You're invited to hear
"Development of a More Unified Undergraduate Curriculum in Fluid and Solid Mechanics"
Dr. Mike Mello
Lecturer in Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Thursday, February 5
11 am - 12 pm
About the Talk
The first part of my talk will focus on modern undergraduate engineering teaching laboratories and course curriculums that I have successfully implemented during my career as a professor. We will look at a new undergraduate course offered to sophomore mechanical engineering students at Caltech, which covers the foundational principles and governing equations of Fluid Statics and Deformable Body theory in a unified framework. I will provide an abbreviated example of one lecture, presented early in that course, which serves as the branch point between the equations that govern the static equilibrium of fluids and those which govern the behavior of solids. The entire formalism hinges on simple principles of mechanical equilibrium; which students have previously learned from studying Rigid Body Statics. The lecture sequence naturally leads to the point property of fluids, the hydrostatic equilibrium equation, and the 2D-stress equilibrium and plane stress transformation equations of solid bodies, the latter of which is generally introduced at a much later stage in a traditional “Deformable Bodies” course. The foundational relationships derived in this pivotal lecture set the stage for the remainder of the course and are applied and reinforced time and again at various points along the way as new topics in Fluid Statics and Deformable Body theory are introduced and analyzed.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Mello holds a B.Sc degree in Physics, from Bridgewater State College, an M.Sc in Optics, from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Caltech. He began his professional career as a Senior Research Engineer at Brown University where he managed the high-strain-rate gas gun facility in the Division of Engineering from 1988-1997. Following his tenure at Brown, Mike was a Sr. Electronics Packaging Engineer at Intel where he supported desktop and mobile product platforms and developed and managed the company's premier mechanical testing laboratory. Mike voluntarily left Intel in 2006 to pursue a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Caltech and was awarded his degree in June 2012. He began his academic career at Georgia Tech where he served as an Assistant Professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering from 2012 – 2014 and made significant contributions toward the revitalization of the undergraduate AE Structures Laboratory and course curriculum. Dr. Mello left Georgia Tech in June 2014 to pursue a career path devoted to teaching and assumed his current position as a Sr. Lecturer and Research Scientist in the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Caltech.