Instructor: Sigrid Adriaenssens
Description of Course Goals and CurriculumCore course within CEE, of particular importance to structural track (although required for environmental track). Very similar to MAE equivalent, a friend called it “physics on steroids.” Basic application of mechanics principles from physics to static situations (e.g., bridges, buildings). Will learn many formulas, including four important phenomena (normal stress, shear stress, bending, torsion).
Learning From Classroom InstructionCourse has two 80-minute lectures a week. Sigrid reads right off of lecture slides. If you look over her slides and read the textbook ahead of time, you will be fine. One 50-minute precept a week that has 1-2 practice problems which are useful. I learned most from reading the textbook and doing a ton of practice problems from the book. Find a friend who knows their stuff, and study with them. (As an environmental track CEE major, I found a structural buddy to show me the ropes.)
Learning For and From AssignmentsYou should know the key formulas Sigrid presents and how to apply them to general categories of problems (e.g., hanging beam, frame, etc.). Be sure to pay close attention in the first week or two when she introduces foundational concepts that form the basis for the rest of the class. If you did well in PHY103, you should be fine here. If you didn’t, brush up on those problem solving skills! Class grade consists of midterm and final (both of which are timed problems of similar difficulty to the homeworks, I swear she just takes all of these problems from the textbook so if you do book problems to practice, you will be fine). Homeworks count for your grade. What sets this course apart from the MAE equivalent are the “design experiences” she assigns, which are basically sketchbook assignments (if you don’t like drawing bridges, brace yourself) with a final group project (not a ton of work) at the end of class, due the last week of class. I didn’t like these sketching assignments because I hate drawing, but I made it through, so you can, too.
External ResourcesWhen doing your design experiences, try using an online beam calculator (you can find free ones on Google) to automatically construct shear and moment diagrams. The textbook readings are technically assigned, but she never checks if you’ve read, but you still should read it and then do AT LEAST 20 practice problems per chapter, especially before the midterm. I found that to be the most helpful. Also, please work with your peers if you are confused. They can be so helpful.
What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course SelectionIn general, do not take this course unless you are a CEE major. If you are generally interested in this subject, I would recommend the MAE equivalent (MAE221) over this one.
Mechanics of Solids