Faculty of Engineering

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering




Not offered in 2016


This unit will apply the basic mechanics included in the engineering course to the physiological background of the biomedical engineers. This will include characterisation of the principle body tissues as engineering materials, such as bone, cartilage and ligaments as structural materials, joints as mechanisms, muscles as motors and brakes, the heart as a pump, and the nervous system as sensor network and controller. Gait, the prime example of the interaction of all these elements, will be studied in its own right, and as a diagnostic tool in palsied, diseased and prosthetic patients. The technologies of the gait lab and of ambulatory monitoring will also be covered.


  • To understand the building blocks of human musculo-skeletal biomechanics.
  • To study human motor control with a particular focus on lower limb control and locomotion.
  • To compare gait of normal and disabled humans
  • To understand the principles and operation of gait measurement in the laboratory and in the field.
  • To become familiar with the biomechanics of prosthetics.


Continuous assessment: 30%
Examination: (3 hours) 70%.
Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component (assignments, tests, mid-semester exams, laboratory reports) and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

3 hours lectures, 3 hours laboratory and practice classes and 6 hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)




ECE4804, ECE5084, ECE5804