Research in Engineering and Aviation

A Virtual Test Track for the Mastery of Solid Mechanics Principles

November 2007

Author(s): Condoor, S., Banerjee, S., & Kroll, E. 

ASME 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Volume 7, pp. 147-152, November 2007. DOI: 0.1115/IMECE2007-41157


The paper presents an innovative instructional methodology to deliver the fundamental principles of mechanics of solids. The methodology enhances students’ conceptual understanding of mechanics of solids principles and their ability to apply the principles to solve real-world problems. These materials are in the form of self-paced virtual activity modules that account for and incorporate the overall scope of the problem and the design issues, support the interactive development and analysis of the design, and qualitatively validate the results. The paper illustrates the methodology using a case study showing the applicability of various principles to the discipline of mechanical engineering. The case study demonstrates the advantages of experiential learning through virtual activity modules. By augmenting the preparation of “Mechanics of Solids” students, who often lack the relevant conceptual-level skills, for their eventual careers, this virtual test track will ultimately reap substantial benefits for industries that depend on the best use of mechanics principles in the manufacture of their products.