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Structural Integrity

Institution
Kaunas University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Design
Typology
Course material
Thematic Area
Technology
Factual description
The course ‘Structural Integrity’ is offered for students in bachelor’s degree study program ‘Mechatronics’ at KTU. The aim of this study programme is to develop students’ skills and knowledge in mechanics, electronics, computer science and programming. The course ‘Structural integrity’ is mainly focused on the field of mechanics but also includes computational software which requires knowledge in computer science and programming.
In the course, complexity of the systems is presented as a continuous relationship between the systems that change under external operational conditions (e.g., mechanical and/or thermal loads) and the systems of intrinsic processes occurring inside a material. For example, at macro scale, the change in resultant internal loads (forces and moments) lead to the change in stress, strains, energy, temperature and lifetime.
The complex systems in the course are presented by a session of questions. This enables students to understand the level of detail of the complex system. The examples of the questions are: In an atom, what is minimum amount of energy required to remove an electron from a Fermi surface? What is energy influence on the value of stress in an atomic system? How big/small the system should be if we wanted to choose mechanical/bulk properties of the material for an analysis of intrinsic processes itself (e.g., thermodynamical point of view)?
The system thinking is developed by solving practical problems and simultaneously learning methods to define the system clearly and appropriately and to apply reliable methods in order to get ethical solutions.
The issues related to the sustainable development and complex systems originate from the requirements of the safe design, prevention from incidents and accidents, operational lifetimes and aesthetics, analysis of ageing processes. They also include issues on recycling.
Relevance in complex systems
The course material covers design of the complex systems of structural frames, their nonlinear effects and response to static and dynamic loading.
Strong points
The strong point of this course is a variety of teaching methods, including laboratory assignments, lectures, individual works. Another point is the analysis of different approaches applied to the same problem, mainly, combination of numerical simulation and experiments in lab.
Transferability potential
A question session which leads to better understanding of the complex system, the relations between its parts and variables can be transferred to any subject field.