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Computational Mechanics vs. Structural Engineering

  1. Mar 26, 2013 #1
    Hello. I am currently a mechanical engineering junior at the University of Kentucky. I am beginning to consider graduate school. I know I want to study applied mechanics, but am unsure of whether I should study CM as a ME grad student or SE as a CE grad student. What is the difference between the two? Which would you expect to be more mathematically intensive? I love math, and have taken a year long sequence in real analysis as elective... more math the better. Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2013 #2


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    Computational mechanics is the application of computational methods to solving problems in all branches of mechanics. CM would range from orbital dynamics to fluid mechanics, structures, etc. Structural engineering is a much narrower field than CM. Due to the variety of topics covered by CM, this field would IMO require a much broader and deeper understanding of math than SE.
  4. Mar 26, 2013 #3
    Yeah, I have dug a little deeper and it is apparent by course titles. A course title for SE might be "pre-stressed concrete structures" while most titles for CM are along the lines of "Foundations of Solid Mechanics". I also noticed that CM requires at a minimum 3 graduate math classes while SE requires nothing past undergrad(calc 1-4 and 300-400 level elective). They are vastly different. Bring on the tensors!
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