Course Web Site:




Professor Irem Y. Tumer

Office: Rogers 408


Phone: 737-6627


Office Hours:  Mondays &Wednesdays 1:00-2:00 or by appointment (made by email)


Class Hours:

Lectures  (Rogers 230):                                              MWF 11:00-11:50, 12:00-12:50

Labs  (Design Studio, Rogers 228):                     R 8:00-9:50, 10:00-11:50, 12:00-1:50, 2:00-3:50


Teaching Assistants:


TA for Morning Labs 1 & 2

TA for Afternoon Labs 3 & 4

Douglas VanBossuyt

Office: Batcheller 349


Office Hrs: M 10-11 and 2-3

Sarah Oman

Office: Batcheller 349


Office Hrs: W 1-3

Mike Koopmans

Office: Batcheller 349


Office Hrs: T 2-4

Anthony Nix

Office: Dearborn 100


Office Hrs: T 12-2


Course Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1.     Reverse engineer a real product and analyze external forces

2.     Select and apply an appropriate static failure theory to a machine component

3.     Select and apply an appropriate dynamic (fatigue) failure theory to a machine component

4.     Select mechanical components for a given load situation and analyze for failure

5.     Perform a competitive analysis and provide insights on risk and reliability

6.     Communicate analysis results and basic engineering concepts


In ME 382 techniques to develop original designs was emphasized.  The focus in ME 383 is on machine component analysis, specifically, analysis techniques used to predict a componentÕs failure and/or factor of safety. Reverse engineering of a product will be used as the vehicle for real product analysis. Note that ME 316 is a prerequisite for this course, and as such, it is assumed that you know this material well.  If not, it is strongly recommended that you review the material from ME 316 in the first week of the term!




ShigleyÕs Mechanical Engineering Design, 8th edition, Budynas & Nisbett, McGraw-Hill

      Reference Books:

MachineryÕs Handbook, 25th edition

MarksÕ Mechanical Engineering Handbook


Prerequisites: ME 316, ME 382

Student Conduct: See:



Accommodations are collaborative efforts between students, faculty and Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).  Students with accommodations approved through SSD are responsible for contacting the faculty member in charge of the course prior to or during the first week of the term to discuss accommodations.  Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations but who have not yet obtained approval through SSD should contact SSD immediately at 737-4098.




Exams (individual-4 exams)                                                     60%

Project (group)                                                                        40%*

Total Grade                                        100%

* Project grade breakdown:

Lab Assignments                                                5%

Display Model & Presentation                         10%

Middle School Presentation                              10%

Written Report                                                15%

                        Total Project Grade                          40%


Individual Grade:

There will be 4 exams in this course, worth 15% each, and no final exam.  There will be absolutely NO MAKE-UP EXAMS!  However, you will get to drop your lowest grade.  There will be specific sets of problems assigned at the beginning of each week. The exam material will largely be based on problem sets assigned on the specific topics as well as material covered during the lectures, up to the lecture preceding the exam date. Completion of the problem sets is optional, and they will NOT be graded. However, because of their likely impact on your exam grades you are strongly encouraged to work them all.  Solutions to the HW problems will be posted at the end of every week, and before the exams.


Group Grade:

Project Requirements

In addition to the exams, ME 383 is built around a team project to reverse-engineer and analyze an existing product for safety and reliability to determine whether it was designed in a satisfactory fashion, or whether redesign is necessary to improve the product to meet the engineering requirements.  The class lectures cover only part of the information needed to conduct the necessary analyses; the balance of this information will come from unassigned portions of the text and library sources. It is your responsibility to find and read this material!

Project completion involves the following tasks:

1.     Work and turn in team-based lab assignments, graded during lab.

2.     Select a mechanical product for study, preferably something one or more of you is familiar with. The product must have at least 5 moving parts and must not be made of plastic. Your team must obtain a functioning version of the product to work with.  An assembly manual, service manual, and/or other product documentation is also helpful.  Final approval of your product selection will be given by Professor Tumer.

3.     Disassemble the product.  Take it apart, clean it, and understand and describe how it works.

4.     Generate a set of presumed engineering requirements for the product.  You will have to estimate much of the information on engineering requirements. Note all assumptions that are made by your team.

5.     Generate a functional decomposition of the product, noting all assumptions.

6.     Create free body diagrams of the product in all critical operating modes.  The free body diagrams must be of the entire product and all the major components.  To do this will require characterization of the power source(s), losses and loads. Note all assumptions made.

7.     Find the stresses at critical points in the product.  You must find at least five of the most critical points.  These points should involve different loading types: tension, compression, shear, bending and torsion.

8.     Perform static and dynamic failure analyses on the product.  The analyses may include strength, stiffness, wear, material selection, and manufacturing.

9.     Recommend improvements for redesign of the product to makes it safer/more reliable.

10.  Prepare a written report detailing your findings and recommendations (see below).

11.  Create a display model that visually and kinesthetically communicates your findings and recommendations (see below).

Project Evaluation

The team project component of this course includes: Lab session assignments/briefings, project report, display model, and middle school presentation (which may or may not be related to the team project).

i.      Lab Assignments: You will be responsible for specific deliverables at each lab session in the form of written documents, accompanied by presentations as needed (to be determined by Professor Tumer).  The assignments will have direct correlation to the content of the final written report, and as such, should be done in a neat and clear fashion:

Lab Assignment 1: Team Introductions and Contact Information, Team Contract

Lab Assignment 2: Proposal for device due Monday; Functional decomposition, engineering requirements, and operational description of the device due Thursday

Lab Assignment 3: Free Body Diagram & Force analysis

Lab Assignment 4: Stress Analysis Results

Lab Assignment 5: Static Failure Analysis Results

Lab Assignment 6: Fatigue Failure Analysis Results

Lab Assignment 7: Executive Summary

Lab Assignment 8: Display Models and Presentations

Lab Assignment 9: 1-page questionnaire due Monday; Middle School Presentations

ii.     Project Report:  The written project report must be computer-generated with a maximum length of 10 pages (Times Roman, single line spacing, 12-point font, 1-inch margins). The primary audience for this report is an imaginary company who is interested in understanding and analyzing the failure potential and reliability of the product you have selected.  You audience will use the report to decide whether to invest in this product as is, or invest in a redesign to make it more reliable. Be sure to calibrate the quality and level of your writing to effectively address this readership.  A report-grading rubric will be provided. Pay close attention to the rubric contents when preparing your report.  The project report must contain the following sections:

1)    1-page executive summary

2)    Introduction and description of the system studied: What is the purpose of the analysis study and the report?  What is your system? What does it do? How does it work? How might it fail/how has it failed in the past (show sources)?

3)    Discussion on the functional decomposition and requirements

4)    Force characterization and free body diagrams, force analysis

5)    Static and dynamic failure analysis

6)    Reliability and risk aspects: why was the system designed to the factor of safety youÕve computed.  (Compare to engineering requirements and functional decomposition. Compare to findings about past failure cases in Section 2.) What needs to be redesigned and why?

7)    Conclusions and recommendations to your bosses: summary of your system, the analysis results, and the systemÕs failure potential; insights on how you would design the device better; recommendations on whether your company should invest in this product further.

8)    Appendices with engineering requirements, functional decomposition, and appropriate detailed analysis and drawings (not part of the 10-page limit)

Note also that all calculations included in the report should be annotated with a written explanation and all associated assumptions should be noted. Calculations lacking this explanatory information will be disregarded.

iii.   Project Display Model and Presentations: You will modify your product so that the internal parts are visible and product operation can be demonstrated in a display model for an oral presentation.  You must also mount the model for display.  Plastic-laminated diagrams and text describing the system and its operation should be affixed to the display model.  The target audience for the display model are future ME students. So be sure to calibrate the quality and level of your diagrams and text to effectively address these viewers.  Additional details and the model-scoring template will be provided.

iv.   Middle School Presentations: You will prepare and deliver an oral presentation to a middle school science class. This presentation, which need not directly relate to your reverse-engineering project, must describe and demonstrate an engineering or science concept at a level appropriate for middle school students.  The presentation will be approximately 15 minutes long and will make use of professional quality visual materials and demonstrations. All group members must participate in this presentation to earn credit (no exceptions!)

In addition, you will create a 1-page student handout to accompany your presentation. This handout will briefly summarize the concept(s) you are presenting and include some follow-up questions to reinforce the presentation content.  More information will be provided in Week 7.

Peer Evaluation of Teamwork Contribution

To ensure fair grading of the team-produced deliverables, the overall team project grades will be corrected for each student with a weighting factor.  This factor will be developed through each team member's confidential evaluation of all team members (including themselves) for the percent of his/her contribution to production of the project report, display model, and middle school presentation.  The evaluations will be averaged by the instructor to find each student's contribution and the weighting factor made proportional to it. 

ME 383: Evaluation on Teamwork Contribution

                   Name _______________________________ Team Number______________


Team Member Name

Team member contribution

Final Project




School Presentation

























Class Schedule


Topics, Assignments, & Exams

Laboratory Activities

Week 1


Chap. 1,2,3

Introduction:  Failure and Reliability

HW 1 problems: Force/Stress analysis

Team forms due in class Monday

Team assignment and project introduction

Lab-1 Due:

Team contract done in lab

Review of Basics

Stress Analysis/2D Mohr Circle

Week 2


Chap. 3

Principal Stresses/3D Mohr circle

HW 2 problems: Stress states/Mohr

Project Proposal due in class Monday

Lab-2 Due:

Functional Decomposition & Device Operational Description & Eng Reqs

Load and Stress analysis examples

EXAM 1: Force & Stress Analysis

Week 3


Chap. 5

MLK Holiday

Lab-3 Due:

Disassembly / Cleaning

Force / Kinematic Analysis Results


Static Failure Theory

HW 3 problems: Static analysis

Static Failure Analysis

Week 4


Chap. 5,6

Static Failure Theory

HW 4 problems: Static & Fatigue analysis

Lab-4 Due:

Stress Analysis Results


Fatigue Analysis

Fatigue Analysis

Week 5


Chap. 6

EXAM 2: Stress & Static Failure Analysis

HW 5 problems: Fatigue analysis

Lab-5 Due:

Static Failure Analysis Results


Fatigue Analysis

Fatigue Analysis

Week 6


Chap. 13,14


HW 6 problems: Gears

Lab-6 Due:

Dynamic Failure Analysis Results



Executive Summary  & Project Report Discussion

Week 7


Chap. 14,10

EXAM 3: Fatigue Analysis

HW 7 problems: Springs

Lab-7 Due:

Executive Summary


Evaluation / Recommendation

Display Model Discussion



Middle School Presentation discussion

Week 8


Chap. 10, 11


HW 8 problems: Bearings

Lab-8 Due:

Display Model and Presentation During Thursday Lab Time



Week 9


EXAM 4: Applications

1-page questionnaire due in class Monday

Lab-9 Due:

Oral Presentation to Middle Schools

During Thursday Lab Time (AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOLS!)


Advanced: Failure Detection & Monitoring

Week 10


Advanced:  Risk analysis during design

No Lab

Written Report due on Thursday

March 11, by 5pm

Advanced:  Real-world failure examples

Course Overview & Wrap-up