What is Mechanics? Fundamental Engineering


Engineering Studies – P1 Fundamental Engineering – Mechanical Analysis

This topic introduces mechanical analysis of engineered objects and structures. Discussion of why mechanical analysis is relevant and the factor of safety.  The units of measurement are defined and the importance of conventions.

Key Concepts

  • The relevance of mechanical analysis
  • Applications of mechanical analysis
  • Fundamental Quantities
  • Units of measurement
    • Accuracy and Tolerance
    • Basic units
    • Prefixes
    • Conventions
  • Statics / Dynamics

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is mechanical analysis relevant and explain why mechanics is critical in the design of engineered products?
  2. What are examples of mechanical analysis?
  3. What might happen if calculations are incorrect in engineering?
  4. Describe the difference between a static and a dynamic system?
  5. What is the factor of safety (FOS)?
  6. What is a ‘convention’?
  1. Explain the concept of gravity and mass and why an objects on the moon appear lighter than when it was on earth?
  2. Describe the basic concept that loads create forces that tend to distort objects and structures
  3. Define a Scalar and a Vector quantity
  4. Explain the relevance of accuracy and tolerance concepts
  5. List commonly used unit prefixes
  6. Where might simple trigonometry apply in mechanics?
  7. What are balanced forces?
  8. How is area, volume and area calculated?


A simple way to determine Sin, Cosine and Tan values.
Accuracy vs Precision - TED Ed - YouTube
Newton 1
Newton 2
Newton 3
The importance of Mechanics/Physics -
Mechanics Introduction - Mr David Jackson
1 - How Things Move - Australian National University - meriSTEM
2 -Aristotle mechanics - Australian National University - meriSTEM
Gravity - Galileo's Hypothesis - Brian Cox
3 -Galilean mechanics - Australian National University - meriSTEM
Newtons mechanics - Australian National University - meriSTEM
Centre of Mass - Australian National University - meriSTEM