Course Syllabus

MECH 211-001 Engineering Mechanics

Spring of 2009


General Information

Class hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10:00 - 10:50 AM, ME 128

Office hours: Wednesday and Thursday 1:00 - 1:30 PM, MEB 233 or by appointment

Recitation: Wednesdays, 7:00 - 8:00 PM, MEB 128




Prof. Boris I. Yakobson

Office: Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 201¨ 233

Phone:  (713) 348-3572



Course Description

Classical Newtonian mechanics.  The three main topics are static equilibrium of a rigid body, dynamics of a particle or system of particles and planar dynamics of a rigid body.  The course will build on concepts introduced in PHYS 101.



Anthony Bedford and Wallace Fowler, Engineering Mechanics - Statics & Dynamics, Prentice Hall, 5th Edition.



Homework        25%

Test 1   25%     (take-home)

Test 2   25%     (take home)

Test 3   25%     (take home)


Homework Policy

Homework will be assigned each week on the last class of the week (usually Friday).  It will be due on the last class of the following week (usually the next Friday), or dropped in a Box outside of MEB 233 office no later than 5 pm same day.  Late homework problems will be assigned half credit.  No late homework will be accepted when its due date coincides with a take home test.  Each problem is worth 5 points and graded on a scale of 0 to 5.  Homework is meant as an exercise and you are encouraged to consult anyone (students, teaching assistants, me) and anything (notes, books, your own experiments) if it helps you to understand the material.  However, you may not consult another person's solution to any given problem or solutions from past years.  In other words, NO COPYING!  You are only hurting yourself by doing so and violating the Honor Code.


Test Policy

Three non-comprehensive tests will be given, corresponding to the three major topics of the course.  The tests will be assigned on a Friday and will be due at the beginning of the next class.  Tests are taken under the Rice Honor Code system.  You may only consult the textbook (Bedford and Fowler), any materials posted on the classÕ website, and any notes that you have personally taken.  You may use a calculator, including programmable calculators.  The test must be taken during a 3-hour period, with an optional single 30-minute break.



Course Calendar


Jan 5      Introduction, course logistics

Jan 7      Units, vectors - Ch. 1

Jan 9      Vector algebra - Ch. 2

Jan 12    Forces, Concurrent Forces, Moments - Chs. 3,4

Jan 14    Moment about an axis - Section 4.3

Jan 16    Couples, Equivalent systems - Sections 4.4-4.6

Jan 19    MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR DAY, no classes

Jan 21    Distributed loads - Section 7.3

Jan 23    Distributed loads, cont'd - Section 7.3

Jan 26    Equilibrium analysis - Ch. 5

Jan 28    Equilibrium analysis, cont'd - Ch. 5

Jan 30    Trusses: Method of joints - Sections 6.1-6.2

Feb 2      Trusses: Method of sections - Section 6.3

Feb 4      Friction,  Sliding - Ch. 9

Feb 6      Tipping - Ch. 9 (Statics Review)

Feb 9      Rectilinear motion Sections - 13.1-13.2

Feb 11    Path coordinates - Section 13.3

Feb 13    Polar coordinates - Section 13.3. TEST 1

Feb 16    Kinetics - Ch. 14

Feb 18    Work and energy - Ch. 15

Feb 20    Impulse and momentum - Ch. 16

Feb 23    Single particle dynamics analysis - Chs. 13-16

Feb 25    Single particle dynamics analysis - Chs. 13-16

Feb 27    Single particle dynamics analysis

Mar 1-7  MIDTERM RECESS, no classes

Mar 9     Particle systems - Chs. 14-16

Mar 11   Particle system dynamics analysis - Chs. 14-16

Mar 13   Impact - Section 16.3

Mar 16   Impact cont'd- Section 16.3

Mar 18   Particle Dynamics Review

Mar 20   Planar kinematics of rigid bodies - Ch. 17, TEST 2

Mar 23   Method of relative velocity and acceleration - Sections 17.3,17.6

Mar 25   Instant center of velocity.

               Absolute and relative derivatives

               Rotating reference frame - Section 17.6

Mar 27   Rotating reference frame (cont'd) - Section 17.6

Mar 30   Planar rigid body dynamics - Ch. 18

Apr 1      Angular momentum, moment of inertia - Ch. 18

Apr 2-3   SPRING RECESS, no classes

Apr 6      Rigid body translation and rotation - Ch. 18

Apr 8      Rigid body work and energy - Ch. 19

Apr 10    Rigid body impulse and momentum - Ch. 19

Apr 13    Rigid body impacts - Section 19.6

Apr 15    Rigid body dynamics analysis - Chs. 17-19

Apr 17    Rigid body dynamics analysis, cont'd - Chs. 17-19, TEST 3


Students with disabilities

Any student with a disability requiring accommodations in this course is encouraged to contact me after class or during office hours.  Additionally, students should contact Disabled Student Services at the Ley Student Center.