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Solid Mechanics Area Examination

The solid mechanics area examination is a two-hour, closed-book, written examination, which has the stated purpose of determining whether Ph.D. candidates who desire to demonstrate expertise in the solid mechanics area, have sufficient knowledge of the area’s fundamental principles.

Please note: Formula sheets will not be provided nor allowed while taking the Solid Mechanics Area Exam.

The examination will consist of six problems from Strength of Materials, many of which will require a firm grasp of Statics. Student must work four of the six problems to receive a passing grade. Calculators may be used during the examination

As an absolute minimum, the examinee should have completed introductory courses in Statics and Strength of Materials, such as ME 270 and ME 323, or their equivalents, and have a firm technical understanding of basic Elasticity, prior to taking the examination.

For reference purposes, areas of technical emphasis are delineated below. Please note that while these topics will be emphasized on the examination, the mechanics area reserves the right to incorporate related technical materials.

  • Computing Stresses and Strains
    • Free-Body Diagrams
    • Axial Loads
    • Torsional Loads
    • Bending Loads
    • Transverse Shear Loads
    • Combined Loads
    • Superposition
    • Thin-Walled Structures
    • Thermal Stresses
    • 3D Hooke’s Law
  • Stress and Strain Transformation
    • General Transformation Equations
    • Principal Stresses and Strains
    • Mohr’s Circle
    • Coordinate Changes
  • Computing Deflections
    • Shear-Moment Diagrams
    • Direct-Integration Methods
    • Statically-Indeterminate Systems
  • Buckling
  • Friction
    • Static Friction
    • Kinetic Friction
  • Energy Methods
    • Work
    • Strain Energy
    • Impact
    • Castigliano’s Theorem
  • Failure Prediction
    • Stress Concentrations
    • Uni-Axial Stress States
    • Multi-Axial Stress States
  • Fatigue
    • S-N Diagrams
    • Fatigue Regimes
    • Endurance Limits
    • Cumulative Damage

Select References

[1] F. P. Beer, E. R. Johnson, and J. T. DeWolf. Mechanics of Materials. Third Edition. 2002.

[2] J. M. Gere. Mechanics of Materials. Fifth Edition. 2001.

[3] R. C. Hibbeler. Mechanics of Materials. Fifth Edition. 2003.

[4] S. Timoshenko and J. N. Goodier. Theory of Elasticity. Second Edition. 1951.

[5] A. C. Ugural and S. K. Fenster. Advanced Strength and Applied Elasticity. Third Edition. 1995.