Engineering: frameworks, analysis, production
This module builds on the concepts and techniques in Engineering: origins, methods, context (T192). It begins by focusing on invention and innovation, and the advisory or legislative frameworks used to promote good practice and ensure safety. Examples of patents, standards and an energy case study are examined, providing a basis for introducing key topics in engineering and mathematics. Next, it takes you on a tour of modern manufacturing methods, and explores how these are related to properties of materials, product design, environmental sustainability and profitability. More advanced mathematical techniques, including basic calculus, are introduced and applied in an engineering context.
What you will study
Part 1 – Engineering to rule
You will explore the ideas of innovation and invention, and the advisory or legislative frameworks used to promote good practice and ensure safety. These include patents, standards, industry guidelines, and other official sources of data, information and guidance. Examples will be chosen for closer examination that introduce key engineering topics. You will study aspects of the mechanical and electrical properties of materials, the behaviour of structures under load, and basic chemistry.
Part 2 – Electricity from sunlight
In this part you’ll explore the important topic of producing energy for human use. You will learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels and the growing need for low carbon energy. A case study looks more closely at one alternative approach – the production of electricity from sunlight using photovoltaic panels. Fundamental topics covered include the use of chemical equations, the nature and properties of electromagnetic radiation, and the structure and properties of electronic materials.
Part 3 – Manufacturing
Next, you will build on your growing understanding of the properties of materials. You will learn about key manufacturing techniques, and when and how they can be used to make products. The techniques covered include casting, forming, cutting, joining, surface engineering and additive manufacturing.
Part 4 – Materials and resources
The final part will present some case studies of the use of materials and resources, putting manufacturing into a wider context of environmental and economic considerations.
Mathematics is an essential component of engineering and is included throughout the module. You will have opportunities to revise and build on the mathematics covered in Engineering: origins, methods, context (T192), by applying it to new topics in engineering. New mathematical methods in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, graphical representation, statistics and calculus will be introduced and applied.
You will be helped to develop your information literacy skills through library searches and technical reading linked to patents and standards. The Open Engineering Studio provides an online space where you can share work with other students and work together on collaborative activities. You will use a learning log to record and reflect on your progress.
Throughout the module, interactive quizzes will give you a chance to practise maths questions to prepare for the interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs). Assignment questions will be based on activities in the module material.
This module provides ideal preparation for the third of our introductory engineering modules, Engineering: mathematics, modelling, applications (T194).
This is a key component of all OU engineering qualifications. The learning outcomes for these qualifications are designed to fulfil the Engineering Council’s requirements under UK-SPEC and are accredited by several engineering institutions as fulfilling the educational requirements for professional recognition.
Four module books, module handbook, module map, assessment guide, access to the module website which includes online study material and activities.
You will need
A scientific calculator, basic drawing equipment and a device capable of producing digital images (e.g. a smartphone, digital camera or scanner).
A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.
Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.
A desktop or laptop computer with either:
- Windows 7 or higher
- macOS 10.7 or higher
The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.
To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.
Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.