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Francisco T S Aragao's picture

Homework 1, problem 1 - Self description

        I'm Francisco Thiago S. Aragao. Please call me Thiago. I'm currently enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Civil Enginering Master's Program under the advisory of Dr. Yong-Rak Kim. I have also a minor course in Engineering Mechanics. Below I'm answering the questions from the Problem 1 of Fracture Mechanics' Assignment 1.

Prior courses in solid mechanics:

Zhijun Zheng's picture

iMechanica is great.

iMechanica is great. I am glad to find this useful web and register an account with my full name.

I am a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Jilin Yu in the Department of Modern Mechanics at University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). It is expected to get my PhD degree in July 2007. My PhD research work is mainly focused on the adhesive contact between elastic objects. Prior to this, I have ever interested in the reverse-Karman vortex street, the progressive buckling of tubes and the dynamic crushing of cellular structures. In these work, I gradually learnt the experimental, theoretical and numerical methods. For more details, please refer to my homepage at:

I am pursuing a postdoctoral position in the micro/nano mechanics field to continue my research career. It will be very appreciated if you could give me some advice or inform me some information about my application.

Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Program

The Department of Energy is once again calling for applications to its Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF) program. These fellowships cover full tuition and provide a generous stipend for up to four years, and they also provide travel support and matching funds for a computer. Undergraduate seniors or first and second year graduate students are eligible to apply.

Additional information, including an online application, is available here. Applications are due by January 10, 2007

Madhav Mani's picture

Madhav Mani

Hey, people often call me Mads which circumvents the ordeal of pronouncing my "real" name correctly which can be tricky. I'm a first year PhD student in applied mathematics. I am currently trying to balance doing courses and research with Michael Brenner, L. Mahadevan and Howard Stone.
My undergraduate and first masters are from Cambridge University, England, during which I studied Pure maths, Applied maths, statistics, mechanics (primarily fluid and some solid) and theoretical pysics.
My interests are primarily in mechanics (fluid, solid and bio). Apart from fluid mechanics I find problems in elasticity and viscoelasticty theory very curious and interesting (currently I am looking at friction in elastomers). I also like looking at biological systems where "structure reveals function". Even though I am primarily a theorist I really enjoy conducting table-top, so called cheap experiments, and talking to experimentalists in any area.

Namiko Yamamoto for ES240 Problem6

I am a first year PhD student in Aeronautics and Astronautics department at MIT. I also have obtained B.S. and M.S. from the same department. I have taken one Solid Mechanics (graduate level) course at MIT, but since it did not cover waves/vibration or nonlinear plate theory, I look forward to these new topics later in the course very much. My most research work has been done at Technology Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Composites at MIT. My M.S. thesis topic was on micro solid oxide fuel cell. The goal was to design and fabricate thin film tri-layer fuel cell structure that is thermomechanically stable at high operation temperature. We started with mechanical testing to acquire properties, and designed membranes with von Karman plate theory. My PhD topic is nano-engineered composites with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Solid mechanics is very directly related to these structural tasks including stiffness testing. Generally, having better sense of mechanics behind and having many analysis tools will be greatly helpful. So far I have been having much fun coming to Harvard, taking a little break from MIT (I have been there more than enough, although I still love it there). I hope to learn as much as possible from this course.

Hi :)

Hi everyone, I am Roxanne, a G-2 student in applied physics.  My major was chemical engineering when I was an undergraduate student in Taiwan.  I had no background on mechanics then.  When I was a G-1, I took AP 293 (Deformation of Solids).  This course gave me some ideas on the plastic flow, elastic properties, and dislocations of materials. Math, like partial differential equation and tensors are pretty challenging to me…always.


Currently, I am working with Frans, and my research focus is on studying the creep phenomena in metals.

Xuanhe Zhao's picture

Xuanhe Zhao

My name is Xuanhe Zhao, and I'm a first year student in DEAS. Before joining Harvard, I got my Master Degree in Materials Engineering from University of British Columbia, Canand. I have took one course on Computational Mechanics, and read a couple of books on theory of elasticity.

 The major goal for me taking ES 240 is to learn how to understand and solve engineering problems, both familiar and unfamiliar, in a intuitive way. In addition, I will further consolidate my background in solid mechanics.

Megan McCain's picture

Megan McCain

I am a first year grad student in bioengineering working in Dr. Parker's Disesase Biophysics Group ( I attended Washington University in St. Louis for undergrad, where I double majored in biomedical engineering and biology and minored in chemistry. The only courses I have taken related to solid mechanics are Biomechanics and Transport Phenomena, both of which covered basic mechanics. As an undergrad, I worked in a research lab that focused on cardiac electrophysiology. The lab I am in now is interested in how the mechanical and electrical behaviors of cardiac cells are related, so I need to gain a stronger background in mechanics to match my background in electrophysiology. I hope that this class will help me develop an intuition about the mechanical behavior of objects, which I can apply to the mechanics of cellular events.

Michael Petralia

I completed my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in New York City. At the undergraduate level, I have taken two courses related to solid mechanics: Solid Mechanics and Stress & Applied Elasticity. Though these courses covered most of the same topics, the focus was not on working with developing the equations for different situations. The majority of the work was in knowing when to apply the equations and coming up with quantitative solutions. Thus my weaknesses will be related to coming up with equations to model various stress situations.

Concerning my research, I am working with Prof. Robert Wood in the microrobotics laboratory. My focus will be on aquatic robots on the order of several centimeters in length. Because of the restrictions inherent in working at this scale, it will be important not to over-design the systems. From studying solid mechanics, I hope to gain the ability to analyze the states of stress and strain in materials such that I can effectively develop efficient systems for microrobotics.

will adams

My name is Will Adams and I am a first year grad student in BME. I have no previous courses in solid mechanics or strength of materials but I have taken two fluid mechanics courses, ES220 and ES123, as an undergrad which contain many of the same lines of thinking. Hopefully the math formalisms of these classes will help in ES240 but having no solids background leaves me with little intuition about experimental results. Hopefully I can acquire this here. I was a BME major as an undergrad here in DEAS.

Adrian Podpirka's picture

Adrian Podpirka

My name is Adrian Podpirka and I am a first year grad student studying applied physics. I came to Harvard after finishing my Bachelors in Material Science and Engineering at Columbia University. As an undergraduate I took Mechanics of Solids with Professor Xi Chen and Mechanical Properties of Materials with Professor Noyan.

Related to this course, my main weakness is the mathematics involved since it has been more then 3 years since I took differential equations. Also, both my undergraduate courses were not tensor based. My main strength in this course would be my understanding of material properties and the phenomenas involved.

My likely research direction will probably be in the field of fuel cell membranes with Professor Ramanathan.

Student Presentation Competition at USNCCM IX

The 9th US National Congress on Computational Mechanics will feature a student presentation competition. This competition continues in the format pursued at the recent World Congress in Los Angeles. It is open to students who have an abstract accepted for presentation at the Congress.

19th Annual Melosh Competition at ETH Zurich

The 19th Annual Melosh Competition for the Best Student Paper on Finite Element Analysis will be held at ETH Zurich, on April 27, 2007.    The competition has become one of the premier graduate student events in the broad area of mechanics.   We have held the competition at a variety of locations over the past several years, but this is the first time it will be held outside the US.  We are presently seeking funds to provide travel fellowships for those students selected as finalists, as this represents an excellent opportunity for students to visit a world-class institution.  

Details on the competition and submission procedure can be found here.   The extended abstracts are due on January 8, 2007. I want to emphasize that the competition is really one on computational science.   As a result, papers on meshfree methods, molecular dynamics methods, their coupling with the FEM, etc., are welcome.   Please encourage your colleagues working in computational science to consider applying.  

Rui Huang's picture

From students' perspective

I like to keep the mindset of being a student, learning from all sources on all topics I am interested. Recently I have learned quite a lot about mechanics and mechanicians from Applied Mechanics News and its sister blogs and now iMechanica.

With a job as an assistant professor, I always try to motivate my students to become future mechanicians. For this reason, I started Modeling Place as a group blog in January and gently forced my students to participate. Out of the five students I have, two actively participate by posting frequently, two occasionally post, and one dropped out quickly after one post. Together, the blog has been doing reasonably well, in terms of both quantity and quality of posts.

I learned a few tricks in handling images and got to know some interesting works in the general area of mechanics. How about the students? What benefits have they received? I have to ask them. For one, I awarded one student with a little gift as the best post of the semester. More importantly, I believe that they are reading more than they used to do, thus gaining broader knowledge and interest in mechanics and related science. They not only read the posts in the blog but also read from other sources (online or not) to find something to post. Furthermore, they have a place to practice writing. It is a big step from reading to writing, not only for foreign students I think.

It may be still too soon to tell how well this works, but the students themselves should be able to tell us more. If you are a student, I encourage you to comment on this to tell the professors what you like or don't like about iMechanica. At this stage of development, much more features and benefits can be accomodated. Your ideas could shape the future of iMechanica and benefit all students and those considering themselves as students of life.


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