Introduction to Engineering Mechanics: A Continuum Approach, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Introduction to Engineering Mechanics

A Continuum Approach, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Jenn Stroud Rossmann, Clive L. Dym, Lori Bassman

CRC Press

462 pages | 444 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781482219487
pub: 2015-03-24
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pub: 2015-03-24
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Integrated Mechanics Knowledge Essential for Any Engineer

Introduction to Engineering Mechanics: A Continuum Approach, Second Edition uses continuum mechanics to showcase the connections between engineering structure and design and between solids and fluids and helps readers learn how to predict the effects of forces, stresses, and strains. The authors’ "continuum checklist" provides a framework for a wide variety of problems in solid and fluid mechanics. The essence of continuum mechanics, the internal response of materials to external loading, is often obscured by the complex mathematics of its formulation. By gradually building the formulations from one-dimensional to two- and three-dimensional, the authors help students develop a physical intuition for solid and fluid behavior and for the very interesting behavior of those materials including many biomaterials, between these extremes. This text is an accessible first introduction to the mechanics of all engineering materials, and incorporates a wide range of case studies highlighting the relevance of the technical content in societal, historical, ethical, and global contexts. It also offers a useful perspective for engineers concerned with biomedical, civil, chemical, mechanical, or other applications.

New in the Second Edition:

The latest edition contains significantly more examples, problems, and case studies than the first edition.

The 22 chapters in this text:

  • Define and present the template for the continuum approach
  • Introduce strain and stress in one dimension, develop a constitutive law, and apply these concepts to the simple case of an axially loaded bar
  • Extend the concepts to higher dimensions by introducing the Poisson’s ratio and strain and stress tensors
  • Apply the continuum sense of solid mechanics to problems including torsion, pressure vessels, beams, and columns
  • Make connections between solid and fluid mechanics, introducing properties of fluids and strain rate tensor
  • Address fluid statics
  • Consider applications in fluid mechanics
  • Develop the governing equations in both control volume and differential forms
  • Emphasize real-world design applications

Introduction to Engineering Mechanics: A Continuum Approach, Second Edition provides a thorough understanding of how materials respond to loading: how solids deform and incur stress and how fluids flow. It introduces the fundamentals of solid and fluid mechanics, illustrates the mathematical connections between these fields, and emphasizes their diverse real-life applications. The authors also provide historical context for the ideas they describe and offer hints for future use.


"This unique book by Rossmann, Dym, and Bassman provides an integrated foundation in solid and fluid mechanics that underpins a range of fields from bioengineering to water resources to aerospace design. Rather than being rooted in a particular engineering discipline (such as mechanical or civil), the book highlights the fundamental nature of continuum mechanics that makes it relevant to all engineers. With traditional disciplinary boundaries being crossed and new disciplines being created, this approach is just what is needed for today’s engineer."

—Andrew J. Guswa, Picker Engineering Program, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, USA

"This book would be a good textbook for engineering mechanics and biomechanics courses. It provides a concise description of solid and fluid mechanics using a continuum perspective. The book is written by building gradually from one-dimensional to two- and three-dimensional formulations, and by including illustrative and interesting real-world case study examples. … a unified introduction to solid and fluid mechanics and the connection between them."

—Professor Long-yuan Li, University of Plymouth, UK

"… a very good mix of conceptual approaches and hands on examples. It covers concisely the most important topics without getting lost in too many specialty cases and examples. Compared to other classical books that spend most of the time on beam bending, this book covers the concepts of how forces act on matter in a generally applicable way which gives students a good feeling for what is going on inside the material rather than just how to use the formulas. The book also introduces some nice and very powerful techniques such as singularity functions that are often missing in other introductory books."

—Prof. Georg E. Fantner, École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne

Table of Contents


A Motivating Example: Remodeling an Underwater Structure

Newton’s Laws: The First Principles of Mechanics


Definition of a Continuum

Some Mathematical Basics: Scalars and Vectors



Strain and Stress in One Dimension

Kinematics: Strain

The Method of Sections and Stress

Stress–Strain Relationships

Limiting Behavior


Stress in Axially Loaded Bars

Deformation of Axially Loaded Bars

Equilibrium of an Axially Loaded Bar

Statically Indeterminate Bars

Thermal Effects

Saint-Venant’s Principle and Stress Concentrations

Strain Energy in One Dimension

Properties of Engineering Materials

A Road Map for Strength of Materials


Case Study 1: Collapse of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Walkways

Strain and Stress in Higher Dimensions

Poisson’s Ratio

The Strain Tensor

The Stress Tensor

Generalized Hooke’s Law


Formulating Two-Dimensional Elasticity Problems


Applying Strain and Stress in Multiple Dimensions


Pressure Vessels

Transformation of Stress and Strain

Failure Prediction Criteria


Case Study 2: Pressure Vessels

Why Pressure Vessels Are Spheres and Cylinders?

Why Do Pressure Vessels Fail?


Calculation of Reactions

Method of Sections: Axial Force, Shear, Bending Moment

Shear and Bending Moment Diagrams

Integration Methods for Shear and Bending Moment

Normal Stresses in Beams and Geometric Properties of Sections

Shear Stresses in Beams


Case Study 3: Physiological Levers and Repairs

The Forearm Is Connected to the Elbow Joint

Fixing an Intertrochanteric Fracture

Beam Deflections

Governing Equation

Boundary Conditions

Beam Deflections by Integration and by Superposition

Discontinuity Functions

Beams with Non-Constant Cross-Section

Statically Indeterminate Beams

Beams with Elastic Supports

Strain Energy for Bent Beams

Deflections by Castigliano’s Second Theorem


Case Study 4: Truss-Braced Airplane Wings

Modeling and Analysis

What Does Our Model Tell Us?


Instability: Column Buckling

Euler’s Formula

Effect of Eccentricity


Case Study 5: Hartford Civic Arena

Connecting Solid and Fluid Mechanics



Surface Tension

Governing Laws

Motion and Deformation of Fluids


Case Study 6: Mechanics of Biomaterials


Composite Materials


Case Study 7: Engineered Composite Materials




Fluid Statics

Local Pressure

Force due to Pressure

Fluids at Rest

Forces on Submerged Surfaces



Case Study 8: St. Francis Dam

Fluid Dynamics: Governing Equations

Description of Fluid Motion

Equations of Fluid Motion

Integral Equations of Motion

Differential Equations of Motion

Bernoulli Equation


Case Study 9: China’s Three Gorges Dam

Fluid Dynamics: Applications

How Do We Classify Fluid Flows?

What Is Going on Inside Pipes?

Why Can an Airplane Fly?

Why Does a Curveball Curve?

Case Study 10: Living with Water, and the Role of Technological Culture

Solid Dynamics: Governing Equations

Continuity, or Mass Conservation

Newton’s Second Law, or Momentum Conservation

Constitutive Laws: Elasticity


Appendix A: Second Moments of Area

Appendix B: A Quick Look at the del Operator

Appendix C: Property Tables

Appendix D: All the Equations


About the Authors

Jenn Stroud Rossmann is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Lafayette College. She earned her BS and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include the study of blood flow in vessels affected by atherosclerosis and aneurysms. She has a strong commitment to teaching engineering methods and values to non-engineers, and she has developed several courses and workshops for liberal arts majors.

Clive L. Dym served as Fletcher Jones Professor of Engineering Design for 21 years, and is now professor emeritus of engineering, at Harvey Mudd College. He earned his BS from Cooper Union and his PhD from Stanford University. His primary interests are in engineering design and structural mechanics. He is the author of 18 books and has edited 11 others, including Analytical Estimates of Structural Behavior (with Harry Williams), CRC Press, 2012. Among his awards are the Merryfield Design Award (ASEE, 2002), the Spira Outstanding Design Educator Award (ASME, 2004), and the Gordon Prize (NAE, 2012).

Lori Bassman is a professor of engineering and director of the Laspa Fellowship Program in applied mechanics at Harvey Mudd College. She earned her BSE at Princeton University and her PhD at Stanford. Through a visiting appointment at the University of New South Wales in Australia, she pursues her research in physical metallurgy, and her other research interests include computational modeling of bird flight biomechanics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biotechnology
SCIENCE / Mechanics / General