Blending Classical and Practical Instruction in Structural Mechanics Using COMSOL

P. Venkataraman
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA

COMSOL was used for the first time in the spring of 2007 in the course "Aerostructures" in the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The course is targeted at junior/senior students in the aerospace option of the undergraduate mechanical engineering program. The course content is typical of an advanced mechanics of materials course and it was possible to shadow the analytical development in the class through COMSOL simulation on the same topic.

This made it possible to introduce students to COMSOL in stages and new features in increments. There were, on total, five hands-on sessions, after which students felt comfortable discovering additional features on their own.