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A Practical Graphical Approach for Drawing Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Student Advancement in Mechanics of Materials

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Paper Authors


Xiaobin Le P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Professor, Ph.D, PE., Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA 02115, Phone: 617-989-4223, Email:, Specialization in Computer Aided Design, Mechanical Design, Finite Element Analysis, Fatigue Design, Solid Mechanics and Engineering Reliability

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Masoud Olia P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Dr. Olia received his BS, MS and Ph.D. in the field of mechanical engineering from Northeastern University. He Has over thirty years of teaching experience at different universities such as Northeastern, Suffolk and Tufts. He has been teaching as a professor in the department of mechanical engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology for the last twenty years. Dr. Olia has taught variety of courses such as Statics, Dynamics, Mechanics of Material, Vibrations and System Dynamics.
Professor Olia has published more than eighteen technical papers in the areas of stress concentration in the hybrid composites, adhesively bonded composite joints with gaps subjected to bending, biomechanics and dynamic response of adhesively bonded joints.
Professor Olia has appeared in a WBZ-TV Channel 4 news interview as an expert on MBTA crash which happened in Newton MA, in May 2008. He has also participated as a science consultant on the WGBH children show called “FETCH” in the summer of 2007. The episode was aired nationally in the fall 2008 season. Dr. Olia appeared in all segments and helped the kids with engineering design process to build, and test a cake protector.

Professor Olia has had consulting experience in the area of finite element analysis and has collaborated with the Design Analysis Associates Consulting company which provides CAE consulting services to the utility, industrial and commercial clients. Dr. Olia is a registered professional engineer in the state of Massachusetts and has lectured extensively in FE and PE review courses at different colleges, universities and companies.

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Ali Moazed Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Ali R. Moazed is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Technology department at Wentworth Institute of Technology. In addition to twenty five years of industrial and consulting experience, he has taught mechanical engineering courses full or part-time prior to joining Wentworth in 2001. At Wentworth, he teaches design related courses in the solid mechanics area. He believes in teaching from the perspective of a practicing academician by bringing into the classroom topics related to the practice of engineering, along with the latest pedagogical tools.

His expertise is in the area of Applied Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and as an engineering consultant, he provides FEA services to the Utility, Industrial, and Commercial clients nationwide. These services include design analysis, design verification, design modification, design optimization, and failure analysis. He is a registered professional engineer in states of Massachusetts and California.

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A Practical Graphical Approach for Drawing Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams


The ability to draw shear force and bending moment diagrams on beam-like components is an important skill for mechanical engineering students. We found that some students had difficulty to draw effectively the shear force and bending moment diagrams during the course and even in their senior year. Although the method of sections can produce all for drawing the diagrams, it becomes tedious when a beam is divided into several segments. The graphical approaches by free-hand sketch are discussed in every textbook and is a good approach for drawing the diagrams. But the procedures provided in textbooks are not easy to be followed effectively by students and could be improved. Many computer-based or similar programs for drawing the diagram are available, but their effectiveness is not validated by proper assessment. We had studied this issue in the past years and had developed a practical procedure for drawing the diagrams with a free-hand sketch in 2017. In the spring and fall semesters 2017, the proposed procedure was implemented successfully in different sections of Mechanics of Materials course. The proposed procedure for drawing the diagrams was assessed by a quiz given to different sections of the course. The feedback information was collected through the class survey. Based on the assessment and class survey, most students liked the proposed procedure and believed the method was practical. The assessment based on the quiz also showed the grades with the proposed procedure were significantly improved. This paper presents the practical graphical procedure for drawing the diagrams as well as the results of the class survey and the assessment.

Le, X., & Olia, M., & Moazed, A. (2018, June), A Practical Graphical Approach for Drawing Shear Force and Bending Moment Diagrams Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29714

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