Faculty of Engineering

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Associate Professor Philip Nakashima



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


Fundamental knowledge of materials properties can only be gained from the correct interrogation of materials using appropriate characterisation techniques. The unit will be taught as a series of modules covering essential knowledge in each of a range of materials characterisation techniques (X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, various spectroscopies, other microscopies, sample preparation etc.).


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • judge the characterisation technique best suited to answer particular material property questions
  • recognise the limitations of what can ben learnt from different techniques based on specimen and instrumental limitations
  • design experiments to enhance the characterisation of a material
  • appraise the current state-of-the-art of emerging characterisation techniques
  • devise strategies to combine techniques to obtain optimum information about material properties
  • formulate ways to optimally prepare specimen for each characterisation technique.


Continuous assessment: 50%
Examination (3 hours): 50%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

4 hours of lectures/tutorials, 2 hours lab and 6 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)