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Course content

Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) covers the use of computers in all activities from the design to the manufacture of a product. It is at the forefront of information technology and of crucial importance to economies around the world. It is a vital part of many global industries including those of automotive, aerospace, oil, defence, finance and health. 

This specialist option of the MSc Computational and Software Techniques in Engineering has been developed to reflect the wide application of CAE and to deliver qualified engineers of the highest standard into industries operating in the fields of computational and software engineering.

Who is it for?

Suitable for candidates from a broad range of engineering and applied mathematical backgrounds, including aeronautic, automotive, mechanical and electrical engineering, in addition to those with a mathematical and computational sciences training, who wish to both develop and complement their existing skill-set in these important areas.

The specialist taught modules are designed to provide you with the knowledge, programming techniques and practical skills necessary to develop and use core CAE solution software over a wide range of industrial settings.

Why this course?

We are a leader in applied mathematics and computing applications. The CAE option benefits from the knowledge and experience gained by the staff through their strong industrial links, particularly our well-established research collaborations with the petrochemical, automotive, aeronautical and financial sectors.

This course produces well qualified graduates, ready to take on professional roles without additional training on the job. In recent years, key employers have requested a student visit to showcase their graduate roles.

This course is also available on a part-time basis, enabling you to combine studying alongside full-time employment. We are very well located for visiting part-time students from across the UK and Europe.

Informed by Industry

This course is directed by an industrial advisory panel who meet twice a year to ensure that it provides generic hands-on skills and up-to-date knowledge adaptable to the wide variety of applications that this field addresses.

A number of members also attend the annual student thesis presentations which take place at the end of July, a month or so before the end of the course. This provides a good opportunity to meet key employers.

Industry Advisory Panel members include:

  • Dr Adam Vile, Excelian
  • Mr Darren Baldwin, Excelian
  • Mr Matthew Breach, Ultra Electronics Sonar Systems
  • Mr Nigel Sedgewick, Selex
  • Dr Sanjiv Sharma, Airbus UK
  • Dr Steve King, Rolls Royce
  • Dr Julian Turnbull, AV
  • Mr Jon Loach, FACTSET
  • Prof David Emerson (Scientific Computing, STFC Daresbury )
  • Dr Stuart Barnes (Software Engineer, Cambridge).

Course details

The course consists of twelve core modules, including a group design project, plus an individual research project. A combination of mathematical, computational and hands-on use of industry standard CAE systems form the basis of the specialist modules, covering the theory and application of CAE based software for the modelling, analysis and simulation, in diverse fields such as automotive, aeronautical, flow related industries, data fitting and visualisation.

Group project

The process of software production is rarely an activity undertaken by an individual developer. In today’s software industry, many different specialists are required to contribute to the creation of software. To ensure a high level of quality in the final product, different roles and responsibilities must be brought together into a single team and therefore clear lines of communication between team members are crucial if the project is to be a success.

The group design project is intended to give you invaluable experience of delivering a project within an industry structured team. The project allows you to develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, delivering technical presentations and gaining experience of working in teams that include members with a variety of expertise and often with members who are based remotely.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Previous Group Projects have included:

  • Component Stress Analysis
  • Steel Tube Joints Flow Study.

Individual project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into an area of specific interest. It is very common for industrial partners to put forward real world problems or areas of development as potential research project topics. For part-time students it is common that their research project is undertaken in collaboration with their place of work.

Previous Individual Research Projects have included:

  • Analysis of Aircraft Control Surface
  • Comparative Analysis of Parallel Performance and Scalability of Incompressible CFD Solvers
  • Automated Workflow for a Car Roof-box Optimisation
  • Design Optimisation of Helical Gear Pair in Helicopter Transmission Systems
  • Design and Analysis of an Adjustable Rear View Car Spoiler
  • Surfboard Modelling Using CFD
  • Displacement Mapping Using Splines.
  • Aircraft Fuel System Failure Detection.

Assessment

Taught modules 45%, Group project 5%, Individual research project 50%

Your career

The Computer Aided Engineering option is designed to equip you with the skills required to pursue a successful career working both in the UK and overseas. This course attracts enquiries from companies in rapidly expanding engineering IT industry sector across the EU and beyond who wish to recruit high quality graduates.

There is considerable demand for students with expertise in engineering software development and for those who have strong technical programming skills in industry standard languages and tools.

Typically our graduates are employed by software houses and consultancies, or by CAD/CAM and other engineering companies in software development roles and industrial research.  


Visit the Computer Aided Engineering - MSc page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

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