Computational Mechanics

     Mechanics is the branch of applied science concerned with the study of mechanical phenomena: the behavior of solids, fluids, and complex materials under the action of forces. Computational Mechanics is that sub-discipline of mechanics concerned with the use of computational methods and devices to study events governed by the principles of mechanics. It is the fundamentally important part of computational science and engineering concerned with the use of computational approaches to characterize, predict, and simulate physical events and engineering systems governed by the laws of mechanics. Computational Mechanics has had a profound impact on science and technology over the past three decades. It has transformed much of classical Newtonian theory into practical tools for prediction and understanding of complex systems. These are used in the simulation and design of current and future advances in technology throughout the world. These have had a pervasive impact on manufacturing, communication, transportation, medicine, defense and many other areas central to modern civilization. By incorporating new models of physical and biological systems based upon quantum, molecular and biological mechanics, computational mechanics has an enormous potential for future growth and applicability. Successful research in Computational Mechanics is usually interdisciplinary in nature, reflecting a combination of concepts, methods, and principles that often span several areas of mechanics, mathematics, computer sciences, and other scientific disciplines as well.
    The success of Computational Mechanics will ultimately be judged by effectiveness in solving problems of interest to society and on providing deeper understanding of natural phenomena and engineering systems. The field has been successful to date because of its unprecedented predictive powers, making possible the simulation of complex physical events and the use of these simulations to design engineering systems. This is done through so-called computer modeling: the development of discretized versions of the theories of mechanics which are amenable to digital computation, together with the complex process of manipulating these digital representations to produce abstractions of the way real systems behave. Some of the applications of Computational Mechanics are well known; others are not. One well-known area in which Computational Mechanics has had dramatic success is with the simulation of crash worthiness of automobiles. Computer-generated simulations of the collision of a vehicle with walls or obstacles, based on fundamental scientific principles on the dynamics of deformable bodies, have replaced hundreds of full-scale tests and countless lives have been saved and injuries diminished by improved safety features developed through computer modeling and simulation. An exciting Computational Mechanics application area under development is predictive surgery. The geometry and properties of the living tissue are deduced from MRI imaging and other tests and go directly into computer subroutines that generate models, several different options are calculated and presented to the surgical team so that the best procedure for the particular patient under treatment can be obtained. Many different surgical strategies can be simulated and the results predicted by Computational Mechanics software before a single step in the actual surgery is taken. Computational Mechanics has been used in military applications too. One example is in the analysis and design of weapons and armor. Applications of Computational Mechanics are not limited to the engineering design of products and systems. Many are concerned with the basic understanding of natural phenomena or with the prediction of natural physical events, examples of which include the use of Computational Mechanics methods to study atmospheric changes, ocean currents, surface flow in rivers, subsurface flows in oil reservoirs, or geological phenomena such as the movement and evolution of polar ice caps or the tectonic plates. 
     Computational mechanics has three aspects: The first one is engineering application; this is mainly in the fields of classical and recently developing new engineering disciplines. The second one, the backbone of the field, is the theoretical mechanics which uses continuum approach. The third one is the numerical solution of the analytical equations. Here, the solution is based on methods such as finite element, boundary element and volume element. Therefore, the structure of computational mechanics necessitates an interdisciplinary organization involving the Department of Engineering Sciences and other related engineering departments. The aim of the graduate program is to promote the interdisciplinary research and education among various Departments of the Faculty of Engineering in the rapidly developing field of computational mechanics. 
    Present facilities of the Department of Engineering Sciences and the other departments are used for teaching and research. 
    Candidates fulfilling the general requirements for admission to graduate status apply to the Department of Engineering Sciences. Those who have insufficient background in mechanics and/or applied mathematics will be required to complete a deficiency program. 
    The program is supported by the course offerings of the Department of Engineering Sciences as well as by other engineering and science departments. A dynamic list of elective courses is published every semester. Ph.D. candidates with non-CM M.S. degree are required to complete the compulsory courses of the M.S. program of CM. M.S. program consists of courses and a thesis. Ph.D. program consists of courses, qualifying examination, thesis proposal and a thesis.