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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 01/07/2022 14:59:19

Title of Module: Composite Structures

Code: ENGG10021 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Tony  Leslie

Summary of Module

This module gives the student an Introduction to composite materials, their classifications, definitions and related terminology. The relationship of composite materials to traditional engineering materials is also outlined. Current and traditional manufacturing and fabrication methods are detailed and discussed as well as discussion of bonding and bolting as fabrication techniques.

Performance characteristics are initially investigated through the use of micromechanical analysis of uni-directional (UD) composites. Elastic mechanical analysis of UD lamina demonstrating the dependence of the properties and proportions of the constituents on the mechanical properties of the lamina. UD lamina strength is then examined in tension and compression and relationship to the properties and proportions of the constituents discussed. Concepts such as fibre pullout will also be addressed.

Structural analysis and lamination theory is then introduced to examine the stress/strain/stiffness behaviour of UD lamina and laminates under multi axial loading. Anisotropic strength and failure theories such as Tsai-Hill will be introduced. The analysis of composites using finite element methods will also be discussed and demonstrated through the use of practical laboratory sessions.

Testing and experimental techniques will also be discussed for establishing and fully characterising the mechanical properties of a composite laminate. Non-destructive testing techniques will be examined and discussed in the relation to the damage tolerance of composite materials especially after impact loading.

During the course of this module students will develop their UWS Graduate Attributes ( in the following areas-




  • Universal: Academic - Critical thinking, analytical & inquiring mind; Personal- Ethical; Professional- Research Minded

  • Work-Ready: Academic - Knowledgeable, Digitally Literate, Problem Solver; Personal - Effective Communicator; Professional - Ambitious

  • Successful : Academic - Autonomous; Personal - Resilient; Professional- Driven

  • This module has been reviewed and updated, taking cognisance of the University’s Curriculum Framework principles. Examples of this are found within the module such as active and engaging practical manufacture and testing laboratory, module assessment which reflects industry design activities, learning synergies across modules and levels of study, recorded lecture content supporting students to organise their own study time and the use of real-world practical student generated data with to compare with and validate simulation activity developing digital intelligence meta-skills.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. To develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of composite materials and their differences to traditional engineering materials.

L2. To develop knowledge and understanding of the methods of analysis for stress/strain/stiffness of composite materials and structures including computational methods.

L3. To develop knowledge of design methodologies and current manufacturing methods for composite materials.

L4. To develop detailed knowledge of the testing procedures associated with composite materials and structures, including current trends and practices for establishing material properties.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 10.

A critical knowledge and understanding of the use of composite materials and the methods and techniques used when designing with these unique materials.

Specific and detailed knowledge and understanding of the application, techniques and practices associated with designing composite structures. Using composite materials and structures to solve engineering and design problems.

Detailed knowledge of the appropriateness of methods and techniques associated with composite material science and analysis. Critical understanding of the methods used to ascertain and characterise composite materials.

Detailed knowledge of the environmental and societal impact of solutions to complex problems (to include the entire life-cycle of a product or process) and minimise adverse impacts.

Detailed knowledge of quality management systems and their importance to the composites industry.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Appling knowledge and understanding to develop analysis and modelling strategies for a wide range of engineering and design problems relating to composite structures.

Performing advanced experimental procedure to establish and characterise composite structures.

Assessing different strategies with respect to obtaining appropriate efficient solutions to engineering and design problems in composite design.

Making use of specialised finite element techniques to solve composite structures problems.

Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed.

Select and critically evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to solve complex problems.

Use practical laboratory and workshop skills to investigate complex problems.

Select and apply appropriate materials, equipment, engineering technologies and processes, recognising their limitations.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Undertaking, evaluating and assessing analysis of composite structures problems. Making judgements on analytical data and results. Being able to develop conceptual solutions and strategies to solve problems.

Dealing results data and making critical comparative assessments between theoretical, simulation, and experimental predictions.

Bringing information together from a variety of sources during problem solving and being able to perceive potential problems with methods and strategies.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Ability to perform, interpret and evaluate complex numerical, geometrical and graphical data and using it to solve problems associated with composite design and analysis.

Ability to use variables and complex equations. Ability to integrate existing software with into solution processes. Make use of multi-purpose integrated software systems to solve complex problems. Making use of research literature to find solutions to problems and make use of experimental techniques.

Using communications skills to write detailed, critical technical reports, including text and illustration.

Using finite element hardware and software and associated ICT equipment and systems such as networks to support and perform a wide range of problem solving tasks.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Identifying and addressing their own learning needs both during and out with class time.

Identifying solution routes and strategies using their own initiative and informed judgements.

Adopt an inclusive approach to engineering practice and recognise the responsibilities, benefits and importance of supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:Design Analysis 1 or equivalent HN qualification. Design Analysis 2 or equivalent HN qualification
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The learning and teaching activity for this module include lectures, tutorials, coursework preparation and laboratories.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity24
Independent Study152
Asynchronous Class Activity0
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Finite Element System (Pro/Engineer, Pro/Mechanica, Ansys ) + 40 seat PC Lab with corresponding network facilities and suitable PCs. Software site licences required.

Course notes, presentations and case studies will be provided.


Composite Materials: Design and Applications, Daniel Gay, CRC Press, 2007
ISBN : 978-1420045192*

Finite Element Analysis of Composite Materials, J. Barbero, CRC Press, 2007 ISBN: 978-1420054330*

Mechanics of Fibrous Composites, M.H. Datoo, Kulwer Academic Press, 1991
ISBN: 978-1851666003*

An Introduction to Composite Materials, D.Hull, Cambridge University Press, 1996, ISBN: 978-0521388559*

NAFEMS, How To Analyse Composites, Various, NAFEMS Publications.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEngineering
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelEngineering
ModeratorAsraf Uzzaman
External ExaminerM Ghaleeh
Accreditation DetailsThis module is accredited by IMechE as part of BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering and BEng(Hons) Aircraft Engineering programmes.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Unseen open book examination 70%
Coursework 30%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen open bookcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark702

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark300
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The programme leaders have considered how the programme meets the requirements of potential students from minority groups, including students from ethnic minorities, disabled students, students of different ages and students from under-represented groups. Students with special needs (including additional learning needs) would be assessed/accommodated and any identified barriers to particular groups of students discussed with the Enabling Support Unit and reasonable adjustments would be made for classes and site visits.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.