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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_

MECH5304: Materials Failure

Develop advanced knowledge and skills in diagnostic analyses of materials failure using advanced techniques; enhance students' ability in handling complex engineering cases using interdisciplinary technologies; and provide students an opportunity to understand project research.


Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Unit code MECH5304
Unit name Materials Failure
Session, year
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

(MECH9361 OR MECH3361 or MECH8361) AND (MECH9362 or MECH8362 OR MECH3362)
Assumed knowledge

Fundamental knowledge in materials science and engineering: 1) atomic and crystal structures 2) metallurgy 3) structure-property relationship 4) mechanics of engineering materials 5) solid mechanics

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Lin Ye,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Group presentation on project work
Group presentation on project work of each group in weeks 10-12.
10% Multiple weeks 10 min for three slots for each group
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Presentation Individual Presentation
A presentation on a failure case study
10% Multiple weeks 15 min
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Assignment 1
Analytical calculations based on failure theory
10% Week 04 3 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Small test Quiz 1
Assessment on knowledge in weeks 1-6
22.5% Week 07 1 hr
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Assignment 2
Analytical calculations based on failure theories
10% Week 07 3 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Group Report on Project Work
A group report on group project work
10% Week 12 10 Pages (Core Part)
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Small test Quiz 2
Assessment on case studies and project work in weeks 7-12
22.5% Week 13 1 hr
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Individual logbook
An individual NOTEBOOK on group project work (not one of stapled sheets)
5% Week 13 4 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Assignments: Two individual assignments.
  • Quizzes: Two in-class quizzes.
  • Individual presentation: Presentation on a ‘failure’ case study.
  • Group report: Final group report on project work.
  • Group presentation: Group members will present project work.
  • Log book: Personal record of project work.

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, Corrosion, Buckling Failure (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 02 Buckling Failure, Yielding Failure (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 Brittle Fracure (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Fatigue Failure, Case Studies Out (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Fatigue Crack Growth, Assignment 1 Due (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Creep Failure (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Quiz 1, Assignment 2 Due (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Case Study Presentations (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Case Study Presentations (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Group Project Work and Presentations (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Group Project Work and Presentations (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Quiz 2, Project Report Due, Logbook Due (5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

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. uncover and characterize failure processes and mechanisms of engineering materials and structures using various tools
  • LO2. characterize materials failure using various failure theories
  • LO3. describe and characterize multiscale structures (micro-/meso-/macro-structures) of engineering materials using various tools including microscopy
  • LO4. understand the general relationship between mechanical performance and multiscale structures of engineering materials
  • LO5. communicate the results of projects as either a team member or an individual.

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
No significant changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


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