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Free Online Course on Introduction to Aerospace Structures and Materials

The Delft University of Technology is delighted to offer Free Online Course on Introduction to Aerospace Structures and Materials. This course will explore the structural and material design of aircraft and spacecraft from the viewpoint of an aerospace engineer.

In this course, you will be taken on a journey through the structural and material design of aircraft. You will see and understand how aircraft and spacecraft are manufactured, and learn how safety is enshrined at every stage. This course will start on April 9, 2019.

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Course At a Glance

Length: 8 weeks
Effort: 4-6 hours pw
Subject: Engineering
Institution: Delft University of Technology
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $50USD
Session: April 9, 2019

Providers’ Details

The Delft University of Technology is the largest and oldest technological university in the Netherlands. Its research is inspired by the desire to increase fundamental understanding, as well as by societal challenges. They encourage their students to be independent thinkers so they will become capable of solving complex problems.

About This Course

How do you design an aircraft or spacecraft? And in doing so, how do you keep the risk of failure?

Experts from the Aerospace Structures and Materials Department of the Delft University of Technology will help you explore and analyze the mechanical properties of materials; learning about manufacturing techniques, fatigue, loads and stresses, design considerations and more – all the scientific and engineering principles that structural and materials engineers on a daily basis. By the end of the course, you will have learned to think as they do!

Join us for an exciting learning experience that includes experiments; some of which you can do by yourself at home, online lectures, quizzes, and design assignments.

The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International License.

Course program

Part 1: Material Properties & the Environment

This part presents the basic concepts of material properties and the phenomena of stress and strain in aircraft or spacecraft at different temperatures and in different environments.

Part 2: Materials and Manufacturing Methods

They introduce the properties and manufacturing methods of typical aerospace materials such as metals, ceramics, and composites. They will let you play around and create your own materials and ask you to come up with your first design proposal.

Part 3: Aerospace Structures

This part covers the essential structural elements of aircraft and spacecraft. The assignment involves studying the skeleton of your favorite aircraft or spacecraft to identify why certain structural elements were used by their designers.

Part 4: Loads and Stresses

Covers the loads that act on the different aircraft parts, the paths these loads travel through to a structure, and how this affects design when designing wings and fuselages. They look at the consequences of pressurized fuselages and bending of spars and how it is the design. At the end of this part, you will face your first dilemma as a designer: how to satisfy all the design requirements even if they appear contradictory.

Part 5: Selection of Materials and Structures

This part looks at the structural performance of aircraft and how to select the appropriate structural and materials solutions for a design based on stiffness and strength. The concepts of specific strength and specific modulus will be introduced. They will also take you through the basic steps on how to dimension to spacecraft.

Part 6: Design, Certification, Fatigue, and Durability

Part 6 examines dealing with failure – how to eliminate possibilities for failure during the design process. They will discuss fatigue and damage tolerance, and how to improve the durability of aircraft and spacecraft. In your assignment, you will be asked to study an actual accident and ask to look at it again with your newly gained knowledge.

Part 7: Joining & Manufacturing

In this part we look at how aircraft and spacecraft are assembled, what joining methods are used and why. As your final assignment, you will choose a joining method for your aircraft based on a dilemma they will present you with!

Part 8: Wrap Up

As always, no job is done until the paperwork is done. They ask you to look back at your initial expectations and see how far you have come. They also kindly ask you to give us some feedback on what you liked in the course and which bits could be improved.

Learning Outcomes

  • How aerospace structures are designed and why particular choices are made
  • Which materials are used and the reasons for using them
  • How to explain loads and stresses aerospace structures have to withstand
  • How aircraft and spacecraft are manufactured
  • The safety philosophies that are used in aerospace structural design and how they affect design choices
  • How to create preliminary design solutions for structural design problems

Instructors

  • Jos Sinke is Assistant Professor at the Department of Aerospace Structures and Materials of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft.
  • Calvin Rans is an assistant professor within the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
  • Gillian Saunders-Smits is an Associate Professor in Aerospace Structures and Materials at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands specializing in Engineering Education.
  • René Alderliesten is an associate professor in Aerospace Structures and Materials at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands specializing in fatigue and damage tolerance of aerospace materials and structures.
  • Julie Teuwen is an Assistant Professor in Aerospace Structures and Materials at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands specializing in the liquid molding of composite structures.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
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