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The design and manufacturing of most of the products we use in our everyday life have in some way involved work of a mechanical engineer. The mechanical engineer has either been directly involved in the design and development process of the product and/or in the design and development process of the manufacturing equipment. Furthermore, the global competition has increased the demands for efficiency and functionality in industrial products. Therefore, the world needs engineers who can develop advanced and competitive mechanical systems, machines and products. The graduate programme Design of Mechanical Systems prepares you for meeting such challenges.
The Design of Mechanical Systems programme at Aalborg University, Denmark, focuses on design and development of industrial products through the use of both theory and practice. Thereby, you learn how to combine technical and creative skills and obtain in-depth knowledge about the entire design and development process.
The programme gives you insight into a wide range of design tools essential for a mechanical engineer. The classical engineering disciplines such as mechanics of materials, continuum mechanics, and variational methods are combined with courses on the latest computer based simulation tools like finite element methods, optimization methods and multi body system analysis methods. The use of composite materials for advanced structural applications is one of the key areas of the programme, and you will learn how to use these for engineering design purposes.
The programme offers courses and projects within the following fields:
- Stress and deformation analyses of load carrying structural elements
- Continuum mechanics (theory of elasticity, plasticity, and micro mechanics)
- Finite element methods
- Fracture mechanics and fatigue
- Energy and variational methods with applications
- Multi body system analysis
- Engineering design optimization
- Mechanics of composite materials and structures
- Engineering design of mechanical systems
Project work and internships
Students from the Design of Mechanical Systems programme have done projects in cooperation with or internships at a number of Danish and international companies. This includes wind turbine manufactures such as Vestas and Siemens WindPower where students have been involved in several projects related to the design and development of wind turbines. Other examples include crash simulation in cooperation with Ford in Germany, simulation model of a dumper in cooperation with Hydrema, bio mechanical analysis of ligament injuries together with biomedical scientists and a variety of other industrial relevant projects.
Job and career
As a graduate from the Design of Mechanical Systems programme, Aalborg University, you will typically be employed in a company as a part of their research and development department or you will be employed in the academic world as a PhD student.
Design of Mechanical Systems is a two year Master's programme. Each semester has an overall theme. Within this theme, you conduct a project in collaboration with a company in order to combine lectures and industrial problems. On the first two semesters, each project group consists of 4-6 students. On the last two semesters, the project groups consist of 1-3 students per group. The content of each semester is as follows:
The headline of this semester is Stress and Deformation Analysis of Load Carrying Structural Elements, and the focus is simple geometry that under load will be analysed in different ways. You will learn all fundamental professional disciplines and be able to put the content from the previous semesters into perspective.
The first semester project has an obligatory theme: Analysis of the reaction of a simple construction element when under static load. You will apply analytical theories and computer-based methods to predict the reaction. In the laboratories you will conduct experimental work in order to determine the elements real reaction under load. Hereby, you will get thorough knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the various methods.
The headline of this semester is Engineering Design of Mechanical Systems. During this semester, you will solve a real product development task, where all disciplines will be involved. The starting point is a dynamically loaded and weight critical construction or a compound mechanical system, which needs to be designed with consideration for shape, function, stiffness, strength, life span, price, customer demands, and of course weight.
In order to solve the task, you will need to work in a multi-disciplinary manner with various methods and tools, including a comprehensive systematic construction methodology, advanced materials, the newest analysis methods and computer models for construction of virtual prototypes, design optimisation and trial techniques.
The project on the third semester takes its point of departure in a concrete problem with industrial relevance, which you will solve through systematic developmental work. With a thorough knowledge of materials under load, you will carry out industrial developmental work.
During the third semester you also have the option of doing an internship in Denmark or abroad, or spending a semester abroad.
During the fourth semester, you will write your Masters thesis. You will demonstrate that you are able to use your gained knowledge in practice by solving an industrial problem through independent work. The groups are small, and therefore the situation is like a real work situation in the industry.
The project can if you want be an extension of the third semester project. You can decide yourselves which constructions, industry products or methods you want to work with in your Masters thesis.