Asee peer logo

Preparation For An Innovative Course Sequence In Statics And Solid Mechanics

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Improving Mechanics & Structural Modeling Courses

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.971.1 - 14.971.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Pramod Chaphalkar Grand Valley State University

author page

Shirley Fleischmann Grand Valley State University

author page

Janice Pawloski Grand Valley State University

author page

Hugh Jack Grand Valley State University Orcid 16x16

Download Paper |

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

Preparation for Innovative Statics and Solid Mechanics Course Sequence


Grand Valley State University has a strong partnership with local industry. We strive to match our curriculum to their needs while maintaining high educational standards. The contents of present mechanics courses and their sequence in curriculum do not suit the needs of all the students of different programs and the employers. The present sequence of in-class semesters and mandatory co-op semesters is such that students have solid mechanics competency after the first co-op experience while machine design course which is last in the sequence is taught concurrently with the first part of senior design projects. The present sequence is therefore less beneficial to the students in terms of co-op experience and the senior project.

This paper presents initiatives taken to address these issues and discusses the details of the proposed scheme. Initially, the issues were identified from all the stakeholders’ inputs. And then our approach has been evolved with three main components. Each one addresses some of the issues. First component is to develop an innovative course in statics and solid mechanics which will be the first course in the sequence. There is a paradigm shift in the way the mechanics and design topics will be taught. In that course, principles of statics, solid mechanics and machine elements are taught together in a concise way. With this background students are anticipated to complete their first co-op semester successfully. The introduction of the major changes in the first course has altered the course contents in the subsequent courses. The follow-on course will have a more rigorous mechanics study with introduction to finite element analysis tools. The second component of the approach is to introduce a new course on Finite Element Analysis. The third component of the approach is to reorganize the sequence of the course throughout the curriculum.

The proposed plan of study is also presented. Expected benefits from the endeavor are discussed. Brainstorming and discussions preceded the preparations. This paper also presents challenges of textbooks, scheduling and resource allocations. The paper concludes with the discussion of the future work. In summary this paper presents identification of issues, innovation, approach taken, and the necessary preparations. The main objective of the paper is to disseminate the innovative approach and seek the constructive comments from the engineering educators.


The School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University is surrounded by several auto suppliers and furniture manufacturers. Over the years, our engineering school has developed a strong partnership with the local industry. Co-op is mandatory in our undergraduate program and we provide well trained co-op students to the industry. All of our capstone projects are sponsored by the local industry. It is therefore imperative that we strive to keep our curricula up to date, so that they reflect local industry’s needs and our students remain competent in the fast changing environment of technology and businesses. Our engineering program emphasizes teaching and applied research. Therefore, our faculty is continuously engaged in pedagogical research and its implementation and it is active in disseminating the results to engineering educators.

Chaphalkar, P., & Fleischmann, S., & Pawloski, J., & Jack, H. (2009, June), Preparation For An Innovative Course Sequence In Statics And Solid Mechanics Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5514

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015