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Aerodynamics and modelling lift with MATLAB

Workshop overview

Year level 11-12
Capacity 16-32 students. If you want to bring more students, email
When School days: Monday-Friday
Duration Half day
Where QUT Gardens Point, Science and Engineering Centre
Cost Free

Workshop details

In this workshop students will develop an understanding of the basic principles behind aerodynamics and lift.

Students will draw on links between mathematics and engineering as they investigate these principles through practical experimentation with wind tunnels, mathematical modelling using MATLAB and mathematical analysis using the Trapezoid or Simpson's rule. Students will then apply these methods to solve a design challenge where they are tasked with designing, modelling and analysing their solution for maximum efficiency.

Topics covered in this workshop:

  • mathematics modelling
  • mathematics analysis
  • principles of flight
  • aerospace engineering.

Book this workshop

You can request a booking for one of these options:

You can also add a 30-minute interactive experience at The Cube to your visit.

All bookings are subject to availability of university spaces and presenters

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Curriculum links

Essential Mathematics

  • Use metric units of mass, their abbreviations, conversions between them, and appropriate choices of units (ACMEM025)
  • Use spreadsheets to tabulate and graph data (ACMEM041)
  • Calculate speed, distance or time using the formula speed = distance/time (ACMEM086)
  • Use symbols and conventions for the representation of geometric information; for example: point, line, ray, angle, diagonal, edge, curve, face and vertex (ACMEM107)

Mathematical Methods

  • Understand the formula abf(x)dx = F(b)-F(a) and use it to calculate definite integrals (ACMMM131)
  • Calculate the area under a curve (ACMMM132)
  • Calculate the area between curves in simple cases (ACMMM134)
  • Trapezoidal rule for the approximation of a value of a definite integral numerically (QCAA 2019 Syllabus)

Specialist Mathematics

  • Calculate areas between curves determined by functions (ACMSM124)
  • Use numerical integration using technology (ACMSM126)


  • Advances in science understanding in one field can influence other areas of science, technology and engineering (ACSPH011)
  • Models and theories are contested and refined or replaced when new evidence challenges them, or when a new model or theory has greater explanatory power (ACSPH087)
  • Relevant equations relation to Physics curriculum:
    • w=mg
    • F=GMm/r2 and g=F/m=GM/r2

Aerospace Systems (QCAA 2019 Syllabus)

  • Define the forces of lift, weight, thrust and drag and their relationship to each other
  • Explain the theories of generating lift and aerofoils (Newton’s third law and Bernoulli’s principle)
  • Develop ideas for and create various wing shapes to demonstrate an understanding of lift
  • Conduct experiments on common objects to identify forms that generate lift forces

Engineering Technology (QCAA 2019 Syllabus)

  • Define engineering mechanics, engineering statics, engineering dynamics, mass, force and matter
  • Examine Newton’s three laws
  • Recognise common engineering quantities, SI units and symbols.

Get in touch

Australian and NZ students

3138 2000

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International students

1800 181 848
(within Australia)

+61 3 9627 4853
(outside Australia)

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