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Naming the SI Unit for Fracture Toughness (KIC)

To: Engineers, Fracture Analysts, Mechanicians, Physicists...

In science and engineering, we have an excellent tradition: naming a physical unit using the name of a prominent personality from the concerned field. For example, in SI system, we measure force in newton, work in joule, power in watt...

But the unit of fracture toughness, i.e. KIC, is too lengthy to pronounce: (mega) pascal-underoot-meter. Further, it has also been in use for something like half a century by now, perhaps more. So, how do you like the idea of giving a name to this unit?

Zhigang Suo's picture

Essays and books on writing well

  • G. M. Whitesides, Writing a paper. Advanced Materials 15, 1375-1377, 2004.  This three-page essay by a prolific professor at Harvard advocates a process:  start writing a paper at the same time you start a research project.  Every thinking person should read this essay, and give the process a try.
Carl T. Herakovich's picture

Achenbach Receives National Medal of Science

Jan D. Achenbach, Walter P. Murphy Professor and McCormick School Distinguished Professor at Northwestern University was presented a 2005 National Medal of Science by President George W. Bush on July 27. Achenbach, who  is well known in the mechanics community, was honored for his seminal contributions to engineering research and education in the area of wave propagation in solids and for pioneering the field of quantitative non-destructive evaluation. Previously, Achenbach received a 2003 National medal of Technology from President Bush.

MichelleLOyen's picture

Mechanics in the news

Since I am an alum of the University of Minnesota, when I was a PhD student I lived only a few blocks from the site of yesterday's catastrophic bridge collapse in Minneapolis.  The statics analysis of a truss is almost the first thing learned by every undergraduate engineering student, and appears to be relevant here.  It is interesting to see words like "fatigue crack" and "vibrations" in the news .  In light of such events,

House Passes $600 Million Increase in National Science Foundation Budget

House Passes $600 Million Increase in National Science Foundation Budget July 27, 2007 --The U.S. House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill that would increase funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) by nearly $600 million or 10 percent to $6.5 billion in fiscal year 2008.  The bill would put NSF on track to double its budget in less than 10 years.

The Batchelor Prize

Cambridge University Press and the Journal of Fluid Mechanics are delighted to announce the launch of The Batchelor Prize, sponsored by the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, to be awarded in recognition of outstanding research in fluid mechanics.

Demitris Kouris's picture

Faculty Position in Experimental Mechanics of Materials


Andrew Norris's picture

Sci & Engng Publication Output and the Research &Publication Environment in the US: NSF Reports

Within the last two weeks the US National Science Foundation (NSF) published not one but two studies on (a) the attitudes of scientists and engineers to the changing world of publication, and (b) the relative global productibity of US science & engineering as measured by journal publication.    

These are not dense 500 page reports, but short, readable (10-15 min.).  I think iMechanica readers will find them relevant and interesting:

Tips for short presentations

I've been to two conferences this year and I've again seen the same annoying features in many talks that have been warned against by numerous people over the years.

Here are some tips that might come in handy :

A 1st step to super-strong carbon materials? 'Graphene oxide paper', Nature July 26 issue

Long URL: (

The above was written for the interested layperson who wants to learn more about science. It provides some context for our manuscript that has recently appeared in Nature.

2 post-doc openings at Cambridge Engineering Dept.

2 Research Associate Positions in
Dynamic Properties of Engineering Materials and Structures

Rui Huang's picture

Research Highlight: Graphene Oxide Paper

From Northwestern Engineering:

In a paper published July 26 in the journal Nature, researchers led by Rod Ruoff, John Evans Professor of Nanoengineering in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, report on the development of "graphene oxide paper."

yoursdhruly's picture

CALLING ALL STUDENTS! (and everyone else)

Recently, Prof. Suo and several of us students have been discussing the possibility of increasing student presence and activity on iMechanica . With this in mind, two of us: Mahdi Kazemzadeh and I, have identified three important issues we would like to get your thoughts on. Please comment and let us know what you think, even if you are not a student. Also, if you wish to add any more issues you think we should look at, please post your thoughts in this regard as well.

Faculty Openings Carnegie Mellon University

The mechanical engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University is now advertising faculty positions. Ranked by US News & World Report as a top 10 graduate engineering program and a Top 25 undergraduate university, Carnegie Mellon might be a good fit for someone that you know.

Srinivasan Sivakumar's picture

Poster Abstract Deadline extended to Aug 15. Intl.Workshop on SMART DEVICES: MODELING OF MATERIAL SYSTEMS Jan10-12, 2008

We invite you to submit an abstract for the poster sessions in the International Workshop on SMART DEVICES: MODELING OF MATERIAL SYSTEMS Jan 10-12, 2008. IIT MADRAS, Chennai.  INDIA.    (pl. note: VERY LIMITED SLOTS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE POSTER SESSIONS)

--> 15 Aug 2007:  Deadline for abstract submission (poster sessions only)

--> 20 Aug 2007:  End of abstract selection (poster sessions only).

Solid Mechanics Professorship at Imperial College London

Professorship in the Mechanics of Materials Division
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Imperial College London

Imperial College is one of Europe's leading teaching and research institutions and the Department of Mechanical Engineering had the highest possible rating in the last Research Assessment Exercise.

ErwanVerron's picture

Recent papers on rubber mechanics

Here are some of my recent papers about mechanics of rubber material. They concern constitutive modelling, fatigue and fracture.

Marckmann G. et Verron E., Comparison of hyperelastic models for rubberlike materials, Rubber Chemistry and Technology, 79(5), 835-858, 2006.

Problems with atomic force microscopy


 Recently, I have a problem bothered me alot, anybody please help me out.

 I am using Dimension 3100 AFM. It is a scanned tip SPM. There are two screws to adjust mirrow so that the laser can be reflected to the photodiode. My problem is:

coupling between plasticity and damage

Choose a channel featured in the header of iMechanica: 

Hello all,

 I am Nilesh and doing
study of Continuum damage mechanics, in that context, I have some doubt s

     Can anyone tell


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