MSE Master of Science in Engineering

The Swiss engineering master's degree

Each module contains 3 ECTS. You choose a total of 10 modules/30 ECTS in the following module categories: 

  • 12-15 ECTS in technical scientific modules (TSM)
    TSM modules teach profile-specific specialist skills and supplement the decentralised specialisation modules.
  • 9-12 ECTS in fundamental theoretical principles modules (FTP)
    FTP modules deal with theoretical fundamentals such as higher mathematics, physics, information theory, chemistry, etc. They will teach more detailed, abstract scientific knowledge and help you to bridge the gap between abstraction and application that is so important for innovation.
  • 6-9 ECTS in context modules (CM)
    CM modules will impart additional skills in areas such as technology management, business administration, communication, project management, patent law, contract law, etc.

In the module description (download pdf) you find the entire language information per module divided into the following categories:

  • instruction
  • documentation
  • examination 
Advanced structural mechanics (TSM_AdvMech)

This course provides a comprehensible introduction to basic concepts of continuum mechanics, material modelling and failure assessment for metals and polymers.

The students learn the fundamentals of tensor algebra and gain comprehensible insight into the governing mechanical and thermo-mechanical concepts of continuum mechanics. On this basis, an overview is given of state of the art material models for metals and polymers to empower students to competently select advanced material models as implemented in modern Finite Element tools. Finally, the lecture provides a clear insight into the microstructural foundations of failure in metals as well as an overview of mechanical assessment methods as applied in engineering practice. The course is accompanied by regular exercises and hands-on workshops in which advanced material models and assessment methods are applied to practical problems.


Basic engineering knowledge of structural mechanics, analysis and linear algebra as well as FE element simulation at Bachelor level of Mechanical Engineering studies.
A brief summary of relevant engineering mechanics concepts will be provided prior to the lecture as a self-study revision course.

Learning Objectives








 Basic Tensor Algebra & Calculus 1
 - Vector and tensor algebra




 Basic Tensor Algebra & Calculus 2
 - Selected tensor properties and problems
 - Tensor calculus




 Continuum Mechanics 1
 - Basic definitions
 - Kinematics of continuums




 Continuum Mechanics 2
 - Kinetics of continuums




 Continuum Mechanics 3
 - Equilibrium equations, equations of motion
 - Overview of balance laws




 Material Behaviour & Models for Metals 1
 - Material behaviour overview
 - Basic modelling principles
 - Elasticity




 Material Behaviour & Models for Metals 2
 - Plasticity
 - Visco-plasciticity, creep / relaxation




 Failure Mechanisms & Assessment Methods 1
 - Failure mechanisms of metals
 - Static assessment methods for metals




 Failure Mechanisms & Assessment Methods 2
 - Fatigue assessment methods for metals




 Workshop 1
 Application of Material Models and Assessment Methods for Metals




 Material Behaviour & Models for Polymers 1
 - Material behaviour overview
 - Plasticity (influence of hydrostatic pressure)
 - Hyperelasticity




 Material Behaviour & Models for Polymers 2
 - Visco-elasticity, visco-plasticity, creep / relaxation
 - Cohesive zone models for bonded interfaces




 Material Behaviour & Models for Polymers 3
 - Parameter identification and optimisation methods




 Workshop 2
 Application of Material and Damage Models for Polymers


Contents of Module

  • Students are familiar with basic tensor algebra to understand fundamental continuum mechanical concepts.
  • Students are familiar with the building blocks of continuum mechanics such as kinematics and kinetics concepts as well as equilibrium equations and balance laws as governing equations of mechanical problems.
  • Students have a broad understanding of the basic material behaviour of metals and polymers including elasticity, hyperelasticity, plasticity, visco-elasticity, visco-plasticity and creep / relaxation as well as isotropy, orthotropy and anisotropy.
  • Students are able to appropriately select and deploy linear and non-linear material models in Finite Element simulations.
  • Students know the basic failure mechanisms for metals and polymers; they are able to select appropriate mechanical assessment methods and perform basic assessments.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Frontal Teaching (ca. 60%), exercises and 2 workshops incl. Finite Element application (ca. 40%)



Further literature (sorted by comprehensiveness and level of difficulty):

Download full module description