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MEC2301 Design of Machine Elements

Semester 2, 2020 On-campus Springfield
Short Description: Design of Machine Elements
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 030701 - Mechanical Engineering
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Chris Snook


Pre-requisite: MEC2402 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MEPR or GCEN or GEPR

Other requisites

Recommended prior or concurrent study: MEC2401 or MEC2405


Design is one of the most important engineering functions for it is through design that new products and processes are born and that old ones are improved. Design requires a breadth of knowledge extending over many areas, and a sound analytical ability. It requires an ability to recognise the phenomena involved and to synthesise an integrated solution. Design requires sound engineering judgement as well as a good grasp of the underlying basic science and mathematics.


This course aims to integrate the knowledge that the student has gained earlier in their program and to focus the student's analytical skills towards synthesis of solutions by working through the design of several simple, commonly used devices.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. identify appropriate analytical models to describe and predict the behaviour of standard machine components;
  2. reduce the behaviour of a complex machine into appropriate sub- systems/elements and then analyse the behaviour of their elements;
  3. apply stress analysis theory, fatigue theory and appropriate criteria of failure to the design of simple machine elements;
  4. analyse and evaluate forces and stresses within a spur gear system;
  5. design simple power transmission systems;
  6. select appropriate mechanical components from manufacturers' catalogues;
  7. design springs, plain bearings and fluid seals;
  8. apply codes and standards to machine component design;
  9. communicate the results of a design assignment by means of drawings and a design report; and
  10. make appropriate use of available computer aided design software.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Stress Concentration 5.00
2. Fracture 5.00
3. Fatigue 15.00
4. Buckling 5.00
5. Threaded Fasteners and Power Screws 10.00
6. Rivetted, Welded and Bonded Joints 10.00
7. Springs 10.00
8. Bearings 10.00
9. Belt and Chain Drives 5.00
10. Spur Gears 10.00
11. Shafts and Shaft Fittings 10.00
12. Brakes and Clutches 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Juvinall, RC & Marshek, KM 2019, Fundamentals of machine component design, 7th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Avallone, EA, Baumeister, T & Sadegh, A 2006, Marks Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, McGraw Hill, New York.
(Any version will suffice.)
Budynas, RG & Nisbett, JK 2014, Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design (SI units), 10th edn, McGraw Hill, New York.
Oberg, E, McCauley, CJ, Jones, FD, Horton, HL & Ryffel, HH 2016, Machinery's handbook: a reference book for the mechanical engineer, designer, manufacturing engineer, draftsman, toolmaker, and machinist, 30th edn, Industrial Press, New York.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 26.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 75.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 26 Aug 2020 1,2,3,4,9,10 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 14 Oct 2020 1,5,6,7,8,9,10 (see note 2)
ONLINE EXAMINATION 600 60 End S2 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 (see note 3)

  1. This will be an open examination. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    In an Open Examination, candidates may have access to any material during the examination except the following: electronic communication devices, bulky materials, devices requiring mains power and material likely to disturb other students.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. This is a communication benchmark course and the assessment of this course will be associated with the demonstration of communication skills.

  3. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Date printed 6 November 2020