MTE2547 - Structure-property relationships in materials - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - 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


Dr Laurence Brassart

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The unit shows how the properties of materials and their structure can be mathematically analysed. Students will apply mathematical techniques to solve problems in various materials engineering fields. Examples of mechanical and electrical properties of materials are examined by the application of matrix operations. Heat transfer and diffusion in materials processing are used as exemplars of partial differential equations and boundary value problems. The error function is introduced. Finite difference methods are explored in relation to heat transfer and diffusion problems, basic curve fitting is introduced as a way of modelling a material's response to deformation. The statistical treatment of experimental data is presented. The distribution of errors for discrete and continuous data are analysed via the Binomial, Poisson and Normal distributions. Statistical testing and fitting of data and various forms of least square fitting of data is introduced. The applicability of non-parametric statistics is applied to a range of non-ordinal data. Problems are analysed using Excel and Matlab.


At the successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Describe the fundamental concepts of scale transition methods to determine the properties of materials based on a description of their microstructure.
  2. Describe how the mechanical properties of a variety of materials (polycrystals, composites, polymers, biomaterials) relate to their structure at microscopic and/or molecular scale.
  3. Select and apply physics-based material models to determine the properties and behaviour of a given material, and critically examine the predictions by comparing to experimental data.
  4. Use Python to solve simple mechanics and transport problems in materials
  5. Analyse structure-property relationships in complex material systems using a commercial finite element software


Assignments: 40%

Project: 30%

Examination (2 hours): 30%

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.

Workload requirements

Two 1 hour lectures, one 2 hour tutorial/problem solving class, and 7.5 hours of private study per week and two 3 hour laboratory classes per semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)