Studies & Degrees in Applied Mechanics
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Applied Mechanics is a field of study that looks into the response and potential response of bodies, which could be in solid or fluid form, or systems of bodies to external forces. Currently, principles of Applied Mechanics are being used in the formulation of new theories, discovery and interpretation of natural events or phenomena related to mechanics and development of experimental and computational tools. Mostly, Applied Mechanics will be dealing with Statics, the study of non-moving bodies under known loads (stress); Dynamics, the study of how different forces affect moving bodies; Strength of Materials, the study of different materials deform under different types of loads or stress; Deformation Mechanics, the study of deformations; Fluid Mechanics, the study of how fluid respond to forces and; Continuum Mechanics, which believes that all matter are constantly moving.
Although, not a popular course as those courses with the word “engineering” attached to it, Applied Mechanics however is very much connected to these popular engineering courses as they also make use of Applied Mechanics principles. Currently, Applied Mechanics are very much applied by civil engineers in the construction of high-rise buildings which should withstand the weather elements and at the same time can carry the traffic of people going in and out the building, aero spatial engineers who makes vehicles to be used in space which could disintegrate when exposed to zero gravity and any field that may find the integrity of materials significant.
Opportunity-wise, not all degree holders of Applied Mechanics will be rocket scientists and so the next opportunity lies in construction. Building a skyscraper like the one now being built in Dubai, touted to be the tallest man-made structure on Earth when finished will have signatures of applied mechanicians all over it. A tall building definitely is beyond the skills of ordinary civil engineers and requires much higher sets of skills to give it a chance of not crumbling down when strong winds batters it down. A building that will kiss the heavens for sure needs to be thoroughly thought out up to the minute details like screws and bolts.
Currently, proponents of Applied Mechanics are researching heavily into the vibrations of structures and machineries and their responses when exposed to heavy seismic activities. Imagine the amount of billions in dollars to be saved if somebody can come up with a concrete material that can withstand an 8.0 magnitude in the Richter scale. Those residential and commercial areas located on fault lines need not rebuild again and again when the scale registers a 6.0 or a 7.0. If ever there is one calamity that causes loss of life by the hundreds and damages properties in a matter of seconds, it is earthquakes. Fault lines would always be in constant shifting and during those tectonic shifts, structures like houses and buildings would have no choice but to buckle up even though they were designed by the finest architects as the materials used cannot simply stand such stress. So, a material like let’s say, steel beams and concrete materials that can withstand intense shakeouts, can be possibly thought out by an applied mechanician.
Applied Mechanics though is much unheard of as a field of study, had been very much instrumental in the advancement of inventions such as cars, railroads, petroleum refineries, airplanes, composite materials, computers and implants (medical) among other things. To those who wants to make super imposing structures like a building or dam or giant bridges, then this is the course to take.