Building Bridges

Today I talked to engineering major Tyler Stout, ’15 about what he’s doing in Thayer this summer.

Tyler is taking ENGS 33: Solid Mechanics. The class teaches students how elastic solids deform, under tension and compression, torsion, bending, pressure, and combinations of the above. The class’s lab seeks to teach these concepts in a hands on way to students. By the end of the term, all students will have built their own bridge, in a competition to see whose can withstand the most pressure.

Tyler Stout, '15

Tyler Stout, ’15

The class is taught by professor Harold J. Frost, who holds a Ph. D. in materials science and whose research interests include the “modeling of microstructural evolution” and “deformation and fracture at high temperatures.” Tyler says he is thrilled to be in a class with professor Frost because he is “a very bright and talented individual. His lectures are dynamic and engaging, and he really knows how to break down complex class topics into digestible pieces of information.”

Stout says he loves this class because it is a course that has a heavy focus on machining, meaning that his projects are always extremely hands on. “We’re not theorizing about stress and tension capacities,” he says, “we’re building things and then testing to see how much pressure they can take. It’s incredible to see real results of our experimentation.”

Tyler is looking forward to building an awesome bridge with his group this term. He’s excited about the prospect of using solidworks and seeing how much force his bridge can actually withstand. The best thing about this class, Tyler says, “is learning how to calculate the effects of forces on structures.”

Stout is looking forward to taking ENGS 76: Machine Engineering in the fall and thinks that this course will be extremely helpful with courses like that, and generally in the future.

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