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Design of Rotating Machines (MSc)

Course Description

Course Description

The MSc in Design of Rotating Machines is made up of a set of advanced key mechanical engineering topics that engineers must understand to design and monitor rotating machinery. It aims to provide you with the necessary theoretical knowledge in the areas of stress analysis (theoretical and numerical), rotor dynamics, gears, bearings, transmissions, computer aided engineering, condition monitoring, vibrations and project management. Theoretical aspects of the taught course are further put into practice the use of design case studies illustrating real engineering problems. The MSc in Design of Rotating Machines is a high quality mechanical engineering course. The syllabus and teaching style has been shaped by feedback from industrial partners and former students, for over thirty years.


There are few machines and other mechanical systems which do not include rotating components such as wheels, gears, bearings, shafts and seals. Turbines including steam, gas, wind and tidal, electrical motors and generators, turbochargers, and internal combustion engines, are just some examples of rotating machines which require specialist mechanical design, operation and monitoring. For a mechanical engineer, the technical skills and knowledge you will gain from this course are in strong demand throughout a range of industries and industrial applications.

English Language Requirements

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

IELTS - 6.5
TOEFL - 92
Pearson PTE Academic - 65
Cambridge English Scale - 180
Cambridge English: Advanced - C
Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Course overview

The MSc in Design of Rotating Machines is comprised of nine compulsory taught modules, a group design project and an individual research project.

In addition to management, communication, team work and research skills, each student will attain at least the following outcomes from this degree course:
- Mathematically model a wide range of components and machine assemblies, and deal with a variety of engineering problems. The methods of analysis, theory and practical applications will enable students to deal with design problems varying from conceptual design and project management to complete structural integrity and dynamic performance assessment.

- Gain significant exposure to modern, state-of-the-art Computer Aided Engineering tools and techniques. The acquaintance with this rapidly changing technology should enable students to utilise and exploit this technology efficiently and knowledgeably, being mindful of good engineering practice by being aware of the various international standards.

- Optimise in a cost-effective manner the various design solutions available without loss of accuracy.

- Measure stress and vibration amplitudes and be conversant with current developments in the evaluation of computer techniques in predicting the overall machine performance.


The taught programme for the design of rotating machines postgraduate course is generally delivered from October to March and is comprised of nine compulsory taught modules. The modules are delivered over one to two weeks of intensive delivery with the later part of the course being free from structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection. Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the compulsory modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the course director.

- Bearing Design
- Computer Aided Engineering
- Stress Analysis of Machine Components
- Management for Technology
- Rotor Dynamics
- Noise, Vibration and Machine Diagnosis
- Rotating Equipment Selection
- Fatigue and Fracture
- Gear Design

Individual Project

Individual research projects are designed to raise your practical experience to a level comparable to that of a professional engineer. Therefore, the projects deal with real industrial design problems and topics of current research interest within the field. Project topics may also be suggested by sponsors and undertaken in-house if the work is related to the sponsoring company’s activities. You will be assigned an individual project supervisor with whom you will have regular meetings during the course of research. The individual research project topic is generally selected during November from when preparation work can begin. The majority of the project work is completed between May and August.

Recent Individual Research Projects include:
- Rotordynamic investigation of the loadings on the bearings of oscillating water column turbines
- Finite Element Analysis of elastomeric seal wear
- Development of a condition monitoring and vibration tool for rotatory flight control actuators
- Condition assessment of pitting in worm gearboxes with vibration analysis
- Investigation of vibration influence on the fatigue life of rolling bearings.

Group Project

The Group Project which is undertaken between March and May, enables students to put the analytical and numerical skills and knowledge developed during the course taught modules into practice in an applied context while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research.

The aim of the Group Project is to provide students with direct experience of addressing an industrially relevant problem which requires a team-based multidisciplinary solution.

The Group Project requires students to work as part of a team, carrying out their share of the group technical work and performing team member roles, project management, delivering technical presentations and exploiting the range of expertises of the individual members of the group.

Industrial involvement will often be an ingredient of the Group Project thereby enabling the students to acquire first-hand experience of working within real life challenging situations and interacting with a practicing engineer.

Part-time students can either participate in the Group Project, attending group meetings through remote web conferencing applications or produce an individual dissertation on a theme selected by agreement with the Course Director.

The Group Project assessment is performed through a group poster presentation, which enables students to develop valuable presentation skills and handle questions about complex technical issues in a competent and professional manner, and through a written group technical report.

A Group Project would typically include:

-Conceptual design element
-Literature investigation
-Use of advanced modelling techniques and software
-Trade-off studies to focus on a solution from within a range of possible feasible design cases.


Taught modules: 40%; Group project: 20% (dissertation for part-time students); Individual Research Project: 40%.
The taught modules are assessed by an examination and/or assignment. The Group Project is assessed by a written technical report and oral presentations. The Individual Research Project is assessed by a written thesis and oral presentation.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the MSc in Design of Rotating Machines have found employment in the £30bn rotating machinery industries, encompassing aerospace, automotive, engineering design, manufacturing, power generation, mechanical integrity and health monitoring, propulsion, and transmission engineering sectors. Part-time students progress their career path as a direct result of enhancing their technical competence and enrich their employer’s competitive advantage.

Employers of our graduates include:
- Rolls-Royce plc
- Alstom Power
- Ford
- Total
- QinetiQ
- ProDrive
- Siemens
- Renault
- Hyundai
- Shell
- French Air Force.

The depth and breadth of the course equips graduates with knowledge and skills to tackle one of the demanding challenge of securing our future energy resource.Graduates of the course can also be recruited in other upstream and downstream positions. Their knowledge can also be applied to petrochemical, process and power industries.

Graduates of the course haven taken up a range of professions including:
- Turbine Analytical Engineer
- Project Manager
- Hydro-Mechanical Design Engineer
- Mechanical Design Engineer
- Rotating Equipment Engineer
- Stress Engineer
- Condition Monitoring Engineer
- Asset Management Engineer.

For further information

on this course, please visit our course webpage http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/design-of-rotating-machines.html

Visit the Design of Rotating Machines (MSc) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in applied science, engineering or a mathematics discipline. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director.

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