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Design a New Set of Strength Labs for the Course, 'Mechanics of Materials'

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Active Learning & Laboratories in Statics, Dynamics, and Mechanics

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Paper Authors


Xiaobin Le P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Associate 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 and Solid Mechanics

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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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Richard L Roberts Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology,
College of Engineering and Technology,
Wentworth Institute of Technology, 550 Huntington Ave.,
Boston, MA 02115

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Design a new set of strength labs for the course of “Mechanics of Materials”

The course “mechanics of materials” is typically accompanied by a set of laboratory experiments for the purposes of displaying mechanical behaviors of the specimen under loadings and reinforcing students’ understanding of stress/strain theories. In spring 2014, the strength laboratory at Wentworth Institute of Technology was fully upgraded from manual-controlled hydraulic Tinius Olsen machines to program-controlled Instron machines. As a result, a new set of laboratory experiments was developed. In order to explore mechanical behaviors and stress/strain theories from different perspectives, it consisted of both physical labs as well as virtual labs and has been successfully implemented since fall semester 2014. This paper will present the list of laboratory experiments and focus on the detailed description of virtual labs with their objectives and main activities. Feedback on the lab reports, conversations with students and students’ survey data will be analyzed and presented. Based on the data collected directly and indirectly, it was shown that the new set of experiments had a positive impact on the student learning of the stress/strain theories. The implementation of the new set of labs suggested that the combination of the physical labs and the virtual labs was one of the best ways to help students have a better understanding of stress/strain theories in the “mechanics of materials” course.

Le, X., & Olia, M., & Moazed, A., & Roberts, R. L. (2016, June), Design a New Set of Strength Labs for the Course, 'Mechanics of Materials' Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26655

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