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Linking Mechanics And Materials In Engineering Design: A New Approach

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.691.1 - 6.691.8

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Sanjeev Khanna

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Christopher Jenkins

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Session 2325

Linking Mechanics and Materials in Engineering Design: A new Approach Sanjeev K. Khanna Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department University of Missouri – Columbia Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A.

C. H. Jenkins Mechanical Engineering Department South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rapid City, SD 57701, U.S.A.


Educating engineering students should involve an integrated approach. Hence we have developed a new course linking mechanics, materials science, and design. The course titled “Mechanics and Materials in Structural Design” educates students in the total design of structures. One important aspect of this model of teaching is to develop multimedia based virtual lab modules. This paper focuses on one such module, namely, “Tension Test of Metals”. This module links the mechanics experiment with the fundamentals of materials science and highlights its usefulness in the context of engineering design of structures. With this approach an apparently simple tension test can help the students to better visualize the linkages between materials response at the macro- and atomic-level, and design. Preliminary assessment of the course suggests that this philosophy of teaching and integrated course on design is valid.

1. Introduction

The principal factors for improvement in the performance and reliability of products are the development of new materials, novel use of existing materials, better understanding of the structure-property relationships, and incorporation of both mechanics and materials science in the design of structures. It is proposed to develop a new course, at the junior level in mechanical engineering, linking materials science, mechanics of materials, and design, based on the above- mentioned factors.

In present engineering practice, structural components are designed by using the mechanical behavior of real engineering materials solely in terms of their elastic response. Very seldom is consideration given to the nature of the material and its actual response to forces as the manifestation of its heterogeneous internal structure. This approach to design and instruction in the classroom, where all materials are considered to be homogeneous, isotropic, and linear elastic continuous media, is no doubt a good way to introduce the subject. However, the implications

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright O 2001, American Society of Engineering Education”

Khanna, S., & Jenkins, C. (2001, June), Linking Mechanics And Materials In Engineering Design: A New Approach Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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