Solid Mechanics at Texas A&M University

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Solid mechanics is a fundamental engineering science involving the study of the response of solid materials undergoing deformations due to the action of forces. The forces can be mechanical, thermal, electrical, magnetic or chemical, or some combination thereof.

Solid mechanics is a branch of continuum mechanics, the basic principles of which are a collection of conservation laws, such as conservation of mass, momentum, energy, etc., together with a geometric description of the motion of a deforming body that defines its kinematics. The conservation laws and the kinematic relations are linked by a constitutive relation, and it is the latter that distinguishes solids from fluids.

Solid mechanics has a wide range of applications over time scales ranging from nanoseconds to millions of years and over size scales ranging from nanometers to hundreds of kilometers. Solid mechanics has a wide range of applications in engineering disciplines including mechanical, aerospace, civil, petroleum and nuclear engineering. It underlies the design, performance assessment and safety analysis of components and structures ranging from micro machines to turbines, automobiles, airplanes, bridges and dams.

There are also applications of solid mechanics outside of what are usually considered engineering disciplines such as biology and medicine, for example, the interaction of cells and viruses, the consequences of malaria for red blood cell function and the effects of a heart attack on the pumping ability of the human heart.

In geophysics, solids mechanics underlies the understanding of the mechanism of continental drift, the propagation of earthquakes and the flow of glaciers. This diverse range of concerns and approaches results in solid mechanics being taught and researched in many departments. Despite this diversity there is an underlying unity of concepts and approaches. The aim of this website is to give a picture of the breadth and depth of solid mechanics activity and to promote the unity of the solid mechanics community at Texas A&M.