and generic material properties related to density, deformation, yield, ductility, fracture, toughness, susceptibility to corrosion and fatigue are introduced. In the construction materials component; the engineering applications of structural and light-gauge steel, concrete, masonry, timber, glass, fibre-glass and composites are covered. In the mechanics component; the basic concepts of stress-strain compatibility, composite actions, the concept of shear stress flow, basic two-dimensional stress analysis, strength and ductility and arching actions are covered.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Describe and interpret the phenomena of strength, deformation, ductility, failure mechanisms, fast fracture and fatigue as applied generically to all materials and be able to identify the key engineering implications with these phenomena
  2. Describe the key features in the manufacturing/production, quality control, engineering applications, performance and safety issues associated with the commonly used engineering materials including steel, concrete, masonry, timber, polymers and composites, and be able to identify their engineering implications
  3. Apply the concepts of stress-strain compatibility and complimentary shear stresses in achieving composite actions; identify realistic failure mechanisms in structures and make effective use of strength and ductility in engineering applications
  4. Identify key considerations including those of costs, practicality, sustainability and the environment, health and safety in making engineering decisions on the choice and application of materials
  5. Describe atomic and crystalline structures, molecular composition and its influence on the physical properties of materials.

Generic skills

  • Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Understanding of social, cultural, global, and environmental responsibilities and the need to employ principles of sustainable development.

Last updated: 18 September 2019