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ME40055: Energy & the environment

[Page last updated: 03 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Mechanical Engineering
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this unit the student will be able to:
* Describe a variety of power production technologies and how these can help meet demand
* Evaluate the life cycle impact of both renewable and non renewable energy projects.
* Develop and present the key features of sustainable energy strategies in terms of their abillity to meet demand, provide secure supply and meet national and international legislation and policy.

Aims: To enable students to assess and evaluate the mechanisms by which power and energy are supplied and stored, and determine the impacts (environmental, societal and cost) associated with power production, and matching supply and demand.

Skills: Problem solving; written communication; working independently, system analysis, group work and presenting and debating.

Content: ENERGY RESOURCES: Fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal); Renewable energy sources (eg solar, hydro, marine, biomass, wind);
ENERGY DEMAND: Matching supply and demand and the impact of high penetration of non dispatchable options. Exploring demand reduction strategies and options in both industry and domestic situations.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Pollutant emissions from fossil fuel combustion: local, regional and global effects; nuclear power and environmental sustainability; environmental impacts associated with renewable technologies, including biomass, solar, marine, hydro and wind.
ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES: Economic assessment; energy analysis; environmental life cycle assessment; qualitiative environmental risks.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: "People, planet and prosperity"; principles and practice of sustainable development; sustainable energy options.
ENERGY AND SOCIETY: the technology-society relationship; alternative energy technologies; energy conservation; energy and transport.
ENERGY STRATEGIES: Major world producers and users; energy systems modelling; UK energy issues and strategies; energy and the developing world: basic human needs, the role of biofuels, and 'appropriate' energy technologies
ENERGY POLICY: Overview of current UK and global policy situation, to include development and evaluation of policy.

Programme availability:

ME40055 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
  • UEEE-AFM12 : MEng(Hons) Electrical Power Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEEE-AKM12 : MEng(Hons) Electrical Power Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEXX-AFM02 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEXX-AKM02 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Mechanical and Electrical Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • UEME-AFM04 : MEng(Hons) Aerospace Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM04 : MEng(Hons) Aerospace Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • UEME-AFM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM48 : MEng(Hons) Integrated Design Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • 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)
  • UEME-AFM47 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical with Automotive Engineering (Year 4)
  • UEME-AKM47 : MEng(Hons) Mechanical with Automotive Engineering with Year long work placement (Year 5)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • 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.