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Understanding Solid Mechanics: Applied Stress Analysis

Understanding Solid Mechanics: Applied Stress Analysis

This course aims to provide an understanding of the calculations required to determine the internal forces and stress distributions that correspond to the external loads applied on different structures utilised for their efficiency under certain conditions.

The course deals with beams that support bending forces acting along their length, shells and cylinders that support normal forces acting on their surfaces and shafts that support torsional forces.

Each session is a building block - over the four weeks, you will cover:

    1. Understanding Stresses in Beams
    2. Understanding Stresses in Thick Cylinders
    3. Understanding Stresses in Shells
    4. Understanding Shear Stresses and Torsion of Shafts

The course covers these topics in a concise and practical manner. Unlike traditional university courses, this course avoids lengthy mathematical derivations and highlights many practical examples to illustrate the application of solid mechanic theories in modelling and analysing engineering structures. Where possible, exercises that can be done by hand are included so that attendees can test their knowledge. Full solutions will be provided within a few weeks of completing the course.

Who should attend?

  • Engineers and designers wishing to understand the background to solid mechanics in order to improve their analysis and simulation capacity.
  • Engineers looking to refresh and improve their knowledge in solid mechanics.

The course is completely code independent.


Course Process and Details

This is a 4-session online training course, with each session lasting approximately 2 hours, depending on homework submissions, questions & discussions.

You can attend the sessions live, and/or stream on demand. For additional info on telephony charges please email e-learning @ .

A full set of notes in PDF format will be available for download.

Personal passwords are provided to allow you to access e-learning backup material via our discussion forum. Reading lists, homework submissions and supplementary information are all available via the discussion forum.

To get the most out of the course, participation in forum discussions is very much encouraged. Typically the forum remains open for 4 weeks after the last live session, giving you plenty of time to catch up with homework, review and ask questions.

Note: homework is purely voluntary

Course Program

This set of courses is important for designers and engineers who wish to gain a good understanding of the basic solid mechanics:

Session 1 - Understanding Stresses in Beams

Session 2 - Understanding Stresses in Thick Cylinders

Session 3 - Understanding Stresses in Shells

Session 4 - Understanding Shear Stresses and Torsion of Shafts

In order to calculate the capacity of a component we need to understand the internal forces acting inside the body that correspond to those acting externally. From these internal forces we calculate the internal stresses distribution taking into account that different components or structures develop different stress distributions depending on their geometry, external loading and desired behaviour.

Typically beams are long slender structures with arbitrary cross-section that are used to withstand bending forces acting along their length (session 1), thick cylinders are a specific form of surface structures designed to withstand pressure forces acting on their internal or external surfaces (session 2) while shells are considered general curved surface structures that withstand surface forces (session 3). Structural shafts of circular and non-circular cross-sections are typically used to withstand torsion via shear stress (session 4).

The main objectives of the course is:

  • To provide delegates with a good understanding of solid mechanics and basic theories that are widely used in engineering design, analysis and simulation
  • To present many practical examples of engineering applications to reinforce the solid mechanics theories.


PSE Competencies addressed by this training course 


Competence Statement


Assess the significance of simplifying geometry, material models, loads or boundary conditions.


Prepare an analysis specification, including modelling strategy, highlighting any assumptions relating to geometry, loads, boundary conditions and material properties.


Employ Lame's equations to determine the stresses in thick cylinder and spheres subjected to internal and external pressure.


Evaluate deformed shapes, shear force, bending moment and torque diagrams for simple structures.


Explain the Tresca and von Mises Failure Criteria in 2D, sketching the failure surface.


Sketch the through-thickness shear stress distribution in a rectangular beam subjected to a shearing load.


State the radial stress boundary conditions at the inner and outer surfaces of an internally pressurised cylinder or sphere.


Sketch some typical shells of revolution from your industry sector.


Define the plate flexural rigidity Constant "D"


Describe the basic differences between a membrane, a plate and a shell.


Describe the Love-Kirchoff assumptions.


Describe the boundary conditions appropriate to fully-fixed and simply supported beams and shells and explain the link to bending stress.


Justify the appropriateness of a beam, membrane, plate or shell idealisation for any analysis.


Event Type eLearning
Member Price £324.81 | $414.00 | €381.82
Non-member Price £480.16 | $612.00 | €564.42
Tutor: Gino Duffett
Tutor: Adib Becker


Start Date End Date Location

Session Times

Understanding Solid Mechanics: Applied Stress Analysis

Four-Session Online Training Course

2 hours per session
PDH Credits - 8

Attend the live sessions, or view the recordings at your convenience.

Not Available to Attend this Time?

Would you like us to notify you when the next course is open for enrollment? If so, add yourself to the eLearning Waitlist

Please click here to view the FAQ section, or if you need to contact NAFEMS about this course.

Engineering Board PDH Credits

*It is your individual responsibility to check whether these e-learning courses satisfy the criteria set-out by your state engineering board. NAFEMS does not guarantee that your individual board will accept these courses for PDH credit, but we believe that the courses comply with regulations in most US states (except Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, and New York, where providors are required to be pre-approved)

Special Note(s):

Telephony surcharges may apply for attendees who are located outside of North America, South America and Europe. These surcharges are related to individuals who join the audio portion of the web-meeting by calling in to the provided toll/toll-free teleconferencing lines. We have made a VoIP option available so anyone attending the class can join using a headset (headphones) connected to the computer. There is no associated surcharge to utilize the VoIP option, and is actually encouraged to ensure NAFEMS is able to keep the e-Learning course fees as low as possible. Please send an email to the e-Learning coordinator (e-learning @ ) to determine if these surcharges may apply to your specific case.

Just as with a live face-to-face training course, each registration only covers one person. If you plan to register a large group (10+), please send an email to e-learning @ in advance for group discounts.

For NAFEMS cancellation and transfer policy, click here.