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During 2021 we will continue to support students who need to study remotely due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Make sure you check the location code when selecting a unit outline or choosing your units of study in Sydney Student. Find out more about what these codes mean. Both remote and on-campus locations have the same learning activities and assessments, however teaching staff may vary. More information about face-to-face teaching and assessment arrangements for each unit will be provided on Canvas.

Unit of study_

AMME5310: Engineering Tribology

The aim is to teach students in the undergraduate and postgraduate levels basic concepts about friction, lubrication and wear applicable to design and operation of mechanical systems used in engineering, industrial, and modern applications. Examples of these systems are lubrication of internal combustion engines, gearboxes, artificial hip/knee joints, and micro/nano electromechanical systems.


Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Unit code AMME5310
Unit name Engineering Tribology
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Assumed knowledge

(AMME2302 OR AMME9302) AND (AMME2301 OR AMME9301) AND (MECH3261 OR MECH9261 or MECH8261)

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Li Chang,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Tutorial quiz Quiz 1
10% - 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Assignment Lab reports
20% - n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8 LO9
Assignment Assignment 1
10% Week 06 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO8 LO9
Assignment hurdle task Draft major project
5% Week 09 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Assignment Assignment 2
10% Week 11 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO8 LO9
Assignment Major project
25% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Quiz 2
10% Week 13 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO9 LO8 LO5
Participation Seminar
10% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4 LO3
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
  • Lab reports: Student’s are to submitt their lab reports no later than one week after attending the lab.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to tribology Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 02 Engineering surfaces Lecture (2 hr)  
Profiling and measuring surface roughness Science laboratory (3 hr)  
Week 03 Lubricant properties Lecture (2 hr)  
Lubricant properties rheology lab Science laboratory (3 hr)  
Week 04 Lubrication regimes-hydrodynamic lubrication Lecture (2 hr)  
Lubrication regimes-hydrodynamic lubrication Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 05 Elastrohydrodynamics lubrication (EHL) Lecture (2 hr)  
Tutorial problems Tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 06 Boundary lubrication Lecture (2 hr)  
Measuring friction of lubricated and dry contacts Science laboratory (3 hr)  
Week 07 Dry/mixed/solid lubrication and contacts Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 08 Wear Lecture (2 hr)  
Wear test and characterisation Science laboratory (3 hr)  
Week 09 Polymer Tribology & Case Study Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 10 Bio-Tribology & Case Study Lecture (2 hr)  
Tutorial problems and activities Tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 11 Nanotribology: friction and lubrication at the atomic scale Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 12 Space Tribology & Case Study Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 13 Future Triobology Lecture (2 hr)  
Major Project Presentation Seminar (3 hr)  

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. conduct independent scientific literature review related to a major project in tribology
  • LO2. communicate the findings of the project in a professional manner in written reports and oral presentations
  • LO3. collaborate with peers to plan and conduct research, produce results and achieve conclusions and objectives of the project.
  • LO4. manage time effectively to complete a project
  • LO5. design efficient tribology solutions for applications in the industry and modern technology by relating the composition of lubricant film, and its properties and operational conditions such as operational load, temperature and speed
  • LO6. use a tribometer, rheometer, surface profilometer and other tools important in tribology to measure friction, wear and properties of surfaces and lubricants, in order to design and model and predict tribological behaviour of mechanical systems by using computational and analytical methods
  • LO7. apply knowledge gained from experiments and theory to a major practical project on tribology
  • LO8. apply basic and advanced theory of friction, lubrication and wear, including, dry friction, hydrodynamic, elasto-hydrodynamic (EHL), and boundary lubrication regimes, and wear quantification and modelling to engineering mechanisms at macro/micro and nano length scales
  • LO9. calculate and measure properties of contacting surfaces such as roughness, friction coefficient, and adhesion strength, and chose appropriate materials such as metals, polymers, ceramics and biomaterials, for efficient behaviour in tribological applications.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Based on students' feedback in last year, we'll have two quizzes in this semester. This will provide students further opportunities to assess their learning outcomes.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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