CIVL 311


Course Title and Number

CE 101: Strength of Materials

Catalog Description

Strength and elastic properties of materials of construction; tension, compression, shear, and torsion stresses; deflection and deformation; stress analysis of beams and columns.


MATH 007C, C E 035. Competition of M E 045 is recommended. (Effective for frosh beginning Fall 2001: C E majors must previously have attained a C- or better in C E 035).
By topic: Differential and integral calculus; vector properties; fundamental principles of force systems and static equilibrium; basic structural systems; centroid, product and moments of inertia, including principle axes, rotational transformation; sketching and visualization.

Textbook and Other Required Material

J. M. Gere (2001) - Mechanics of Materials

Course Objectives

The objectives of the course are to:

  • Provide students with basic understanding of structural behavior
  • Develop characteristics of a variety of structural component types
  • Introduce analytical tools for mathematical modeling of structural elements and systems
  • Present basic concepts of structural design
  • Provide a solid foundation for subsequent study of more advanced topics
  • Review and reinforce fundamental skills in mathematics, science and engineering statics
  • Prepare students for successful completion of the professional FE examination
Topics Covered
  • Tension, compression, shear stress and strain
  • Hooke's laws, Poisson's ratio, St. Venant's principle
  • Linear elastic & elastoplastic behavior of 2-force members, torsion members and beams
  • Brittle and ductile behavior, stress concentrations
  • Impact loading, fatigue, strain energy, thermal effects, power transmission
  • Statically determinate and indeterminate structures, redundancy, reserve capacity
  • Stress analysis of structural components - columns, beams, torsion members, pressure vessels, composite members, built-up members
  • Fundamental design concepts - process, allowable stress, serviceability, design constraints, suitability, uncertainty, constructibility, cost
  • Shear and moment diagrams
  • Biaxial bending, combined loading
  • Principal stresses and strains, Mohr diagrams
  • Strain gage applications
  • Elongation of two-force members, twist of torsion members
  • Deflections of beams - direct integration with singularity functions, moment-area, energy approaches, superposition
  • Deflections of trusses - energy approach
  • Buckling - Euler and secant formulas
  • Superposition, reciprocity
  • Applications of matrix linear algebra


Students completing the course will be able to:

  • Perform stress analysis of basic structural components with a variety of compositions under a multitude of loading conditions
  • Analyze basic structural systems under a multitude of loading conditions, both statically determinate and indeterminate
  • Apply principles of linear-elastic and elasto-plastic behavior and recognize the significance of ductile versus brittle behavior to structural components and systems
  • Perform rotational transformations to identify principal states of stress and strain
  • Determine displacement and rotation values within structural components and systems
  • Undertake the design of structural components by simultaneously incorporating multiple design constraints and specifications

Class/Laboratory Schedule

Two hundred minutes a week lecture

Contribution of Course to Meet the Professional Component

Engineering Sciences
Engineering Design

Relationship of Course to Program Objectives

The course supports the achievement of the following ABET program outcomes and objectives (reference Engineering Criteria 2000, Criterion 3).

  • Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering
  • Ability to design a component to meet desired needs
  • Ability to identify, formulate and evaluate engineering problems
  • Ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

The course supports the achievement of the following CE program objectives.

  • Provide a broad-based education in engineering sciences and design.
  • Provide a rigorous, well-balanced, comprehensive and contemporary curriculum stressing fundamentals common to many fields of civil engineering.
  • Develop skills of written communication and critical thinking which are important to a successful professional life.
  • Daily homework assignments, discussed daily in class for self-evaluation and collected approximately weekly for numerical grading and written feedback
  • Three 1-hour midterm exams and one 2-hour comprehensive final exam
  • Occasional unannounced quizzes
  • Occasional in-class cooperative/interactive problem assignments

Prepared by

Russell S. Mills