Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

MM4SIM Simulation and Digital Human Modelling
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  09/10

Total Credits: 10

Level: Level 4

Target Students:  MSc in Human Factors, BEng and MEng Product Design and Manufacture, MSc Interactive Systems Design, MSc BioEngineering, any 3rd or 4th year student in Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering. There is a limited number of places on this module. Students are reminded that enrolments which are not agreed by the Offering School in advance may be cancelled without notice.

Taught Semesters:

SemesterAssessment
Autumn Assessed by end of Autumn Semester 

Prerequisites: None.

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  For Human Factors/Ergonomics work, computers can render digital representations of people with varying characteristics performing a multitude of tasks within simulated environments. Moreover, simulation tools can enable designers, managers and end-users to experience products and systems in realistic, interactive environments. Such advancements have significant cost implications, enabling designs and their implications to be visualised early in the development lifecycle. This module will provide students with the knowledge and skills required to understand and utilise computers as Human Factors tools for modelling people and systems (tasks, interfaces, environments). The module is largely practically-oriented and students will make extensive use of digital human modelling software (e.g. Jack) and the simulation facilities (e.g. car, motorcycle and train simulators) available within the Human Factors Research Group. The syllabus covers: Algorithms and use of avatars for modelling human physical characteristics (e.g. body dimensions, static and dynamic postures); Modelling of perceptual and cognitive variability (e.g. sensory abilities, emotive responses); Virtual reality technologies/environments; Validity of simulators; Presence factors for simulation; Understanding and minimising simulator sickness; Case studies in the use of digital human modelling and simulators as Human Factors tools.

Method and Frequency of Class:

ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks1 per week2 hours
Practical 11 weeks1 per week2 hours

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Coursework 1 50 Report (approx. 3000 words) on the use of simulation to aid in the design/evaluation of specific products 
Coursework 2 50 Presentation arguing for the use of digital human modelling within a specific design context 

Convenor: 
Professor G Burnett

Education Aims:  This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to use digital human modelling and systems simulation approaches in Human Factors research and design/evaluation work. The module does not require computer-programming abilities. Rather, the aim is to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental assumptions upon which digital human modelling and simulation tools are based and their primary capabilities and limitations. Consequently, upon completion of this module students will possess the ability to apply such tools effectively in their future project work and/or employment.

Learning Outcomes:  Knowledge and Understanding concerning: The role of Digital Human Modelling and Simulation as tools when designing and evaluating products and workplaces; The scientific approaches and literature that underpin the use of Digital Human Modelling and Simulation in Human Factors work. Intellectual Skills the ability to: Analyse products and workplaces using Digital Human Modelling and Simulation approaches to suit the needs, capabilities of limitations of people; Select and apply Digital Human Modelling and Simulation approaches in an appropriate fashion; Plan investigations using Digital Human Modelling and Simulation approaches. Professional Practical Skills the ability to: Use Digital Human Modelling and Simulation tools and techniques in Human Factors work; Design and evaluate products and workplaces using Digital Human Modelling and Simulation approaches; Prepare technical reports; Plan an investigation using Simulation approaches. Transferable Skills the ability to: Use computers to solve problems; Prepare individual reports; Undertake self-directed study; Exhibit innovation and creativity in problem solving.

Offering School:  Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering


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