Mechanics of Materials helps students gain physical and intuitive understanding of the ideas underlying the mechanics of materials; grasp big picture ideas; and use the subject to solve problems–everything it takes to genuinely learn how the forces acting on a material relate to its deformation and failure.
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Professor Paul S. Steif has been a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University since 1983. He received a Sc.B. degree in engineering mechanics from Brown University; M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in applied mechanics from Harvard University; and was National Science Foundation NATO Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge. As a faculty member his research has addressed a variety of problems, including the effects of interfacial properties on fiberreinforced composites, bifurcation and instabilities in highly deformed layered materials, and stress generation and fracture induced by cryopreservation of biological tissues. Dr. Steif has also contributed to engineering practice through consulting and research on industrial projects, including elastomeric damping devices, blistering of face seals, and fatigue of tube fittings.
Since the mid-1990s, Dr. Steif has focused increasingly on engineering education, performing research on student learning of mechanics concepts, and developing new course materials and classroom approaches. Drawing upon methods of cognitive and learning sciences, Dr. Steif has led the development and psychometric validation of the Statics Concept Inventory—a test of statics conceptual knowledge. He is the co-author of Open Learning Initiative (OLI) Engineering Statics. Dr. Steif is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and recipient of the Archie Higdon Distinguished Educator
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