Enhancing understanding of concepts in mechanics of materials using design

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© 2003 IEEE. The growing usage of new materials such as plastics, ceramics, composites in engineering applications; new areas of applications such as electronic packaging, medical implants, explanation of geological movements; increasing popularity of stress analysis techniques such as finite element methods and Moire' interferometry; are all indicators emphasizing the importance of basic concepts taught in mechanics of materials course. Presenting subject matter using generalized concepts with greater applicability is one way of educating students in modern topics without exacerbating the problem of increasing graduation time. The negative impact on student motivation that comes from abstraction in generalization can be mitigated by using design. In this paper, using several examples, it is shown that design can be used not only to show the practical relevance of the fundamental mechanics of materials concepts but equally important design can enhance the understanding of the concepts.

Publication Title

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE