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A Free Primer on the Kinematics of Discrete Elastic Rods

A new book, A Primer on the Kinematics of Discrete Elastic Rods, has just been published by Springer and is freely accessible to faculty and students at

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-76965-3

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A Geometric Perspective on Gimbal Lock in the Apollo program

The phenomenon of gimbal lock rose in prominence during the time  of NASA's Apollo program. Inside the inertial measurement unit of the Apollo spacecraft was a stable (inertial) platform about which the spacecraft rotated. The hinged platform was suspended in two gimbals to give it three degrees of freedom. Its role was to give an accurate measure of the spacecraft's orientation. At a particular orientation of the spacecraft, the gimbals became coplanar and control torques became ineffective at stabilizing the platform.

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Tenured Faculty Position in Materials Engineering, Design and/or Advanced Manufacturing at U. C. Berkeley

The DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, University of California, Berkeley, has extended the deadline for candidates to apply to a tenured Associate or Professor level faculty position in the areas of Advanced Manufacturing, Design and/or Materials Engineering, including but not limited to:  Clean energy, green and sustainable manufacturing. Precision and cyber-manufacturing. 3-D additive and subtractive manufacturing. Design, including design theory, product design and design for manufacturability.

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Tossing your Smartphone

If you are teaching a course on vehicle dynamics, navigation, robotics, or rotations you might be interested in exploiting the fact that your students' smartphones are equipped with inertial navigation units (IMUs). Daniel Kawano and Prithvi Akella have harnessed the data from the IMU using the Matlab mobile app and used this data to determine the motion of a smart phone:

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Faculty Searches in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at U. C. Berkeley

The DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, University of California, Berkeley, seeks applications for two faculty positions. One position is at the tenure-track, Assistant Professor level and is open to all areas of mechanical engineering including, but not limited to: (1) Biomechanical Engineering, (2) Control and Robotics, (3) Design, (4) Dynamics, (5) Energy Science and Technology, (6) Fluid Mechanics, (7) Manufacturing, (8) Materials, (9) Solid Mechanics, (10) Micro and Nano Science and Engineering, and (11) Ocean and Offshore Engineering.

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The Shoelace Catastrophe

Readers of this site might be interested in the following paper appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society and has received considerable attention in the media:

The roles of impact and inertia in the failure of a shoelace knot

The paper discusses a mechanism for the the accidental untying of a shoelace knot that many of us, including me, experience on a daily basis. The failure is sudden and catastropic as can be seen in the following video:

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Textbook on Modeling Nonlinear Problems in the Mechanics of Strings and Rods

My latest textbook, O. M. O’Reilly, Modeling Nonlinear Problems in the Mechanics of Strings and Rods, has just been published by Springer Verlag. The electronic version of this book is available (for free if your university's library has a subscription) on this website:

 

http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319505961

 

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Tenure-Track Faculty Position Opening in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at U. C. Berkeley

The DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, University of California, Berkeley, seeks applications for a tenure-track, Assistant Professor position in the areas of Design, Robotics, Applied Energy Systems, and Nanoscale Systems Engineering.

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Updates to Online Resource on Rotations

The online resource on rotations, http://rotations.berkeley.eduhas been operational now for nearly 3 years.

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Michael Carroll (1936-2016)

Many in this community may have heard the sad news of the passing last weekend of Michael Carroll.  Two obituaries have been posted: one at U.C. Berkeley where he was a faculty member for many years and another at Rice University where he was a former Dean of the College of Engineering.

http://www.me.berkeley.edu/about/news/former-me-professor-michael-carroll-passed-away-january-17

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Tenure-Track Faculty Position Opening in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley

Dear Colleague,

The Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, seeks applications for a tenure-track, Assistant Professor position in the following areas:

 Design, Control and Robotics, Applied Energy Systems and Nanoscale Systems Engineering.

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A (Possibly Free) Primer on the Finite Element Method

For those of you interested in a terse introductory guide to the Finite Element Method, you might find the latest book by my colleague at U.C. Berkeley, Tarek Zohdi, to be helpful:

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Constraint Moments and Constraint Forces in the Mechanics of Rigid Bodies

For those of you preparing to teach a course on Lagrangian Mechanics of Rigid Bodies in the forthcoming semester or quarter, you may be interested to read a new expository paper by Arun Srinivasa at Texas A&M and myself:

 A Simple Treatment of Constraint Forces and Constraint Moments in Rigid Body Dynamics, ASME Applied Mechanics Reviews, To Appear (2014).  

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