The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


This course covers modelling, design and verification for embedded systems. Design problems in mechatronics are often characterised by many interlocking design trade-offs and conflicting requirements. Engineers need to carefully balance design decisions that affect mechanical structure, power electronics, dynamic response, computational power, sensor and actuator choice, cost and development time. This is achieved in MCHA3400 by a combination of mathematical modelling of systems, system testing and implementation along with consideration of safety, reliability, availability and fault tolerance. This is particularly relevant in mechatronics applications including medical devices, aerospace and autonomous systems.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Construct state-space models of multi-domain systems including electrical, mechanical and thermofluid components

2. Construct graphical models of system structure and causality

3. Use reliability, safety and fault tolerance metrics in system design

4. Use and recognise both formal and agile design methods

5. Design verification tests and procedures to determine validity of embedded systems

6. Discuss functional safety standards for different application areas


  1. System level Modelling
    • Graph-based modelling unifying mechanical, electrical, fluid power, thermodynamic, thermofluid and chemical process domains
    • Power bonds, signals and modulated elements
    • Convection bonds and compressible flow
    • Thermodynamic storage and dissipation
    • Causality and differential equations
    • Analytical mechanics, including Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics
    • Lagrangian and Hamiltonian bond graphs
  2. System design and analysis and implementation
    • Reliability, availability, redundancy, fault tolerance and reconfiguration
    • Evaluation metrics for reliability and availability
    • Test-driven development
    • Methods of design, including formal and agile
    • Functional safety of embedded systems
  3. System verification and validation
    • Verification methods, including Monte-Carlo, scenario testing and extreme event tests
    • Hardware and software-in-the-loop testing
    • Verification of system redundancy

Assumed knowledge

ENGG1003 Introduction to Procedural Programming

ELEC1710 Digital and Computer Electronics 1

ENGG2440 Modelling and Control

Assessment items

Written Assignment: System Modelling Assignment

Written Assignment: System Design Assignment

Written Assignment: System Implementation Assignment

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term