2022 Nonlinear Solid Mechanics

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Civil Engineering
Wijeyewickrema Anil 
Class Format
Lecture    (Face-to-face)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon7-8(M112)  Thr7-8(M112)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

This course focuses on nonlinear solid mechanics. Topics include mathematical preliminaries –Cartesian tensors and tensor algebra; analysis of deformation and motion; concept of stress and balance principles.

The fundamentals of nonlinear solid mechanics are important and essential for all branches of engineering and applied mechanics. Students learn the basics of nonlinear solid mechanics and will be able to solve some problems in engineering.

Student learning outcomes

By completing this course, students will be able to:
1) Understand analysis of deformation and motion.
2) Understand concept of stress.
3) Understand balance principles.


Euclidean vector space - orthonormal bases and components, and change of basis, second-order tensors, tensor algebra, tensor fields, deformation gradient, polar decomposition, push-forward and pull-back operations, deformation and strain rates, concepts of stress, balance principles

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Most of time in the class is devoted to fundamentals and the rest to advanced contents or applications. To allow students to get a good understanding of the course contents and practical applications, problems related to the contents of this course are given as homework assignments.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction of the course. Euclidean vector space - orthonormal bases and components, and change of basis. Review sections 1.1.1-1.1.2 of class notes.
Class 2 Cartesian tensors Review sections 1.2.1-1.2.5 of class notes.
Class 3 Tensor algebra - second-order tensors, eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a second-order tensor. Review sections 1.3.1-1.3.2 of class notes.
Class 4 Symmetric second-order tensors, antisymmetric second-order tensors and orthogonal second-order tensors Review section 1.3.3-1.3.5 of class notes.
Class 5 Tensor fields Review sections 1.5.1 and 1.5.2 of class notes.
Class 6 The deformation gradient; and deformation of volume and surface elements Review sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of class notes.
Class 7 Strain, stretch, extension and shear, and polar decomposition of the deformation gradient Review sections 2.2.3-2.2.4 of class notes.
Class 8 Examples of deformations Review section 2.2.6 of class notes.
Class 9 Push-forward and pull-back operations Review section 2.2-A2 of class notes.
Class 10 Deformation and strain rates Review sections 2.3.1 of class notes.
Class 11 Traction vectors and stress tensors; extremal stress values Review sections 3.1-3.2 of class notes
Class 12 Examples of states of stress; alternative stress tensors Review sections 3.3-3.4 of class notes
Class 13 Conservation of Mass Review sections 4.1 of class notes.
Class 14 Momentum balance principles Review sections 4.3-4.4 of class notes.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Holzapfel, G. A., 2001, “Nonlinear solid mechanics”, John Wiley, Chichester.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Class notes are available in the Instructor’s HP.

Ogden, R. W., 1997, “Non-linear elastic deformations”, Dover publications, New York.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge of nonlinear solid mechanics and their ability to apply them to problems will be assessed.
Midterm exam 30%, Final exam 50%, exercise problems 20%.

Related courses

  • CVE.A401 : Introduction to Solid Mechanics

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Basic solid mechanics

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