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Unit of study_

MECH4460: Design of Micro- and Nanosystems

2024 unit information

This unit teaches the student how to recognize where and how their theoretical skills can be applied to practical situations in the field of mechanical design. As a case study, a set of widely implemented Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is introduced, including Pressure Sensors, Microphones, Accelerometers, Gyroscopes and Micromirrors. Selected mechanical designs are presented and design choices are discussed with respect to their performance. Notions specific to microfabrication and the concept of scaling laws are introduced and elucidated at commonly implemented examples. The unit includes a hands-on design and modelling part introducing modern multi-physics finite element analysis. Dedicated tutorial sessions introduce the finite element modeling of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems. An emphasis is laid on the capability to couple multiple physics in a single model, including deformation of solids by electrostatic, electromagnetic or electro-thermal forces. The students will learn how to conceive and engineer a MEMS design, and predict performance by multi-physics finite element analysis.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic

Code MECH4460
Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Credit points 6
MECH2400 and MECH3460
Assumed knowledge:
(AMME1802 or ENGG1802) and AMME2301 and AMME2500 and MECH3361

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

  • LO1. sketch and explain the working principle of a selected MEMS design
  • LO2. draw a microfabrication process flow to manufacture a MEMS device
  • LO3. compare advantages and drawbacks of a selected MEMS design
  • LO4. analyze the scaling laws for mechanical design parameters
  • LO5. interprete and evaluate the mechanical design choices of a commercially available MEMS device
  • LO6. perform independent research on scientific and technical literature as well as product datasheets on a selected MEMS device
  • LO7. summarize history, working principle, mechanical design, performance and applications of a selected MEMS device in a presentation
  • LO8. create a finite element model of a selected MEMS device
  • LO9. explain the main components of a multiphysics finite element analysis
  • LO10. set up, execute, solve and interprete the results of a MEMS Multiphysics finite element analysis
  • LO11. perform parameter variation of a mechanical design and discuss performance trends
  • LO12. create the mechanical design of a selected MEMS device and discuss the performance based on a finite element analysis
  • LO13. summarize the results of a MEMS design in a presentation and in a technical report

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Remote
Semester 1 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.