Dal Alert!

Receive alerts from Dalhousie by text message.


Mechanics of Materials Certificate Program (100% Online)

This certificate is a 100% online program. It consists of three modules covering topics that will be treated in a progressive fashion to complete the certificate. It develops the background for the subject in a systematic manner; starting with the concept of stress and strain, discussing how structural members behave under loading and the methods by which they fail. In addition it places focus on practical applications relating to solution of real life problems. This certificate program’s uniqueness is due to its instructor’s experience as a design engineer with wide exposure to design, simulation, experimentation and academics.

Mechanics is a physical science dealing with the response of an object to applied forces. It treats the object on the basis of statics as well as dynamics considering the body to be either rigid or deformable depending upon the objective. Mechanics of Materials is a branch of Mechanics and uses the principles of Statics/Dynamics as applied to particles and/or rigid bodies. It is also referred to as Strength of Materials, Mechanics of Solids, and Mechanics of deformable bodies.

Mechanics of Materials is an important field in mechanical engineering and uses equilibrium (of forces, moments couples), material behaviour (stress strain relations) and the geometry of deformation to solve problems related to design of parts/assemblies. Engineers and designers have to design components that can withstand applied forces without failing. This becomes even more important when public safety is involved. In order to find load-stress relations or stress-strain relations for a body we need to study Mechanics of Materials. To achieve that goal, an engineer must also know the properties of materials, shape and deformation of common structural members, criteria of failure when components are overloaded and how energy is absorbed during various types of deformation.

Since it is a core subject for Mechanical Engineering, its importance cannot be over stated. With different types of materials available an engineer has a wide variety to choose from and must select the best overall option with respect to applied forces, manufacturing methods and ease of service. A solid understanding of the topics in Mechanics of Materials helps the design engineer in designing a safe component.

What You Will Learn

  • Understanding stress and strain
  • Analysis of stresses produced due to different types of loading and their combined effect
  • Beam as a structural member; normal and shear stresses produced in beams due to transverse loading; use of bending moment and shear force diagrams
  • Shear stresses in different types of beams and shear stresses in thin walled members
  • Mohr’s circle for stress and strain, transformation of stresses and strains, principal stresses; different failure criteria
  • Design of transmission shafts
  • Elastic curve of a beam under deflection, equation of elastic curve, finding the elastic curve from the load equation
  • Singularity method for stresses and deflections, solution by super-positioning, moment area theorems, bending moment diagram by parts; applications
  • Stability of structures, Euler’s formula, various end conditions for columns; design of steel/aluminum columns for centric and eccentric loading
  • Strain energy; elastic strain energy for various types of stresses; design for impact loading; work and energy; Castigliano’s theorem

Who Should Attend

Mechanical engineers/technicians who wish to understand the theory related to the design of components and subsequent selection of materials to withstand applied forces. Technicians will gain ability to better handle what they are working on, while engineers can re-enforce the knowledge which they already have. The subject will be built up in a systematic manner and will make clear the reason why certain things are done the way they are. It requires no prior special knowledge of the subject except high school mathematics. The course will focus on both the theory of various parts as well as the application of theory towards the solution of typical problems.

Course Content

This online certificate consists of three modules.  Live online sessions are every Friday, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Module I: Stresses and Strains (8 weeks)
September 7 - October 26, 2018

Module II: Shear Stresses in Beams, Yield Criteria and Stress/Strain Transformation (7 weeks)
February 22 - April 5, 2019

Module III: Beam Deflections, Columns and Energy (7 weeks)
May 25 - July 5, 2019


The fee for each module is $1195.00


Register and pay $3295 for the entire Certificate in advance and save $290!  Please contact Gena Walsh, Registrar, at 902-494-6079, for discount.

Certificate Requirements

It is highly recommended that participants complete the three modules in sequential order. The certificate is awarded after the completion of the three modules, including all quizzes and final exams. This represents approximately 150 hours of training which includes online sessions, home study, assignments and exam preparation. The participants must attain a minimum of 65% for each module and an aggregate average of at least 75% in the program.

Required Textbook

Mechanics of Materials, 6th edition, Ferdinand P. Beer, E. Russell Johnston Jr. and John T. DeWolf, McGraw Hill, available at Amazon.


Tahir Rasul, Ph.D., P.Eng., is a licensed professional engineer in Ontario, Canada. A mechanical design engineer with many years of experience in industries like Nuclear, Aerospace, Electronics and Academics. He has worked on design applications, product development, prototyping, investigations for cause of failure and consulted for structural integrity and FEA (finite element analyses). Findings from his PhD research on residual stress measurements were incorporated into the shot-peening specifications for the Aerospace Industry in UK.

While working for different organizations in Ontario (and Asia) he developed solutions to industry problems. Some very interesting ones being: development of a low-noise oil cooler for power generation, design and fabrication of a low pressure 300 ton hydraulic press for compressing an explosive material, research into a better cooled liquid light guide for microscopes, development of a dummy surface to air missile having same dynamic characteristics as the actual device and investigation into the vibration characteristics of liquid light guide stand.

During his teaching at Air University, Islamabad he taught many courses to under graduate and graduate classes. He used his students to develop, locally, mechanical engineering apparatus’ for the mechanics of materials and vibrations laboratories. During this time he designed and fabricated a three axes of freedom gyroscope which could run at speeds of 7000+ rpm for demonstration purposes, keeping its rotation axis fixed in space for 45 seconds. In Mississauga he has visited schools and explained the difference between science and engineering to help students make informed decisions about the field that they would like to pursue for higher education.