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ME 606 Continuum Mechanics

Catalog Description

ME 606 Continuum Mechanics (3). Prerequisites: Graduate/Professional School standing. Emphasizes the basic principles of continuum mechanics and the central role these principles play in the formulation of the fundamental equations of fluid and solid mechanics.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Differential equations
  2. Mechanics of materials
  3. Fluid mechanics


G.T. Mase and G.E. Mase, Continuum Mechanics for Engineers, Second Edition, CRC Press, 1999.


R.D. Bradshaw, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Course Learning Outcomes

To emphasize the mathematics and analysis methods used in the study of thee behavior of a continuous medium. These tools are then applied in the development and understanding of the fundamental principles that underlie the governing differential equations and boundary conditions for solid and fluid mechanics.

Topics Covered

  1. Introduction to continuum mechanics (2 classes)
  2. Vectors, tensors and essential mathematics (6 classes)
  3. Stress principles (3 classes)
  4. Principal stresses and principal axes (3 classes)
  5. Analysis of deformation (3 classes)
  6. Velocity fields and compatibility conditions (3 classes)
  7. Fundamental laws and equations (5 classes)
  8. Linear elasticity (6 classes)
  9. Linear viscoelasticity (4 classes)
  10. Classical fluids (2 classes)
  11. Nonlinear elasticity and review (3 classes)
  12. Examinations (2 classes and 2½ hour final exam)

Computer Use


Class/Laboratory Schedule

Three 50 minute sessions per week devoted to lecture, discussion, and problem solving.


Homework 30%, midterm exams 40%, final exam 30%.

Graduate Requirements

Graduate students are required to complete an assignment consisting of a solution to one or more problems in continuum mechanics that the instructor considers to be at an advanced level of difficulty.

Professional Component Contribution

Engineering science: 3 credits.

Relationship to Program Objectives

This course supports Mechanical Engineering program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by R.D. Bradshaw, March 2006

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