Course description :
How do you design an aircraft or spacecraft? And in doing so, how do you keep the risk of failure minimal while bearing in mind that they will eventually fail?
In this course you will be taken on a journey through the structural and material design of aircraft. You will see and understand how aircraft and spacecraft are manufactured, and learn how safety is enshrined at every stage.
Experts from the Aerospace Structures and Materials Department of Delft University of Technology will help you explore and analyze the mechanical properties of materials; learning about manufacturing techniques, fatigue, loads and stresses, design considerations and more – all the scientific and engineering principles that structural and materials engineers face on a daily basis. By the end of the course, you will have learned to think like they do! What you will learn :
- How aerospace structures are designed and why particular choices are made
- Which materials are used and the reasons for using them
- How to explain loads and stresses aerospace structures have to withstand
- How aircraft and spacecraft are manufactured
- The safety philosophies that are used in aerospace structural design and how they affect design choices
- How to create preliminary design solutions for structural design problems
TU Delft : Delft University of Technology (largest and oldest Dutch public technological university)
Starts on August 28, 2018
Language : English
Platform : edX
Length : 7 weeks
Effort : 4 to 6 hours per week
Price : free, possibility to add a verified Certificate for $50 USD
Prerequisites : Basic knowledge of Physics (concepts of forces and moments, springs and temperature) and some familiarity with aircraft and spacecraft terminology: (e.g. wing, fuselage, tail plane, rocket, launcher).
Trailer : https://youtu.be/lGjtqxOgHf0
Content : An interesting Mooc in which theoretical concepts of strenght, stiffness, stress of materials and structures of aircraft are explained. The course is nevertheless very theoretic and doesn’t contain many practical examples. A lot of not guided researches by your own are required, especially about the materials used in aircrafts and how to design structural elements. For instance, without any introduction or given links, you’re asked to list the principal materials and their properties of your favorite aircraft or to design a firewall bulkhead for a two-seater sports-aircraft. Personally, I’ve got the impression that I’ve learned more by my own researches than by the Mooc content in itself, an approach which is interesting but very time-consuming and which requires much more investment than announced. Also, the content and the explanations aren’t always very clear, and some formula errors and missing units don’t facilitate the required calculations of values.
Discussions: Interesting questions and contributions by the students. More responsiveness by the staff to the numerous questions and remarks would be welcome.
Evaluations / Certifications : Different forms of evaluation are available and the given explanations of the evaluation criteria are more than confusing. So, here my personal experience: Each of the 7 chapters finishes with a 10 question multiple choice test (1 to 3 attempts available in function of the question); minimum required is 60% for each test. Only if you are successful in this test, a second assignment to accomplish for each chapter becomes available: mostly a more or less complicated essay to publish in relation to design and material topics; evaluations are either self-evaluations, peer-to-peer evaluations or sometimes pre-defined multiple choice questions. There again, a minimum of 60% of good answers is required. To accomplish successfully the Mooc and to get an EDX-certification (50$), the lower limit is fixed to 85% of success, which doesn’t let a lot of margins of errors or bad peer-to-peer evaluations. My personal overall score was 97%, but it costs me a lot of time- and research-investment.
This was the very first session of the Mooc. It’s a Mooc with much potential and is worth to continue, but I hope that the mentioned deficiencies will be corrected.