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Thread: Strength of material knowlege base requirements

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Feb 2013
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    Miami, FL
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    Strength of material knowlege base requirements

    I'm a Mechanical Designer, who's been in the field for a considerable time. For the most part when material stresses where concern, engineers within the organization would take on this responsibility. As a result, I never really have acquire full exposure of this knowledge. You could say I have a basic understanding of the force to stress to strain relationship. I'm of course acquiring this knowledge on my own by referring to different medias (Machinery Handbook, engineering books & texts, online resources etc.), but there is considerable information to cover. I at least would like to acquire a knowledge base to determine stress loads, whether static or dynamic, but since there is so much information available, I don't if I'll be reviewing more than I require.

    My questions:
    What would be the requirements to acquire this knowledge base?
    Where can I find good text or resources to acquire this knowledge base?
    Is it a good idea to take some college courses and what would they be?

    I thank you for any assistance you can provide.

    Thank you,
    Izzzy

  2. #2
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Hi Izzzy and welcome to the forum.

    It's a pretty broad brush stroke you're painting there but I'll throw this out there for you to consider...

    If you can afford, in both time and money, to take some classes... That'd be your best bet. The classes will help keep you on track and push you forward. If you start out with an entry level physics class you can see how it goes and your professor can help point you in the right direction far as any future classes or suggested reading. If you'd rather go it on your own then take a look around a local college book store and grab a book or two. Most local schools will have a used book store nearby which could save you a good bit of money.

    Good Luck,
    Bob

  3. #3
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
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    Izzy,
    Ditto to what Bob said. The books have all the information, but if you don't have the knowledge base already (to know which formulas apply and why) it can be kind of like trying to look up a phone number without knowing the name. For example, browse through Roarks' Formulas for Stress and Strain. It will leave your eyes spinning if you don't know which formula to select.

    In my opinion, for this topic there is no substitute for personal classroom instruction. I also agree that you might want to start with basic Physics, from that you can move into Statics where you learn about how forces are analyzed and calculated. From that you can move into Dynamics where you learn about the effects of motion on various bodies. From there you move into Strength of Materials where you learn about reactions of various materials and shapes to the application of forces and moments. Its a building block approach of one topic on another. There's no way to fully grasp any of them without an understanding of the earlier topics.

  4. #4
    Associate Engineer
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    Feb 2013
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    Miami, FL
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    Rwolfejr & Jboggs,

    I'd like to thank you for taking the time to input your suggestions in this post. I have a degree that's incomplete for an AA in Mechanical Engineering. Although it would probably be a year to complete the Associate in Arts, I still have to continue to complete the Bachelors, which may be an additional 2 years. In looking through my transcripts, I've complete the mathematics level up to Calculus. So I foresee Physics and Material classes to cover. I have to decide whether to complete the degree and take advantage in including the required courses in material strengths or just focusing in singling out the respective courses for material strengths.

    Of course my dilemma is still about money and time. I foresee that I'll need to take courses in the AA curriculum as well as the Bachelor's level to cover my knowledge in strengths of materials. Is this about the right in what I'm understanding? My other options would be to acquire books in the subject, acquire knowledge base from engineers and take **********al courses.

    I would like to complete my engineering degree, but in conjunction with doing something on my own (personal business) it will be challenging. As another inquiry, am I being realistic that having a personal business and lacking such skills a considerable drawback to my success?

    Anything you can recommend would be appreciated, thank you,
    Izzzy

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