Module code: ENG2097

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

CIROVIC S Dr (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 11

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 25%
Examination EXAMINATION 2 HRS 75%

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This is an introductory level course in biomechanics. Topics taught in modules on solid and fluid mechanics are reviewed  and then used to analyse certain aspects of the functioning of the human body.  The topics covered are:

Biomechanics of movement and analysis of the musculoskeletal system.
An introduction to the material behaviour of biological tissues.
An introduction to the fluid mechanics of the cardiovascular system.

Module aims

An understanding of how the human body can be represented as a mechanical system at various levels of detail depending on the application, and then analysed using principles of mechanics.

An understanding of the way in which muscles and joints act as structures to provide equilibrium or generate movement.

An understanding of how the principles of statics and dynamics can be applied to calculate forces generated in the joints for a range of situations.

An understanding of the techniques that humans use in locomotion to move with a minimum of energy expenditure.

An in-depth understanding of all the steps involved in the analysis of human movement and the practical skills needed to conduct that analysis.

An understanding of how stress analysis can be applied to the long bones to examine their functional behaviour, fracture modes, and resilience.

An introduction to the material behaviour of soft tissue.

An introduction to the analysis of the cardiovascular system from the perspective of fluid dynamics

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Be able to determine joint forces, joint moments, bone-on-bone forces and muscle forces using the methods of static analysis in which the body is in equilibrium.EA1b, EA3b KCP
Be familiar with simple models for the analysis of running and walking and understand the mechanisms through which energy expenditure in locomotion is minimized. SM1b, EA1b KC
Be able to experimentally determine some anthropometric parameters such as the position of the centre of mass of the whole body SM1b, EA1b KP
Be able to conduct structural analysis of long bones, understand fracture patterns for different types of loading, understand the concept of resilience to fracture, and understand the role of muscles in preventing bone fracture as well as be familiar with the concepts of viscoelasticity and non-linear elasticity of soft tissue. SM1b, EA1b, EA3b KC
Analyze experimental data to calculate joint angles, joint moments, and joint reaction forces in motion from marker position data and anthropometric data using engineering principles and computer-based data processing. SM1b, SM2b, EA1b, EA3b CPT
Be able to apply the concept of hydraulic resistance to the vascular system, in order to analyse pressure drop in the microcirculation, and understand the concept of capacitance and elastance of arteries and veins and their role in regulating pressure and flow in the cardiovascular system and the concept of pulse speed in the arteries. SM1b, SM2b, SM3b, EA1b, EA3b, EA4b KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Statics of the musculoskeletal system.
Analysis of overall motion; walking and running.
Kinematics of linkage systems applied to the human body; link-segment models of the human body.
Dynamics of the musculoskeletal system.
Synthesis of movement analysis.
Stress analysis applied to long bones.
An introduction to the material behaviour of soft tissue.
An introduction to the fluid mechanics of the cardiovascular system.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to give the student an introduction to the field of biomechanics with a combination of lectures and tutorial sessions.  

The purpose of lectures is to familiarise students with fundamental concepts in biomechanics and to enable them to acquire knowledge on selected topics in this field. Furthermore, the students are motivated to synthesize knowledge gained across other engineering modules for the purpose of analysing problems in biomechanics.

Tutorials are used to reinforce the newly acquired knowledge and to further develop understanding through solving quantitative problems. Problem solving skills and techniques are given special attention.

The learning and teaching methods include:

3 hours lecture per week x 11 weeks
1 hour tutorial per week   x 11 weeks

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to: provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have developed a good understanding of how the fundamental principles of mechanics can be applied to analyse the human body.

The continual assessment portion is divided into two parts. In the first part, the students are required to independently solve quantitative problems similar to those covered in tutorials. Apart from assessing their grasp of the taught material during the course of the module delivery, this part of the assessment provides an opportunity for formative feedback. In the second part, the students are provided with the opportunity to go through all the stages of the process of analysing human movement experimental data, thus linking together a number of concepts and skills acquired in lectures and tutorials in a logical sequence. The students are encouraged to write a computer program (e.g. in Matlab) to perform this analysis.

The examination covers all topics delivered in the lectures and it is aimed at assessing both the understanding of theoretical concepts and the ability to apply these in practice.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Examination              [ Learning outcomes 1, 2,3,4,5,6 ]    (2 hours)                 {75%}
Coursework : 2 elements:

     - numerical problems [ Learning outcomes 1, 2,3,4 ]        (8 hours)                  {12%}

-  quantitative analysis of exp’t’l motion-tracking data [ Learning outcomes 3, 5]  (9 hours) {13%}

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative verbal feedback is given in tutorials.
Written feedback is given for each of the coursework reports.


Reading list

Reading list for BIOMECHANICS :

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.