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 
Fatigue Design (TSM_FaDes)


The course deals with fundamental and technical issues associated with designing and maintaining structures that resist failure from cyclic loading. Students will be taught the principles of fatigue testing and analyzing fatigue failures of materials, addressing the questions of how fatigue behaviour is characterized, how fatigue failure is predicted, which physical mechanisms are responsible for fatigue initiation and propagation in various materials, with particular attention to metals and structural alloys, and how such behaviour is related to the microstructure of the material.

This course will also introduce key applications of fatigue design in industry, including failure analysis, fatigue life calculations, experimental techniques and destructive and non-destructive methods of damage detection and characterization.




  • Mathematics, Calculus and Mathematical Analysis
  • Linear algebra and analytical geometry
  • Material Science and Engineering
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Basics of mechanics of composite materials
  • Basics of computational mechanics, including finite element methods


Learning Objectives


  • Understand the theory of fracture mechanics applied to brittle, ductile and quasi-brittle materials;
  • Know the main experimental techniques for the characterization of the properties that characterize the crack onset and propagation;
  • Understand the fatigue phenomenon of materials, including the factors that affect the residual life of structures under cyclic loading and analytical methods for the analysis of fatigue problems;
  • Use computational mechanics as a tool to solve fracture mechanics problems;
  • Apply the knowledge of fatigue and fracture mechanics for the design of structures and investigation of the causes of structural failure;



Contents of Module

Introduction to Fracture Mechanics

Linear Elastic Fracture mechanics

  • Griffith’s analysis, 1st law of thermodynamics and crack growth, Energy release rate (ERR)
  • Stress analysis and stress intensity factor (SIF). Failure modes (mode I, II and III)
  • Relation between the SIF and ERR
  • Mixed-mode propagation
  • Plane stress, plane strain, R-curve, and stability of the propagation
  • Experimental determination of the Fracture toughness: standard and non-standard methods

Elasto-plastic fracture mechanics

  • Crack opening displacement (COD)
  • J integral
  • Relation between J-integral, COD and ERR

Fracture in composite materials

  • Interlaminar fracture
  • Intralaminar fracture
  • Failure criteria

Fatigue of metals and composites


  • Fatigue limit
  • Factors affecting the crack propagation
  • Fatigue of composite materials
  • Experimental assessment of the fatigue behaviour

Computational fracture mechanics

  • Determination of the SIF
  • Determination of the J-Integral
  • Virtual Crack Closure technique
  • Cohesive elements

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • Lectures in presence
  • Tutorial in presence
  • Self-study

Download full module description