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Programme & Unit Catalogues

ME30295: Electronics, signals and drives

[Page last updated: 04 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 40%, EX 60%
Assessment Detail:
  • Drives (CW 20%)
  • Electronics (CW 20%)
  • Examination (EX 60%)
Supplementary Assessment:
ME30295 Re-Assessment Examination (where allowed by programme regulations)
Description: Aims:
To provide a practical understanding of digital systems and microcontrollers, and to introduce related design methods and applications in sensing and actuation.
To provide an understanding of various electrical devices and methods for their selection in a variety of engineering applications, and to introduce the concepts of performance of electro-mechanical systems.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* Describe the elements of information coding and building blocks of digital systems.
* Understand the basics of microcontrollers and their use.
* Describe the principles of various electrical drives and their selection criteria for practical application in product design.
* Apply drive selection techniques and evaluate performance for particular applications.
* Make use of appropriate manufacturers' catalogues.

Problem solving; numeracy; written communication; working independently.

Combinational and sequential logic. Finite state machine. Digital systems design examples. Microcontroller fundamentals: registers, RAM, ROM, input/output. Programming techniques. Transistors. Digital and analogue interfacing for motor control.
Stepper motors and servo motors: types, operational characteristics and models; control techniques for stepper and servo motors; modern drives for stepper and servo motors; determination and characterisation of load cycles; drive selection criteria for various product applications; auxiliary elements of an electro-mechanical drive system; safety, reliability, performance, cost, size/weight and efficiency; design of drive systems for classical applications; manufacturers' catalogues and their use in product design.
Topics for self study that may be examined.

Programme availability:

ME30295 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • UEME-AFB48 : BEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEME-AKB48 : BEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UEME-AFM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering (Year 3)
  • UEME-AKM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UEME-AFM16 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM16 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM38 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing and Management (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM38 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing and Management with Year long work placement (Year 5)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.