ENGM 940 / ES 242 -- HM1 P1 Introduction

Michael P. Mahoney's picture

Hi everyone. My name is Michael Mahoney and I'm currently enrolled in the fracture mechanics course at the University of Nebraska. I am pursuing my master's degree in engineering mechanics. My advisor is Dr. Joseph A. Turner and my research is in acoustoelastic methods for characterizing stress in a material. Here is a link to our research group:  http://em-jaturner.unl.edu/.

I graduated from Hastings College a small liberal arts college in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in physics. I have taken a graduate level mechanics of materials course as well as continuum mechanics. I have taken quite a few upper level and graduate level applied math courses so I feel that my strength is mathematics, but since I haven't had the opportunity to take a specific elasticity course that may be my weakness.

Since the goal of the research that I am involved in is to develop a more efficient method of characterizing longitudinal stress in steel railroad rails to prevent track fracture and/or buckling, knowing the physics of fracturing will be useful. In general, I think this course contributes to my general education tremendously because the problem of quantitatively predicting something as critical as fracture is a very important problem to the world since many of the man-made things that sustain us are solid structures (houses, buildings, dams, trains, bridges, airplanes, etc) subject to loads that may someday cause the structure to fail.