ENGS 33: Solid Mechanics

Summer Term 2012


Professor Solomon Diamond
Room 119C, Cummings Hall

Course Description

This course is concerned with the mechanics of rigid and deformable solids in a state of equilibrium. The first unit will be devoted to a review of the fundamental principles of rigid body statics (forces, moments, equilibrium). These principles will then be extended to deformable solid bodies. The concepts of stress and strain will be introduced as will stress-strain relations describing the static behavior of elastic bodies. Exact or approximate solutions to the equations will be developed for situations involving tension/compression, bending, torsion, pressurization, and combinations of those types of loads. These solutions will be applied to numerous practical engineering problems.

Several computer exercises will be included in the course. They will involve the application of pre-written programs demonstrating the principles of mechanics and the statistical analysis of test data. Matrix methods of mechanics analysis, finite element methods and techniques of computer-aided design (using SolidWorks) will be introduced.

Laboratory work will emphasize the measurement of actual behavior of solid bodies under load. Statistical data analysis techniques using Excel will be introduced and used in the laboratory reports. A major laboratory project will involve the design, construction and testing of a structure.


MATH 13 and PHYS 13

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Determine the external forces and moments acting on a solid object in a state of equilibrium.
  2. Determine the states of stress and strain at any point within a linearly elastic solid loaded in tension, compression, or torsion.
  3. Determine the distribution of internal shear forces, bending moments, and corresponding stresses and deformations within an elastic beam loaded in bending.
  4. Determine the principal stresses, principal strains, and the maximum shear stress acting at any point in a loaded solid object.
  5. Determine the stress in a solid object subjected to a combination of tension, compression, internal pressurization, torsion, or bending to determine whether static failure would be expected to occur within the object.
  6. Design a simple structure to withstand a prescribed external loading, and to predict the deflection and failure load for the structure.


  • Hibbeler, R.C., Statics and Mechanics of Materials, Third Edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2010. ISBN-10: 0132166747 (print)
    Or online electronic copy of the text for 180 days. ISBN-10: 0132175762