Material Selection


Course Summary

Discipline “Material Selection” focuses on the critical skills necessary to identify and master control of engineering, technological innovation found both in academic environments and in industry. Material selection is a step in the process of designing any physical object. In the context of product design, the main goal of material selection is to choose appropriate eco-friendly material for given application with best combination of properties, easy fabrication process, and minimal cost. This course will provide information for each student to learn best practices of material selection from the major sources around the world. Mechanisms will be studied and assessments will be conducted to practice the skills obtained.

The requirement to current engineer is a global vision of the world and professional success demands new approaches to problem solutions from specialists. Material Selection is a relatively new area of study. This discipline is one of only a very small number of available university courses on the subject and definitely the first one at Russian Universities. Only since the 1995 this topic has been seen on a university level. Engineers and researchers alike must be familiar with the scope of materials, technologies, properties, methods etc. These new professionals have balanced skills in technology, business and environmental protection. They possess the ability to source, evaluate and transfer technology from the very first step to the marketplace. This new profession is a sign of the increasing importance of engineering and research in global economy.

The course assumes that the student has prerequisite knowledge of physics, crystallography, physical metallurgy, mechanical and physical properties of materials.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of practiceHours in laboratoryHours of independent studyTotal numbers of hours

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of this course, students will be expected to...

  • Clarify the basic steps in the design process.
  • Recognize and develop lists of independent and dependent parameters for a mechanical design from which to develop quantitative measures of performance.
  • Develop optimization equations for selection of materials for defined design projects.
  • Use methods of design on a base of minimization of conflict between environmental impact, total costs and functional characteristics of new items.
  • Use material property plots to identify the best performing materials for a given application.
  • Present the results of the materials selection optimization process in a clearly written and technically justified written report, including a concise recommendation for materials to be used in a given design.

Course Content

  • Introduction/Materials Selection in the Design Process
  • Reversal engineering
  • Process Selection
  • Multiple Constraints and Overconstrained Design (Multiple Selection Stage Method)
  • Design Project Work Session: Project Statement
  • Materials Selection Optimization (with shape). Shape Factors. Performance Indices
  • Case Study. Final project discussion.
  • Design Within Limits
  • Optimal Design with Composites / Environmental Design

Reading List

Primary textbooks:

  1. Ashby M.F., Materials and the Environment, Elsevier, 2013
  2. Ashby M.F., Shercliff H., Cebon D., Materials: Engineering, Science, Processing and Design, Elsevier , 2007


  1. CES EduPack 2015, Granta Design Ltd.


Homework Assignments40 %
Final Presentation60 %