Energy Engineering Modules
Year one | Year two | Year three | Year four
Block 1: General Engineering Tools and Principles 1 provides students with sound knowledge and command of fundamental engineering tools, principles and mathematical techniques with emphasis on engineering applications. Student will gain an appropriate background in the fundamental principles of Mathematics, Mechanical Principles (Solid Mechanics), Electronic Principles and their uses by carrying out analytical calculations and laboratory experiments. The module contains the well-recognized elements of classical engineering mathematics which universally underpin the formation of the professional engineer. Therefore, the module will concentrate on: (a) understanding mathematical concepts associated with engineering applications, and (b) applying mathematical skills and techniques to solve engineering problems.
Block 2: General Engineering Tools and Principles 2 builds on the common basis established in Engineering Tools and Principles 1. The aim of this module is to provide students with a clear understanding of Mathematical and Engineering concepts. Student will gain an appropriate background in the fundamental principles of Mathematics, Mechanical Principles (Dynamics), Electronic Principles and their uses by carrying out analytical calculations and laboratory experiments. The focus in this module is on practical applications – introducing multivariable functions and their derivatives, matrices, vectors and complex numbers. These building blocks are combined with material from Engineering Tools and Principles 1 to study differential equations. The module also covers uses of statistics and probability in the engineering domain.
Block 3: Mechanical Design and Manufacturing 1 includes two interlinked parts: 1) a practical part in which students will learn the key elements of engineering drawings and the design process and 2) a tools part where students will learn the numerical tools required for modern Mechanical Engineering Design in addition to the fundamentals of mechanical machines and the fundamentals of work and energy.
In the practical part, students will work as part of a team to develop a solution for a design challenge while tackling a range of issues to produce a cost-effective solution while considering the product life cycle. Students will work to a timetable and budget while interacting with a range of personnel. They also receive essential training on operating manufacturing machines and health and safety aspects.
The practical part is informed by the knowledge and skills the students gain in the tools part which include four overall topics: Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), Programming, Machines & Mechanisms and Thermodynamics.
Block 4: Mechanical Design and Manufacturing 2 includes two parts: 1) a practical part in which students will manufacture and test a working prototype based on a design generated to a problem specification and 2) a tools part where students will further learn the numerical tools required for modern Mechanical Engineering Design in addition to the fundamentals of mechanical machines and the fundamentals of work and energy.
In the practical part, students will work as part of a team to manufacture a design solution while tackling a range of issues to produce a cost-effective solution while considering the product life cycle, sustainability, and ethics. The students will work to a timetable and budget while interacting with a range of personnel. In the tools part, they learn four topics: Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), Programming, Machines & Mechanisms and Thermodynamics.
Block 1: Mechanical, Energy and Aeronautical Tools and Principles provides students with sound knowledge and command of fundamental engineering tools, principles, and mathematical techniques with emphasis on engineering applications. Students will gain an appropriate background in the fundamental principles of Mathematics, Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics. The module complements the material covered in General Engineering Tools and Principles 1 and 2to extend the Mathematical tools required for Mechanical, Energy and Aeronautical engineering. These tools are implemented in the context of Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics. Heat Transfer covers the basics of heat transfer and how fluid mechanics underpins it.
Block 2: Dynamics, Instrumentation and Control covers three parts. The first part of the module introduces students to modelling and analysis of dynamic systems through the investigation of the system response, with an emphasis on the free and forced oscillations. Student will learn about the idea of modelling physical systems, characteristic equations, natural frequencies, and vibration modes. In addition, different system’s engineering applications will be discussed to develop further understanding of the solution of the resulting differential equations (e.g., vibration systems, DC motor, quadrotor, battery, etc.).
The second part of the module concerns instrumentation aspects of computer control systems. Students will learn about principles of interfacing industrial processes with control computers and the instrumentation required for this purpose. The third part of the module introduces students to the theory of control systems and computer control. The aim is to teach analysis and design of single-input single-output continuous and digital feedback systems. The background theory is supported by computer aided design studies (using the MATLAB/Simulink package) and practical laboratory experiments.
Blocks 3 and 4: Sustainable Energy Solutions introduces students to the energy trilemma and how it relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The module covers low carbon energy technologies and energy storage systems, their role in future electricity grids, as well as their impacts on the natural environment. Students will be able to apply the knowledge gained to judge which technology is best suited to the energy requirements of a given application. Students will be able to understand the natural phenomena that underpin renewable energy technologies, the different characteristics of each technology, and how they can be used to decarbonise transport. Furthermore, the module introduces students to the concept of responsible energy consumption and its role in sustainable energy systems, with focus on the existing tools and strategies for its promotion.
Design and Project Management presents some of the background, theory and practice of project management to enable students to embed professional project management expertise in their professional and academic development, and to understand the interplay among science, engineering, design and project management. The module concentrates on the wider role and expectations of the project manager and students can expect to contribute to discussions ranging from the time value of money to anticipating how future sustainability pressures can influence a project now. Throughout the process, students will also learn the standard of good engineering design solutions and practical skills to develop and demonstrate the discipline specific designs.
Block 1: Advanced Energy Engineering Tools and Principles provides students with the knowledge required for advanced analysis of electrical and thermofluidic systems as integral parts of energy systems. It comprises three parts:
I. The first part introduces students to the fundamentals of electrical circuit analysis, proceeding to the more advanced topics of AC and DC power flow analysis in electricity transmission and distribution systems; three-phase systems and AC machinery principles; and reactive power compensation. Additionally, students are provided with hands-on training on the use of industry-recognised computer simulation tools for power systems analysis.
II. The second part covers the fundamentals of thermodynamics and explores how these can be applied to engineering devices and systems. It also covers the laws of thermodynamics, with practical applications such as refrigerators and heat pumps.
III. The third part covers the fundamental concepts of power generation from heat engines, with special attention to the analysis of internal combustion engines, as well as their exhaust emission composition and control.
Block 2: Energy Economics, Policy and the Environmentprovides an engagement with the foundations of economics in relation to energy demand, supply, and management, exploring the link between energy, economic growth, and sustainable development. Students will gain an understanding of the economic viability of current energy sources, markets, and policies at national and international levels. They will be introduced to the foundations of the economics of energy systems and encouraged to undertake their own research of current developments in the field. The module further explores the nexus between energy and environmental sustainability, as well as the influence of environmental considerations on energy policies and regulations.
Block 3: a choice of one of the following:
(the module chosen in Block 3 will be continued into Block 4)
Nuclear, Renewable and Smart Energy Solutions with Individual Project 1 teaches students advanced concepts in nuclear, renewable, and smart energy systems, together with the challenges posed by their integration into the electricity transmission and distribution systems. The individual project component of the module allows students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research on a topic relevant to energy engineering and present their findings in a written report.
This forms part of a pair of modules with Nuclear, Renewable and Smart Energy Solutions with Individual Project 2 in Block 4 being the second.
Renewable Energy Electronic Devices 1 with Individual Project focuses on various aspects of semiconductor materials and devices for their applications in renewable energy electronics devices. Semiconductor devices are used for switching action in various appliances; power electronics-based power converters are widely used in renewable energy systems. Wide bandgap semiconductor materials are becoming important in terms of power electronics, and this will be introduced in detail. Semiconductor materials are an integral part of solar PV cells; solar PV electricity production is expected to increase in years to come. Therefore, learning the basic aspects of semiconductor materials and devices from the perspective of their application in energy-related devices is a philosophy of this module. This module provides a background on the science and technology of materials deposition/ processing and how semiconductor materials and devices are used to enable clean energy. The module covers the fundamentals of semiconductor materials and devices required for their applications in renewable energy, conventional fabrication processes used in making such devices, and their testing and analysis.
The individual project component of the module allows students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research on a topic relevant to energy engineering and present their findings in a written report.
This forms part of a pair of modules with Renewable Energy Electronic Devices 2 with Individual Project in Block 4 being the second.
Block 4: a choice of one of the following:
(the module chosen in Block 3 will be continued into Block 4)
Nuclear, Renewable and Smart Energy Solutions with Individual Project 2 teaches students the mitigation strategies for the challenges posed by nuclear, renewable, and smart energy systems integration. It explores the role of recent advancements in power electronics, embedded systems, mathematical optimisation, as well as waste and risk management, in ensuring their safe and sustainable integration into the global energy mix. Students will be exposed to real-world scenarios, gaining hands-on experience on the implementation of these strategies. The individual project component allows students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research on a topic relevant to energy engineering and present their findings in a written report.
Renewable Energy Electronic Devices 2 with Individual Project provides an advanced knowledge of emerging semiconductor materials and devices (e.g. bandgap engineering for tandem solar cells and wide-bandgap materials for power electronics devices) that are used to enable clean energy. The module includes the fundamentals of emerging semiconductor materials and devices (including nanomaterials) requirements for their applications in renewable energy, energy conversion and storage, emerging fabrication processes (including printing) used in making such devices, and exposure to advanced testing facilities and analysis. The individual project component allows students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research on a topic relevant to energy engineering and present their findings in a written report.
Year Four (MEng)
Block 1: Engineering Business Environment and Research Methods
In this module students will understand and reflect upon sustainability and the role of business in a rapidly changing, globalised world. It identifies opportunities and threats for industry arising from environmental policy, legislation and societal change, and explores how businesses respond to future environmental challenges: for example, through supply chain management, logistics, life-cycle analysis, green accounting and carbon trading. This module benefits future practitioners in industry, and future academics exploring the sustainability of engineering businesses.
The module teaches students to demonstrate self-direction, group working and originality in problem solving. Teaching of research methods and associated study skills will be integrated through coursework and assignments to prepare students to plan and successfully complete their project. Material includes: understanding the research of others, literature reviewing, research methodologies, data interpretation and analysis, research ethics, intellectual property and report writing.
Block 2: Data Analytics for Sustainable Energy Systems teaches students the key concepts of data analytics and its application to energy system design and operation. It starts with a revision of the fundamentals of scientific programming in Python, to provide students with the requisite skills for advanced topics later in the module. Students are further introduced to Statistics, Machine Learning, and Optimisation to equip them with the skills required for solving moderately advanced problems in uncertainty analysis; supervised and unsupervised machine learning; reinforcement learning; mixed-integer linear programming; model-predictive control; operation management; and decision making under uncertainty. The second part of the module is activity based, and applies the concepts studied in the first part to carefully selected real-world case studies from all stages of the energy value chain. Case studies could be drawn from: demand forecasting in multi-vector energy systems, renewable energy generation prediction, electric vehicle charge scheduling, model-predictive control of distributed energy systems, outage management in electricity grids, load management, energy theft detection, economic dispatch of power systems, consumer profiling, and energy market analysis.
Blocks 3 and 4: Sustainable Building Design and Modelling gives students a detailed understanding of the key features of climatic datasets and how they reveal the local meteorological conditions. A comprehensive understanding of the interaction between fabric/form, airflow, solar irradiation, and building thermal performance and how local environmental conditions and the design of a building affect the thermal comfort of its occupants will be developed. This will enable students to understand why and how building simulation methods can be used to analyse building performance in the design process. Students will be able to make appropriate selection of simulation methods, evaluate results and give coherent recommendations.
A number of different airflow modelling techniques are included in the module. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the physical processes of airflow and the design principles of natural ventilation and gain a practical understanding of how natural ventilation has been employed in real building designs. Computer modelling will complement this learning towards mixed-mode sustainable buildings, while also enabling students to carry out simulation-based studies to predict solar control and daylighting quantities and to test their sensitivity to building parameters. The module will enable students to carry out Dynamic Thermal modelling to analyse the thermal performance of buildings in the design process and to understand why and how building energy simulation methods can be used to estimate the benefits, in terms of energy and emissions, of a sustainable approach to building design.
Group Project is an opportunity for students to work on an engineering project as a multidisciplinary team, similar to that found in industry. The module has been specifically designed to expose students to the multidisciplinary and team nature of many engineering projects, helping to highlight individual strengths and weaknesses, which may help the individual in selecting a pathway to an engineering career. It will also help to prepare students for being responsible for the quality of their output, in particular conforming to required protocols, and managing technical uncertainty.
The project will include using appropriate technical information and engineering knowledge, problem solving, application and development of mathematical and computer models, the understanding and selection of components and materials, and the necessary workshop and laboratories techniques. Students will develop key skills in understanding and practising project manage, leadership and risk management applied to a technical project.