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Unit of study_

AMME5310: Engineering Tribology

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

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.

Unit details and rules

Unit code AMME5310
Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

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

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Li Chang,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Tutorial quiz Quiz 1
Canvas quiz (open book)
10% - 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO5
Assignment Lab reports
Individual will produce a report giving analysis and understanding
20% - n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8 LO9
Assignment Assignment 1
Take home assignment: hand-written working analysis questions
10% Week 06 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO8 LO9
Assignment hurdle task Draft major project
Group contribute to a draft of project report
5% Week 09 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Assignment 2
Take home assignment: hand-written working analysis questions
10% Week 11 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO8 LO9
Assignment Major project
Group contribute to a final project report
25% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Tutorial quiz Quiz 2
Canvas quiz (open book)
10% Week 13 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO9 LO8 LO5
Presentation Seminar
Group will analyse case study, and present the findings as a record
10% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4 LO3
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

  • 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

For more information see guide to grades.

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.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity 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 integrity breaches seriously.  

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

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Reading literature and independent research activities Independent study (90 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO9
Week 01 Introduction to tribology Lecture (2 hr) LO8
Week 02 Engineering surfaces Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO8
Profiling and measuring surface roughness Science laboratory (3 hr) LO6 LO8
Week 03 Lubricant properties Lecture (2 hr) LO7 LO8
Lubricant properties rheology lab Science laboratory (3 hr) LO6 LO8
Week 04 Lubrication regimes-hydrodynamic lubrication Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO5 LO7 LO8
Lubrication regimes-hydrodynamic lubrication Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO7 LO8
Week 05 Elastrohydrodynamics lubrication (EHL) Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO7 LO8
Tutorial problems Tutorial (3 hr) LO8 LO9
Week 06 Boundary lubrication Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO8
Measuring friction of lubricated and dry contacts Science laboratory (3 hr) LO6 LO8
Week 07 Dry/mixed/solid lubrication and contacts Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO5 LO8
Week 08 Wear Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO5 LO8
Wear test and characterisation Science laboratory (3 hr) LO6 LO7 LO9
Week 09 Polymer Tribology & Case Study Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO5 LO8
Week 10 Bio-Tribology & Case Study Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO5 LO8
Tutorial problems and activities Tutorial (3 hr) LO7 LO8 LO9
Week 11 Nanotribology: friction and lubrication at the atomic scale Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO7 LO8
Week 12 Space Tribology & Case Study Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO7 LO8
Week 13 Future Triobology Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO7 LO8
Major Project Presentation Seminar (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO7 LO8

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

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No significant change has been made since 2020


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

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.