CHEMMAT 100G : Materials of the Modern World


2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Every aspect of daily living is influenced in some way by the materials that surround us. Ceramics, metals, polymers, and composites; each has its own properties which have, over time, influenced the development of modern technological societies. Take a moment to imagine a world without metal, for example, to see how central the science of materials is to everyday life. This course will explore, at a non-specialist level, the basic principles governing the properties and behaviour of a wide variety of common materials and examine their applications and limitations.

Course Overview

To learn at a non-specialist level about the broad range of materials that have shaped and transformed our everyday lives. While restricting the course content to a general, non-specialist level there will be a strong emphasis on exploring fundamental concepts that
(a) account for the unity of the material world,
(b) explain the diversity of properties seen in different materials and
(c) are the key to understanding how materials can be modified for practical purposes.

The following  is an approximate list of themes to be covered in the lectures: 
- Atoms and Matter
- Order and Chaos
- Materials (mis)Behaviour
- Materials Families
- Right Tool for the Job
- Composite Materials
- Processing Materials
- Corrosion
- Nature and Nature Inspired
- Tissue Engineering

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Recognise how atoms combine to form matter in both ordered and disordered structures, and identify how these structures affect mechanical properties. (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Apply knowledge of material properties to seek solutions for material requirements in mechanical design. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  3. Explain how raw materials are processed into a finished product. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Apply knowledge of material processing to create a component for a practical application with a 3D printer. (Capability 1, 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Identify how biological materials differ from traditional materials, and examine how they can inspire modern design and technology. (Capability 1 and 2)
  6. Recognise the limitations of the human body, and identify the various modern materials we can use to overcome them. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignment 15% Individual Coursework
Test 10% Individual Test
3D print assignment 15% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
3D print assignment
Final Exam

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For each week in this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, 3.5 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3.5 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the test.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Health & Safety

Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Health and Safety section of the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook. Students will have to wear proper PPE for the labs and will have to complete the Canvas training course before using the 3D printers in the MDLS.

The Engineering Undergraduate Handbook can be found here:

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

more examples and demonstrations  given in class 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 18/11/2022 01:09 p.m.