Graduate Catalog
2020-2021
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Engineering Mechanics
College of Engineering
Academics and engineering adtninistration. Formerly called Engineering Building. Southwest wing completed Spring 1960; cost $377,983; North wing, joining Holden Hall, completed Summer 1962; cost $529,100. Total building contains 72,375 sq. ft. Named after Earle Bertram Norris (1882-1966) who was Dean of the School of Engineering from 1928 to 1952 and Director of the Engineering Experiment Station from 1932 to 1952.
333 Norris Hall Blacksburg VA 24061
Norris Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MS
MS Degree in Engineering Mechanics
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• MEng
MEng Degree in Engineering Mechanics
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• PhD
PhD Degree in Engineering Mechanics
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-0752
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 31
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Department Head : Jennifer Wayne
Graduate Program Director : Mark Stremler (Graduate Chair of Engineering Mechanics)
Emeriti Faculty: Norman Dowling; John Duke; John Grant; Muhammad Hajj; Scott Hendricks; Mahendra Singh
Professors: Romesh Batra; Rafael Davalos; Raffaella De Vita; David Dillard; Thomas Dingus; Stefan Duma; Hampton Gabler; Robert Gourdie (VTCRI); Steven McKnight (National Capital Region); Saad Ragab; John Socha; Mark Stremler; Pamela VandeVord
Associate Professors: Zachary Doerzaph; Andrew Kemper; Stephen LaConte (VTCRI); Yong Lee; Miguel Perez; Steven Poelzing (VTCRI); Robin Queen; Steven Rowson; Anne Staples; Surot Thangjitham; Costin Untaroiu; Mark Van Dyke; Scott Verbridge; Vincent Wang
Assistant Professors: Guohua Cao; John Chappell (VTCRI); John Domann; Alexei Morozov (VTCRI); Jennifer Munson; Eli Vlaisavljevich
Affiliated Faculty: Nicole Abaid; Alan Asbeck; Oumar Barry; Bahareh Behkam; Jonathan Black; Jonathan Boreyko; Scott Case; Hosein Foroutan; Tomonari Furukawa; Scott Huxtable; Sohan Kale; Rakesh Kapania; John Lesko; Roop Mahajan; Reza Mirzaeifar; Rolf Mueller; Michelle Olsen; Alexey Onufriev; Mayuresh Patil; Mark Paul; Shane Ross; David Schmale; Gary Seidel; Shima Shahab; Divya Srinivasan; Danesh Tafti; Saied Taheri; Pablo Tarazaga; Alexandrina Untaroiu; Leigh Winfrey; Craig Woolsey
Clifton C. Garvin Professor & University Distinguished Professor:
Reynolds Metal Professor: Scott Case
Adhesive & Sealant Science Professor: David Dillard
J. Byron Maupin Professor: Muhammad Hajj
L. Preston Wade Professor: Rafael Davalos
Norris and Laura Mitchell Professor of Aerospace Engineering: Rakesh Kapania
Harry C. Wyatt Professor, ICTAS Director: Stefan Duma
Samuel Herrick Professor: Hampton Gabler
N. Waldo Harrison Professor: Pamela VandeVord
Newport News Shipbuilding Professor, VTTI Director: Thomas Dingus

Engineering Mechanics Introduction

The Engineering Mechanics (EM) program provides a strong foundation and sturdy framework for the discovery, development, transfer, and implementation of new knowledge in the areas of mechanics of materials and material systems, fluid mechanics, dynamics and vibration, biomechanics, and computational and experimental methods. The Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics (BEAM), home to the EM program, is fully committed to providing an environment for strong undergraduate and graduate education that emphasizes fundamental understanding, high-quality teaching, frontier-level research, innovation, and service to the professional mechanics community.

Instilling EM graduates with a highly flexible professional perspective enables them to pursue successful careers in a variety of engineering industries, in research environments, and in higher education. Indeed, EM graduates now populate prominent engineering departments across the nation and are transmitting the values of their engineering science training to new generations of students. Our graduates also serve as science and technology advisors to local, regional, and federal governmental organizations; hold leadership positions in professional societies; and are active participants in public discourse on the role and value of engineering science in relation to the research and educational competitiveness of the Commonwealth of Virginia and our nation.

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 577.0
    • Computer
      • 233.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0

MS thesis option

Students pursuing the MS thesis degree option must complete at least 30 credit hours, including at least 21 graded course credit hours and satisfactorily prepare and defend a master’s thesis. The final transcript will designate the degree as thesis.

The MS thesis option must satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (3 credits)
  • One ESM 5xxx/6xxx course in two of the following three areas: dynamics, solid mechanics, or fluid mechanics (3 credits in each area, for a total of 6 credits)
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (3 credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least 9 credits)
  • ESM 5994 Research and Thesis (at least 6 credits)

MS students must also pass at least two credit hours of 5944 Seminar during two separate semesters. These seminar credits are not included on the Plan of Study.

The MS Plan of Study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six (6) hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

A maximum of six (6) credit hours of independent study (IS) or special study (SS) courses can be used to complete the Plan of Study, with the total for both IS and SS courses not exceeding six (6) hours.

MS non-thesis option

Students pursuing the MS non thesis degree option must complete at least 30 graded course credit hours and satisfactorily pass a comprehensive oral examination. The final transcript will designate the degree as non thesis.

The MS non-thesis option Plan of Study must include at least 30 credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (3 credits)
  • Two ESM 5xxx/6xxx courses in two of the following areas: dynamics, solid mechanics, or fluid mechanics (3 credits in each area, for a total of 6 credits)
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (3 credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least 18 credits)

MS students must also pass at least two credit hours of 5944 Seminar during two separate semesters. These seminar credits are not included on the Plan of Study.

The MS Plan of Study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six (6) hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

A maximum of six (6) credit hours of independent study (IS) or special study (SS) courses can be used to complete the Plan of Study, with the total for both IS and SS courses not exceeding six (6) hours.

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 577.0
    • Computer
      • 233.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0

Master of Engineering (MEng)

This program is oriented toward engineering practice instead of fundamental research, teaching or further study. This degree is intended to increase the competence of students who are interested in design, development, operation, and engineering practice.

Students pursuing the MEng degree option must complete at least 30 credit hours and satisfactorily prepare and defend an engineering project report. The purpose of the project report is to develop and demonstrate the candidate's ability to plan and execute projects relating to the practice of engineering.

The MEng option Plan of Study must include at least 30 credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (3 credits)
  • Two ESM 5xxx/6xxx courses in two of the following areas: dynamics, solid mechanics, or fluid mechanics (3 credits in each area, for a total of 6 credits)
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (3 credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least 15 credits)
  • ESM 5904 Project and Report (3 credits)

MEng students must also pass at least two credit hours of 5944 Seminar during two separate semesters. These seminar credits are not included on the Plan of Study.

The MEng Plan of Study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six (6) hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

A maximum of six (6) credit hours of independent study (IS) or special study (SS) courses can be used to complete the Plan of Study, with the total for both IS and SS courses not exceeding six (6) hours.

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 577.0
    • Computer
      • 233.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0

Students must earn a minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. A Master’s degree is not required for admission the program.

Core Courses

  • ESM 5014: Intro to Continuum Mechanics (3 credits)
  • ESM 5314: Intermediate Dynamics (3 credits)
  • ESM 5024: Intro to Solid Mechanics (3 credits)
  • ESM 5054: Intro to Fluid Mechanics (3 credits)
  • ESM 5004: Scientific Communication in Engineering Mechanics (2 credits)

Math Courses

  • MATH 5000-6000 level courses (3 credits). See EM Graduate Regulations manual for approved Math courses.

ESM Courses

  • Additional ESM coursework, ESM 5000-6000 level courses  (6 credits). See EM Graduate Regulations manual for approved courses.

Additional Coursework

  • 5000-6000 level courses that support area of doctoral research (12 hours)

Seminar

  • ESM 5944 (Minimum of 4, one-credit hour seminars) (4 credits)

Program-specific credits from above: 39 hours

Additional Coursework

  • Agreed upon by student and advisory committee: 21 hours

Dissertation Research

  • ESM 7994 (Research/Thesis) (30 hours)
Minimum Total Credits: 90

PhD students must also pass at least four credit hours of 5944 Seminar during four separate semesters. These seminar credits are not included on the Plan of Study.

The PhD Plan of Study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six (6) hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

A minimum of 20 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

A maximum of three (3) credit hours of independent study (IS) can be used to complete the Plan of Study.

Engineering Mechanics Graduate Program

The Engineering Mechanics graduate program has well-equipped research and teaching facilities on the Blacksburg campus for each of the supported research areas.  Approximately 40,000 square feet of space supports program activities in Norris Hall, Kelly Hall, and several of the surrounding buildings.  

Engineering Mechanics research groups

To view an up-to-date list all of faculty affiliated with the Engineering Mechanics program and their associated groups and facilities, visit https://beam.vt.edu/graduate/mechanics.html.

Engineering Mechanics research groups include:

Applied Interdisciplinary Research on Flow Systems (AIRFlowS) LabHosein Foroutan, PI

In the Applied Interdisciplinary Research on Flow Systems (AIRFlowS) Lab, we study a wide range of environmental, geophysical, and biological flow systems that are diverse in nature, scale, and physics. With a synergistic blend of numerical simulations, theory, experiments, and observations we characterize the transport of momentum, energy, and pollutants (chemicals, pathogens, allergens, and toxins) in these systems. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and integrates the knowledge of fluid dynamics, computational mechanics, atmospheric and environmental sciences, and aerosol sciences. The AIRFlowS Lab is led by Dr. Hosein Foroutan in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The Batra GroupRomesh Batra, PI

The Batra Computational Mechanics Laboratory at Virginia Tech specializes in the development of mathematical and computational models of nonlinear and multi-physics phenomena that involve thermal, mechanical, viscous and electrical effects in elastic (e.g., rubber like, and biological materials), elastic-plastic (e.g., ceramics, metals, polymers), and thermo-visco-elasto-plastic materials under extreme loads such as those caused by improvised explosive devices and slamming of a boat into water (i.e., fluid-structure interaction).  The group studies the initiation and progression of damage and failure in monolithic and composites including sandwich structures with fiber-reinforced face sheets and functionally graded materials/structures.

Bioelectromechanical Systems LaboratoryRafael Davalos, PI

Bioelectromechanical Systems is a cross disciplinary field that combines engineering and science from the nano to the macro level. In our laboratory, we have developed technology for tissue viability detection, picoliter sample management, and imaging for molecular medicine. Using electrical feedback to perform complex procedures in biotechnology with precision and control, we have established robust methods for single cell analysis, selective cell concentration, and cancer therapy.

Bio-Inspired Engineering LabJake Socha, PI

Our lab studies the biomechanics of motion in animals, conducting integrative research that crosses traditional boundaries of engineering and biology. Currently, two broad themes of our research center around gliding flight in vertebrates and internal fluid flows in invertebrates. We aim to understand animal movements both for fundamental understanding of animal physiology, ecology and evolution, and as inspiration for novel engineering applications.

Bioinspired Science and Technology GroupRolf Mueller, PI

Dr. Mueller's research group seeks to develop solutions for sensing in complex natural environments, e.g., to enable drones that are capableof autonomous navigation in complex natural environments. To achieve
this, the flight and biosonar behavior of bats is studied in Borneo with high-speed camera and ultrasonic microphone arrays. The insights from the work are then used in the design of biomimetic soft-robotsand matching deep learning paradigms to replicate the bats' abilities.

Center for Advanced Automotive ResearchZachary Doerzaph, PI

The Center for Advanced Automotive Research (CAAR) focuses on the research, development, and evaluation of next-generation automotive systems. This team strives to solve a broad set of challenges associated with integrating cutting-edge technologies into the vehicles of tomorrow. The primary research areas of CAAR include crash warning/avoidance/mitigation, connected vehicles, driver-vehicle interfaces, crash causation, and vehicle automation. 

Center for Data Reduction and Analysis SupportMiguel Perez, PI

Dr. Perez is interested in a variety of efforts that help to improve the safety and convenience of our transportation systems. He currently leads a number of efforts related to naturalistic driving study design and analysis, data standardization, data preparation, data mining, and data analysis. In addition, Dr. Perez is involved in efforts to improve the response of emergency vehicles to motor vehicle crashes and to increase the usability of ride-sharing and automated vehicle technologies for individuals with disabilities

Complex Systems LaboratoryNicole Abaid, PI

The focus of the Complex Systems Laboratory is in the area of dynamical systems and control. Current research is largely focused collective behavior in multi-agent systems and spans agent-based modeling, studies of synchronization and consensus, field studies with wild animals, and bio-inspired robotic systems. Other research projects include studying the feasibility of auditory stimulation for closed-loop control of neural oscillations.

Computational Biomechanics and Applied Mechanics (CBAM) GroupCostin D. Untaroiu, PI 

The Computational Biomechanics and Applied Mechanics (CBAM) Group conducts research on a large range of topics in applied mechanics, including injury biomechanics, human body modeling, vehicle safety, applied machine learning, and autonomous vehicles. This research is sponsored by industry consortiums (e.g. GHBMC), and government agencies (e.g. NHTSA, NASA). 

Damage Science and Mechanics Laboratory:  John “Jack” Duke, Jr., PI

In order to assure the safety and reliability of critical assets, it is critical to understand the science of how systems degrade and how this damage affects performance. The Damage Science and Mechanics Laboratory works within the multiple disciplines needed to achieve this goal. Sustainable system planning and design, life-extension, system prognostics, and system and structural health monitoring are areas where this work finds applications.

The Dynamic Active Materials LaboratoryJohn Domann, PI

The Dynamic Active Materials Laboratory investigates the coupling of solid mechanics and electrodynamics in active material systems, including piezoelectric, magnetoelastic, and composite multiferroic structures. This work covers everything from creating analytical and numerical models to measuring fundamental material properties and developing devices that exploit the coupled behavior of these systems.

Kevin P. Granata Biomechanics LabRobin Queen, PI

The Kevin P. Granata Biomechanics Lab is the current center of research for Robin Queen, who is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.  She was previously the director of the "Coach K" Lab at Duke University where she worked with a variety of industry sponsors including the Nike Sport Research Lab and DonJoy Orthopedics. Her focus is on lower extremity biomechanics with an emphasis in foot and ankle biomechanics.  Her work focuses on understanding changes in lower extremity loading and movement symmetry that result from injury and pathology.  In addition, Dr. Queen works on development of various interventions to restore movement and loading symmetry in an attempt to decrease future risk of joint damage and prevent subsequent injuries. 

Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics in NatureAnne Staples, PI

The research at the Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics in Nature (FiNLab) is focused on two main themes: fluid flows in nature, and advanced computational methods for fluid flows. The natural systems studied at FiNLab range from insect respiratory flows, which occur at the microscale, to planetary atmospheric flows with length scales on the order of tens of kilometers. There is an emphasis on biomimetics for efficiency, resilience, and sustainability, on high performance computing, and on advanced multiscale computational modeling.

Materials Response Group: Scott Case and David Dillard, PIs

The Materials Response Group (MRG) is a research group within the Engineering Science & Mechanics Department at Virginia Tech focusing on the response of material systems to mechanical and environmental loading. Of particular interest are polymer and ceramic composites, adhesives, and scientific visualization.

Multiphysics Intelligent and Dynamical Systems LabShima Shahab, PI

Multiphysics Intelligent and Dynamical Systems (MInDS) laboratory focuses on the intersection of smart materials and dynamical systems for various interdisciplinary applications such as energy harvesting, biomimetic locomotion and contactless acoustic energy transfer; biomedical opportunities and challenges.  Current research topics at MInDS include intelligent fluid flow control using smart materials and metamaterial-inspired concepts, high-intensity focused ultrasound for wireless charging of low-power sensors, and ultrasound responsive drug delivery systems. The goal is to design new generation of smart autonomous biomedical systems which leads to new medical diagnostics and treatments.

Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Group: Jennifer S. Wayne, PI

The Musculoskeletal Biomechanics group conducts research on a range of topics in biomechanics, particularly of the musculoskeletal system but also of biological tissues in general.  Experimental analyses and computational simulations of function in normal, injured, and repaired states; CT image and morphometric analysis.

Nature-Inspired Fluids & Interfaces LabJonathan Boreyko, PI

Inspired by nature's design for animals, plants, and the weather, our group's research involves characterizing unexplored phenomena and designing innovative materials and systems. Our research is a multi-disciplinary combination of fluids dynamics, heat transfer, interfacial phenomena, materials science, and renewable energy.

Nonlinear Systems LaboratoryCraig Woolsey, PI

The Nonlinear System Laboratory (NSL) in the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department at Virginia Tech provides a facility for research and instruction in dynamics and control of nonlinear systems, with particular focus on autonomous ocean and atmospheric vehicles. Founded in 2005, the NSL is co-directed by Dr. Cornel Sultan, Dr. Mazen Farhood, and Dr. Craig Woolsey. The Lab supports Virginia Tech's Autonomy and Robotics group.

Ross Dynamics LabShane Ross, PI

The Ross Dynamics Lab performs mathematical modeling and experiments of nonlinear dynamics with applications to patterns of dispersal in oceanic and atmospheric flows, passive and active aerodynamic gliding, dynamic buckling of flexible structures, ship dynamics, orbital mechanics, and control of escaping dynamics. Dr. Ross is the Director and Recruiting Coordinator of BIOTRANS, an interdisciplinary graduate education program to cross-train graduate students in biology and engineering to work on biological transport problems in environmental and physiological systems.

The STRETCH LabRaffaella De Vita, PI

Research in the STRETCH Lab focuses on characterizing the mechanical properties of biological systems ranging from cellular components to tissues, with special emphasis on the development of new mathematical models and experimental methods. Although our research interests are diverse and continuously evolve over time, the common thread that runs through much of our work is our genuine passion in advancing fundamental and mechanistic knowledge of biological systems. This knowledge is crucial for the development of effective interventions to prevent and treat illness and disability.

Theoretical and Applied Fluid Mechanics Group: Mark Stremler, PI

The Theoretical and Applied Fluid Mechanics (TAFM) Group conducts research on a range of topics in fluid mechanics, including reduced-order mathematical, numerical, and experimental models of fluid flows, with an emphasis on fluid-structure interaction, flows dominated by coherent vortical structures, microfluidic systems, fluid dynamics in biological systems, and connections to dynamical systems theory, particularly applications to fluid mixing.

Resource: EM program website (https://beam.vt.edu/graduate/mechanics.html)
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