Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

2014-15 Tuition

Research degree: $29,500; professional degree: $47,050

Application deadlines

Ph.D.: Fall, Dec. 15; no spring admission. M.Eng.: Fall, Feb. 1; spring, Oct. 15

Requirements summary

Degrees

  • M.Eng.
  • Ph.D.

Subjects

  • Engineering Mechanics (M.Eng.)
  • Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (Ph.D.)

Major concentrations

  • advanced composites and structures
  • dynamics and space mechanics
  • fluid mechanics
  • mechanics of materials
  • solid mechanics

The Field of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics provides a strong background in engineering science and applied mathematics, which prepares students to carry out high-quality analytical or experimental research and to handle a wide variety of modern engineering problems. Course work provides a broad education in the mechanics of rigid and deformable bodies, applied mathematics, and modern experimental techniques.

Current research topics include solid mechanics (modeling of manufacturing processes, quantitative ultrasonic and acoustic emission techniques, fracture mechanics, composite materials, mechanics of human-powered vehicles, nonlinear elasticity); fluid mechanics (granular materials, strongly swirling flows); dynamics and space mechanics (evolution of the solar system, planetary rings and rotation of celestial bodies, qualitative analysis of dynamic problems in nonlinear mechanics, bifurcations, chaos); and biomechanics and biomathematics (respiration of plants, how fishes swim).

All students are required to minor in at least one other field. Frequently selected minors are aerospace engineering, applied mathematics, applied physics, astronomy, electrical and computer engineering, geophysics, materials science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics, and structural engineering. Students usually take four years to earn the Ph.D. degree. The M.Eng. degree usually takes one year.

Ph.D. students take a qualifying examination. For incoming students with a Bachelor's degree, the examination is usually held after they have completed two semesters of graduate studies at Cornell. For incoming students with a Master's degree, the examination is held after they have completed one semester of graduate studies at Cornell. They must also demonstrate proficiency in English and one of the following languages: French, German, Russian, Chinese, or Japanese. Teaching experience is required.

Application:
The field has about forty students from a variety of academic and geographical backgrounds. Students are expected to have a background in physics, mathematics, or any branch of engineering. Applicants must submit GRE general test scores, with a minimum combined analytical/quantitative score of 1400. A minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or 237 (computer-based) is required. Applicants interested in a terminal master?s degree should apply to the Master of Engineering program.

Shefford Baker -- Concentrations: mechanics of materials; Research interests: mechanical properties of materials; microstructure; defects; stresses; deformation; small scale behavior
Joseph Burns -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: solar system dynamics; celestial mechanics; planetary satellites and rings
K Cady -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: dynamics; fluids
Mark Campbell -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: estimation; autonomy and aerospace systems; cooperative control
Susan Daniel -- Concentrations: fluid mechanics; Research interests: biochemical engineering; surface science; fluid dynamics; heat and mass transfer
John Guckenheimer -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: bifurcations of dynamical systems
Timothy Healey -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: nonlinear elasticity; bifurcation theory and nonlinear analysis; partial differential equations
Chung-Yuen Hui -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; mechanics of materials; Research interests: elasticity and inelasticity; fracture; polymers; adhesion and contact mechanics
James Jenkins -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; Research interests: continuum mechanics; mechanics of granular materials
Sidney Leibovich -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: fluid mechanics; physics of strongly swirling flows; convection motion of liquids
Francis Moon -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: magnetoelasticity; chaotic dynamics; experimental mechanics; dynamics of solids and structures
Subrata Mukherjee -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; mechanics of materials; Research interests: computational mechanics including mesh-free methods; optimization; microelectromechanical structures (MEMS); shock protection of fragile equipment
Mason Peck -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: dynamics and control; spacecraft design; systems enginnering
Stuart Phoenix -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; advanced composites and structures; mechanics of materials; Research interests: long-term reliability of fibrous materials; statistical failure processes in composites; fracture mechanics
Richard Rand -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: dynamical systems; perturbation methods; biomechanics
Andy Ruina -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; advanced composites and structures; mechanics of materials; dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: biomechanics; robotics and dynamics of walking and other motions; friction; solid mechanics
Wolfgang Sachse -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; advanced composites and structures; mechanics of materials; dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: mechanics of materials; nondestructive testing techniques; wave propagation; physical acoustics
Meredith Silberstein -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; mechanics of materials; Research interests: polymer physics, mechanochemistry, micromechanical experiments and modeling, continuum mechanics
Paul Steen -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: fluid dynamics; stability; applied mathematics
Steven Strogatz -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: applied mathematics; nonlinear dynamics and chaos; coupled oscillators
Alexander Vladimirsky -- Concentrations: dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: building fast methods for problems in which the direction of information flow can be used to speed up computations
Jane Wang -- Concentrations: fluid mechanics; dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: physical and biological fluid dynamics; mathematical biology; scientific computing and modeling; statistical physics
Alan Zehnder -- Concentrations: solid mechanics; dynamics and space mechanics; Research interests: fracture; experimental mechanics; optical and infrared techniques; mechanics of materials; MEMS; nanostructures
Roseanna N. Zia -- Concentrations: fluid mechanics; Research interests: fluid mechanics, suspension mechanics, complex fluids, micro hydro dynamics, rheology

Overview

The graduate field of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (TAM) provides a foundation in engineering science and applied mathematics that prepares students to carry out analytical or experimental research and to develop models to solve a wide variety of engineering problems.  Faculty are particularly strong and active in dynamical systems, networks, composites, adhesion, granular flow, fracture, planetary dynamics, robotics, biomechanics and bio-mathematics, locomotion and insect flight.  

The field offers three degrees:

1. Ph.D. 

2. Master of Science 

3. Master of Engineering

The field typically has more than 30 active Ph. D. degree candidates.

Learn more about the assessment plan for the graduate field of theoretical and applied mechanics.

Learn more about learning assessment for the M.Eng. degree.