1 x 1-hour lecture-2 weekly
1 x 2-hour lecture-1 weekly
1 x 2-hour tutorial weekly
3 x 2-hour practicals per semester
Enrolment not permitted
ENGR2732 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Mathematics (vectors, introductory calculus) such as can be obtained in MATH1121 Mathematics 1A. Basic understanding of material properties (e.g. stress/strain, modulus) such as can be obtained in ENGR1722 Engineering Physics and Materials.
Topic description

Static and dynamic analysis of muscle and joint loads; structure, composition and material properties of bone, ligament and tendon, muscle, cartilage, intervertebral disc and their common clinical problems; anatomy and function of the hip, knee and spinal joints; total joint replacement/implants; mechanisms of implant failure and implant design considerations; gait analysis and kinematics; viscoelasticity; anisotropy; mechanical vs material properties.

Educational aims

This topic aims to introduce students to the anatomy, structure and biomechanical function of bones, soft tissues, cartilage and joints. Students will understand the viscoelastic behaviour of biological materials as well as common problems that occur, how they are treated in terms of joint replacements/implants, why they fail and discuss design strategies for the next generation of implants. Students will also learn about the practical/experimental methods used to assess the material properties of biological tissues, as well as the limitations of these experiments and approaches to minimise them. A deeper level of understanding, critical thinking and problem solving will be developed in this GE version of the topic.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand and apply the general principles of joint biomechanics, and their function
  2. Understand the concepts and theory of viscoelasticity as it applies to soft tissues, cartilage, and bone
  3. Understand how artificial joints function and why they fail, as well as their limitations
  4. Understand emerging new technologies in the biomechanics field and appreciate the multi-disciplinary collaborative nature of biomechanics research
  5. Critically review the relevant literature and identify a clinical problem, and take the first steps towards formulating a research hypothesis and designing appropriate experimental methods/analytical models to test the hypothesis

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.