Faculty of Engineering

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Engineering
Organisational UnitDepartment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)R Jones


The unit aims to develop an understanding of damage tolerant design. It allows students to translate the real-world treatment of initial flaws and crack growth data to an abstract form for structural modelling. The unit aims to develop an understanding of the application of fracture mechanics in airworthiness applications and students will gain knowledge of the role of inspection intervals, residual strength and in-service crack growth, to the through-life support of aircraft.


Through the development and integration of students' knowledge of structural engineering and its application when assessing compliance to airworthiness requirements on completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • understand and apply the FAA and USAF damage tolerant design requirements.
  • apply the analytical tools to meet these requirements.
  • understand the structural idealization and rationalization methodologies currently used in the aerospace industry to assess airworthiness.
  • recognise the interaction of materials, loads, geometry and environment in setting inspection and operational life limits.
  • understand the determining factors controlling the choice of materials for a given design goal.
  • develop a mature understanding of future trends in airworthiness.
  • students are further encouraged to develop a broad understanding of international aspects of airworthiness.
  • develop a mature understanding of the role of airworthiness on the through-life support of aircraft.
  • the capacity to ask appropriate questions when engaged in the preparation and development of their work.
  • a basic understanding of the fatigue performance of structures subjected to complex load spectra.


Project work: 20%
Assignments: 30%
Examination: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

3 hours of lectures, 2 hours of practical classes and 7 hours per week of private study