Module Review (AY 2015/2016 Semester II)

Last module review!

NUS Mechanical Engineering | Year 4 Semester II

Disclaimer: This module review, just like any other module review, is based on my own opinion. Each student has his own strengths and weaknesses and may perceive each topic differently. Also, the content and assessment criteria for every module may change according to semesters.

If you have any questions or require any materials, drop a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

ME4231: Aerodynamics and Propulsion

This is a Technical Elective (TE) under the aeronautical specialization. Class was medium-sized. Honestly one of the most interesting modules I’ve ever taken in NUS. However the number of assignments may make it seem quite heavy.


Finals 70% and CA 30%, consisting of 3 assignments due week 4, 7, 11, and 1 mid-term quiz on week 8. Finals was closed book, equations provided. Assignments consisted mainly of short reports covering some Airbus and Boeing planes.


Part 1: Basic definitions and characteristic parameters, 2D incompressible flow around thin airfoil, incompressible flow over finite wings, aerodynamic design considerations.

Part 2: Subsonic, transonic, supersonic flows, introduction to propulsion, jet propulsion.

I enjoyed Part 1 more than I did for Part 2. The latter consisted of a lot of lengthy derivations and equations, but with enough practice, you should be able to get the hang of it. The exams are a good mix of calculative and descriptive questions. The assignments may seem unrelated to the main content, but they were tested during the finals too. So it caught us off-guard.

Highly recommend this module for students in the specialization, or if you simply have an interest in the topics. Some topics were relevant to my FYP as well.

Final Grade: A-

I was highly unprepared for the finals; had HR paper the day before, and deadline for FYP poster the day after. Didn’t manage to cover all the topics for my revision, and learnt the hard way that one day is definitely not enough to revise one module entirely! I got an A- grade for all my assignments and my mid-term grade wasn’t so bad either, so they must’ve made up for the horrible work I did for finals.

ME3232: Compressible Flow

This is another TE under the aeronautical specialization. I’d say that this module was slightly easier than ME4231, but less interesting. There are more equations and derivations for this module (particularly for Part 2), but ME4231 saw more direct applications to wings and planes. I’d highly recommend to take these 2 modules in the same semester, because there is some overlap in the topics.


Finals 70% and CA 30%, consisting of quiz for Part 1 (week 7) and assignment for Part 2 (due week 13).


Part 1: Basic equations & concepts, isentropic flow, normal shock, oblique shock, prandtl-meyer expansion, converging-diverging nozzle, supersonic airfoils, subsonic & supersonic flows with friction, optical methods.

Part 2: Linearised flow, method of characteristics, introduction to hypersonic flow, flow with heat or mass interaction & generalized flow

The quiz was closed-book MCQ with negative marking (I got 12/15 IIRC) and the assignment had some descriptive report or essay-type questions related to hypersonic flow and space flight, together with some calculations questions which you should be fairly comfortable with if you know how to do the tutorials (don’t worry, they go through the tutorials). I got B+ for the assignment. Not sure why, I did put in lots of effort into it 😡

I was really prepared for the exam but I remember feeling not too confident after finishing the paper. Questions were quite tricky.

Final Grade: A-

HR2002: Human Capital in Organizations

Forced to take this module as a faculty requirement. Just like an arts module: readings every week, tutorial participation, essays for finals, albeit only short ones (2 essays, 2 page with total paper duration of 1.5 hours). Oh and there is a group project and presentation too. So this module definitely felt heavier compared to my TEs, even though this module was only 3 MCs.

This is the exact kind of module that all engineering students would dread taking, but that means that you’ll have a good chance of scoring if you choose to put in effort and/or you have an inclination towards speaking and writing.I have to say, some of the topics are pretty interesting.


CA1: Learning contribution 15%. AKA tutorial participation. This grade seems to be shared among the class, so a dead class would get an average CA1 grade, with the more vocal students getting slightly higher. We were always told that there are no wrong answers, but honestly it sometimes felt like the tutor would implicitly shoot down answers that wasn’t close to the “model” answers.

CA2: 35% group project, consisting of presentation 15% and report 20%, due Week 12. The presentation date for each module varied according to the topic chosen; mine was on Week 9. Take note of what your tutor wants.

The feedback given to our class was that we generally did quite badly for our CA.

Finals: 50%. Time is really crucial. Don’t waste too much time choosing questions and planning your answers. Take note of tips by your tutor, because he’ll be the one marking your essays.


Globalization, organizational transformation, organizational structure & culture, industrial relations, leadership, roles & identities, self-concept, diversity, learning, career.

The exam was my first paper and I was really prepared and confident after completing the paper; managed to use up 2 pages for each question and just in-time. My CA grade must have pulled me down.

Final Grade: B+

ME4101: B. Engg Dissertation

12-MC module spread across the 2 semesters of your final year. Interim report and presentation is due Week 1, draft report on Week 8, final report on Week 10 (you can ask your examiner for extension although it’s generally not advised), and final presentation between Week 13 and Reading Week. For those under aeronautical and energy specializations, there is also an A1 poster due on Exam Week 1 and a poster session after exams. Each student gets a different project so an in-depth review won’t be very useful here but I’ll share some tips:

  • Start your report early. Your introduction, literature review, methodology can be written even before your second semester starts. So don’t plan on going for holidays between your semesters. Remember that once your semester starts, you’ll be bogged down by your other assignments and readings.
  • Once you get your results, prepare them and write your analyses in a way that would be suitable to paste into your report, to save time later on. Remember that at the end of the day, your report is what decides your grades
  • Make use of the online library catalogue to get your readings and beef up your references list.
  • There are some applications you can use to make referencing less of a pain-in-the-ass. NUS allows you to install EndNote for free, which has a handy Cite-While-You-Write function.
  • Don’t belittle the effect of formatting. Take note of the formatting guidelines on the FYP site. Also note the size of your figures/ graphs. I was marked down because some figures were too small while some were too big.
  • Meet up with your supervisor often. Even if you completely don’t care about your FYP at least pretend you care, because your supervisor will have an influence over your final grade as well. Some supervisors (like mine) will have a meeting with you every week, while others will basically just leave you on your own. I personally found the meetings useful.
  • Once you know who will be your examiner(s), search up his background. A professor who does more work in CFD will ask you questions related to your CFD like what model you have used and why. With that being said, note that for your presentation any professor can sit in and ask questions.
  • Be prepared for things to go not the way like you have planned them to be. Equipment breakdowns, software problems.

Final Grade: A-

Final CAP: 4.45 – Second (Upper) Class Honours, or Honours (Distinction).

Just 0.05 points away from First Class Honours oh man so close yet so far x: Definitely feel some disappointment, but then again, it has been stagnant between 4.44 and 4.46 for the past 6 semesters. University was a good experience, and I’m thankful for the results I’ve gotten. 🙂


14 thoughts on “Module Review (AY 2015/2016 Semester II)

  1. Hi Siti, I am Jing Yi, also a mechanical engineering student from NUS. I am currently away for exchange and reading aerodynamics at my exchange university. However, the lecturer is pretty bad and doesn’t give notes. So i was wondering if you mind sharing the aerodynamics lecture notes. Sorry for the inconveniences and thank you!!


  2. Hi, I am kitying and also a ME student…am having a hard time deciding between the different TEs but I am more interested in the Aero ones though. I was wondering if you mind sharing the notes for the different Aero TEs? Would hope to look through them before making my final decision if possible? hahaha. Thank you so much!


      1. Hi, Derek here from mech eng as well. Do you specialise in aeronautics? How well did you enjoy those modules? If you don’t mind, could you also share with me the notes? I’m still choosing which technical electives to take to fulfill the specialisation. Thanks!!


  3. Hi claudia here from mec eng currently having my IA and I am considering taking me4231 as my night class mod. Im not sure if i will be able to cope as im not a aero student and heard that the bell curve will be steep? Also, based on what you say, there seem to be alot of projects going on not sure if i can cope well with work and the mod? Could you give me some advice on whether to take up this mod? Thank you so much!


    1. Hi Claudia 😊 for the night classes (at least during my time), you’ll be graded separately from the other students who take the module during the usual time. Meaning you won’t have to worry about the bell curve. So it’ll be an advantage for you there (I remember getting a good grade for my night class module too and I was clueless throughout most of the topics, haha).

      There are a couple of assignments but to me they were pretty simple. Just mainly doing some research and summary. You can probably do them while at work since I’m guessing they don’t give much work to interns 😂

      It was a very interesting module. I’d recommend it. With that being said, I can only speak based on how the module was like during my time. Maybe now the contents/ lecturers have changed.


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