Structural Mechanics

A large offshore drilling rig is up in flames. Several small ships are spraying it with water.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in 2010 killed 10 workers and injured 16 others. It also led to a massive offshore oil spill. In this course, Deepwater Horizon is considered as a case study in the context of structural mechanics. (Photograph courtesy of the United States Coast Guard.)


MIT Course Number

2.080J / 1.573J

As Taught In

Fall 2013



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Highlights

Prof. Wierzbicki's course notes are so thorough that they serve as an online textbook on structural mechanics.

Course Description

This course covers the fundamental concepts of structural mechanics with applications to marine, civil, and mechanical structures. Topics include analysis of small deflections of beams, moderately large deflections of beams, columns, cables, and shafts; elastic and plastic buckling of columns, thin walled sections and plates; exact and approximate methods; energy methods; principle of virtual work; introduction to failure analysis of structures. We will include examples from civil, mechanical, offshore, and ship structures such as the collision and grounding of ships.

Tomasz Wierzbicki. 2.080J Structural Mechanics, Fall 2013. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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