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Innovations In Teaching Fracture Mechanics

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Innovative Teaching Techniques

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.767.1 - 10.767.12



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Paper Authors

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Tadeusz Majewski

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Hector Cervantes

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K. V. Sudhakar

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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K.V. Sudhakar, Tadeusz Majewski, Hector Cervantes

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universidad de las Americas-Puebla, Santa Catarina Martir, Puebla 72820, Mexico


An elective course on fracture mechanics is planned to be introduced for the undergraduate students of mechanical engineering. At the present time, some of the topics on fracture mechanics are covered in a course on selection of materials. The present paper discusses specific teaching methods and relevant experimental methodologies for learning fracture mechanics. A proposed syllabus on fracture mechanics is presented. The basic objective of teaching is directed in the following areas of fracture mechanics; basics of fracture mechanics, an ability to relate principles of fracture mechanics to real world applications, and case studies on fracture mechanics applications. Teaching tools discussed in this paper include; cooperative learning, competency based curriculum, discussion based model approach, lecture quiz approach, and other related methods. The course objectives, course methodologies and learning objectives for fracture mechanics course are also discussed. The specific experimental procedures for carrying out the fracture toughness tests and related microstructure analysis are introduced. The direct benefits of experimental exercises in fracture mechanics to materials science/mechanical engineering education have been discussed. The basic/primary objective of these experiments is to give students the hands-on experience. Furthermore, more emphasis is given for improving students’ learning skills and creative thinking by having small group discussions and frequent quizzes on laboratory exercises.

Keywords: Fracture mechanics course; Teaching methods; Laboratory methods; Fracture toughness testing and microstructure analysis.

1. Introduction

A new elective course on fracture mechanics is proposed to be introduced for the undergraduate students in mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering undergraduates typically study courses like statics, dynamics, introduction to solid mechanics, and engineering mechanics in addition to materials science courses where they get introduced to some of the basic concepts of fracture mechanics and principles. Fracture of engineering materials is one of the oldest fields of investigation for material designers and engineers of mechanical, civil, automotive, naval, and aerospace structures. Now, it is very well established that the ignorance/neglect of the “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering"

Majewski, T., & Cervantes, H., & Sudhakar, K. V. (2005, June), Innovations In Teaching Fracture Mechanics Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14282

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