Special Topics in Civil Engineering
Special problems or courses arranged to meet the needs of first-year graduate students or qualified undergraduate students. Graded pass/fail.
Fundamentals of fluid mechanics. Microscopic and macroscopic properties of liquids and gases; the continuum hypothesis; review of thermodynamics; general equations of motion; kinematics; stresses; constitutive relations; vorticity, circulation; Bernoulli's equation; potential flow; thin-airfoil theory; surface gravity waves; buoyancy-driven flows; rotating flows; viscous creeping flow; viscous boundary layers; introduction to stability and turbulence; quasi one-dimensional compressible flow; shock waves; unsteady compressible flow; and acoustics.
Mechanics of Structures and Solids
Introduction to continuum mechanics: kinematics, balance laws, constitutive laws with an emphasis on solids. Static and dynamic stress analysis. Two- and three-dimensional theory of stressed elastic solids. Wave propagation. Analysis of rods, plates and shells with applications in a variety of fields. Variational theorems and approximate solutions. Elastic stability.
Numerical methods and techniques for solving initial boundary value problems in continuum mechanics (from heat conduction to statics and dynamics of solids and structures). Finite difference methods, direct methods, variational methods, finite elements in small strains and at finite deformation for applications in structural mechanics and solid mechanics. Solution of the partial differential equations of heat transfer, solid and structural mechanics, and fluid mechanics. Transient and nonlinear problems. Computational aspects and development and use of finite element code. Not offered 2022-23.
A survey of topics in hydraulic engineering: open channel and pipe flow, subcritical/critical flow and the hydraulic jump, hydraulic structures (weirs, inlet and outlet works, dams), hydraulic machinery, hydrology, river and flood modeling, solute transport, sediment mechanics, groundwater flow. Not offered 2022-23.
Computational Methods for Flow in Porous Media
This course covers physical, mathematical and simulation aspects of single and two-phase flow and transport through porous media. Conservation equations for multiphase, multicomponent flow. Modeling of fluid mechanical instabilities such as viscous fingering, gravity fingering and gravity-driven convection. Coupling fluid flow with chemical reactions. Coupling single phase flow with poromechanics. Numerical methods for elliptic equations: finite volume methods, two-point flux approximations, finite difference, spectral method. Numerical methods for hyperbolic equations: high-order explicit methods, implicit method. Applications in hydrology, geological CO2 sequestration and induced seismicity, among others will be demonstrated.
Graduate Engineering Seminar
Students attend a graduate seminar each week of each term and submit a report about the attended seminars. At least four of the attended seminars each term should be from the Mechanical and Civil Engineering seminar series. Students not registered for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees must receive the instructor's permission. Graded pass/fail.
Dynamics and Vibration
Equilibrium concepts, conservative and dissipative systems, Lagrange's equations, differential equations of motion for discrete single and multi degree-of-freedom systems, natural frequencies and mode shapes of these systems (Eigenvalue problem associated with the governing equations), phase plane analysis of vibrating systems, forms of damping and energy dissipated in damped systems, response to simple force pulses, harmonic and earthquake excitation, response spectrum concepts, vibration isolation, seismic instruments, dynamics of continuous systems, Hamilton's principle, axial vibration of rods and membranes, transverse vibration of strings, beams (Bernoulli-Euler and Timoshenko beam theory), and plates, traveling and standing wave solutions to motion of continuous systems, Rayleigh quotient and the Rayleigh-Ritz method to approximate natural frequencies and mode shapes of discrete and continuous systems, frequency domain solutions to dynamical systems, stability criteria for dynamical systems, and introduction to nonlinear systems and random vibration theory.
Structural and Earthquake Engineering
Matrix structural analysis of the static and dynamic response of structural systems, Newmark time integration, Newton-Raphson iteration methodology for the response of nonlinear systems, stability of iteration schemes, static and dynamic numerical analysis of planar beam structures (topics include the development of stiffness, mass, and damping matrices, material and geometric nonlinearity effects, formulation of a nonlinear 2-D beam element, uniform and nonuniform earthquake loading, soil-structure interaction, 3-D beam element formulation, shear deformations, and panel zone deformations in steel frames, and large deformation analysis), seismic design and analysis of steel moment frame and braced frame systems, steel member behavior (topics include bending, buckling, torsion, warping, and lateral torsional buckling, and the effects of residual stresses), reinforced concrete member behavior (topics include bending, shear, torsion, and PMM interaction), and seismic design requirements for reinforced concrete structures. Not offered 2022-23.
Mechanics and Rheology of Fluid-Infiltrated Porous Media
This course will focus on the physics of porous materials (e.g., geomaterials, biological tissue) and their intimate interaction with interstitial fluids (e.g., water, oil, blood). The course will be split into two parts: Part 1 will focus on the continuum mechanics (balance laws) of multi-phase solids, with particular attention to fluid diffusion-solid deformation coupling. Part 2 will introduce the concept of effective stresses and state of the art rheology available in modeling the constitutive response of representative porous materials. Emphasis will be placed on poro-elasticity and poro-plasticity. Not offered 2022-23.
Mechanics of Composite Materials and Structures
Introduction and fabrication technology, elastic deformation of composites, stiffness bounds, on- and off-axis elastic constants for a lamina, elastic deformation of multidirectional laminates (lamination theory, ABD matrix), effective hygrothermal properties, mechanisms of yield and failure for a laminate, strength of a single ply, failure models, splitting and delamination. Experimental methods for characterization and testing of composite materials. Design criteria, application of design methods to select a suitable laminate using composite design software, hand layup of a simple laminate and measurement of its stiffness and thermoelastic coefficients. Not offered 2022-23.
Mechanics of Soils
Basic principles of stiffness, deformation, effective stress and strength of soils, including sands, clays and silts. Elements of soil behavior such as stress-strain-strength behavior of clays, effects of sample disturbance, anisotropy, and strain rate; strength and compression of granular soils; consolidation theory and settlement analysis; and critical state soil mechanics. Not offered 2022-23.
Mechanics of Rocks
Basic principles of deformation, strength, and stressing of rocks. Elastic behavior, plasticity, viscoelasticity, viscoplasticity, creep, damage, friction, failure mechanisms, shear localization, and interaction of deformation processes with fluids. Engineering and geological applications. Not offered 2022-23.
Experimental Methods in Earthquake Engineering
Laboratory work involving calibration and performance of basic transducers suitable for the measurement of strong earthquake ground motion, and of structural response to such motion. Study of principal methods of dynamic tests of structures, including generation of forces and measurement of structural response. Not offered 2022-23.
Characteristics of potentially destructive earthquakes from the engineering point of view. Theory of seismometers, seismic waves in a continuum, plane waves in layered media, surface waves, basin waves, site effects, dynamic deformation of buildings, seismic sources, earthquake size scaling, earthquake hazard calculations, rupture dynamics. Not offered 2022-23.
Advanced Work in Civil Engineering
A faculty mentor will oversee a student proposed, independent research or study project to meet the needs of graduate students. Graded pass/fail. The consent of a faculty mentor and a written report is required for each term.
Advanced Topics in Civil Engineering
The faculty will prepare courses on advanced topics to meet the needs of graduate students.
Computational Solid Mechanics
This course focuses on the analysis of elastic thin shell structures in the large deformation regime. Problems of interest include softening behavior, bifurcations, loss of stability and localization. Introduction to the use of numerical methods in the solution of solid mechanics and multiscale mechanics problems. Variational principles. Finite element and isogeometric formulations for thin shells. Time integration, initial boundary value problems. Error estimation. Accuracy, stability and convergence. Iterative solution methods. Adaptive strategies. Not offered 2022-23.
This course examines the links between form, geometric shape, and structural performance. It deals with different ways of breaking up a continuum, and how this affects global structural properties; structural concepts and preliminary design methods that are used in tension structures and deployable structures. Geometric foundations, polyhedra and tessellations, surfaces; space frames, examples of space frames, stiffness and structural efficiency of frames with different repeating units; sandwich plates; cable and membrane structures, form-finding, wrinkle-free pneumatic domes, balloons, tension-stabilized struts, tensegrity domes; deployable and adaptive structures, coiled rods and their applications, flexible shells, membranes, structural mechanisms, actuators, concepts for adaptive trusses and manipulators. Not offered 2022-23.
Earthquake Source Processes, Debris Flows, and Soil Liquefaction: Physics-based Modeling of Failure in Granular Media
A seminar-style course focusing on granular dynamics and instabilities as they relate to geophysical hazards such as fault mechanics, debris flows, and liquefaction. The course will consist of student-led presentations of active research at Caltech and discussions of recent literature. Not offered 2022-23.
Linear and Nonlinear Waves in Structured Media
The course will cover the basic principles of wave propagation in solid media. It will discuss the fundamental principles used to describe linear and nonlinear wave propagation in continuum and discrete media. Selected recent scientific advancements in the dynamics of periodic media will also be discussed. Students learn the basic principles governing the propagation of waves in discrete and continuum solid media. These methods can be used to engineer materials with predefined properties and to design dynamical systems for a variety of engineering applications (e.g., vibration mitigation, impact absorption and sound insulation). The course will include an experimental component, to test wave phenomena in structured media. Not offered 2022-23.
Static and Dynamic Failure of Brittle Solids and Interfaces, from the Micro to the Mega
Linear elastic fracture mechanics of homogeneous brittle solids (e.g. geo-materials, ceramics, metallic glasses); small scale yielding concepts; experimental methods in fracture, fracture of bi-material interfaces with applications to composites as well as bonded and layered engineering and geological structures; thin-film and micro-electronic components and systems; dynamic fracture mechanics of homogeneous engineering materials; dynamic shear dominated failure of coherent and incoherent interfaces at all length scales; dynamic rupture of frictional interfaces with application to earthquake source mechanics; allowable rupture speeds regimes and connections to earthquake seismology and the generation of Tsunamis. Not offered 2022-23.
Research in Civil Engineering
Research in the field of civil engineering. By arrangements with members of the staff, properly qualified graduate students are directed in research.