• Length:
    12 Weeks
  • Effort:
    10–12 hours per week
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    Add a Verified Certificate for $99 USD

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  • Course Type:
    Instructor-led on a course schedule


Multivariable Calculus - (Derivatives, Integrals (1D, 2D)
Physics: Classical Mechanics - (Vectors, Forces, Torques, Newton’s Laws)
2.01x - (axial loading, torsion, bending)

About this course

Skip About this course
Many natural and man-made structures can be modeled as assemblages of interconnected structural elements loaded along their axis (bars), in torsion (shafts) and in bending (beams). In this course you will learn to use equations for static equilibrium, geometric compatibility and constitutive material response to analyze structural assemblages.

This course provides an introduction to behavior in which the shape of the structure is permanently changed by loading the material beyond its elastic limit (plasticity), and behavior in which the structural response changes over time (viscoelasticity).

This is the second course in a 3-part series. In this series you will learn how mechanical engineers can use analytical methods and “back of the envelope” calculations to predict structural behavior.  The three courses in the series are:

Part 1 – 2.01x: Elements of Structures. (Elastic response of Structural Elements: Bars, Shafts, Beams). Fall Term

Part 2 – 2.02.1x Mechanics of Deformable Structures: Part 1. (Assemblages of Elastic, Elastic-Plastic, and Viscoelastic Bars in axial loading). Spring Term

 Part 3 – 2.02.2x Mechanics of Deformable Structures: Part 2. (Assemblages of bars, shafts, and beams. Multi-axial Loading and Deformation. Energy Methods). Summer Term

These courses are based on the first subject in solid mechanics for MIT Mechanical Engineering students.  Join them and learn to rely on the notions of equilibrium, geometric compatibility, and constitutive material response to ensure that your structures will perform their specified mechanical function without failing.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Use Free Body Diagrams to formulate equilibrium equations in structural assemblages
  • Identify geometric constraints to formulate compatibility equations in structural assemblages
  • Understand the formulation of thermo-elastic, elastic-perfectly-plastic and linear viscoelastic models for the material response
  • Analyze and predict the mechanical behavior of statically determinate and statically indeterminate assemblages with deormable bars in axial loading.

Meet your instructors

David Parks
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Simona Socrate
Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Learner testimonials

“The best mechanics of materials class on the planet. Someone else has already said this but I will reiterate so that there is no doubt. MITx sets a very high bar for MOOCs-thorough, high quality, rigorous and full of interactive exercises. But even by those high standards, this class is exceptional. I would recommend every mechanical engineer on this planet to do this class. Dr. Socrate gently but definitely takes to you higher levels of proficiency in the subject.”

“2.02.1x is an excellent course that should be taken by anybody with even the slightest interest in structural mechanics. Simona Socrate is one of the greatest teachers I have ever had, and her teaching of the material is so much clearer and more detailed than any other course on structural mechanics that I've taken. I could not recommend this course enough. You will find this a fun course if you come in ready to work.” 

Source: CourseTalk

Frequently asked questions

Q: Do we need to know how to solve differential equations to study viscoelasticity?
A: We will only consider very simple cases and we will teach you how to solve the relevant equations. Probably having seen differential equations before would be helpful but it is not strictly required. You may take the excellent MITx course "Introduction to Differnetial Equations" if you want to gain a broader perspective, but that level of mastery is not required here.

Q: Is this course similar to a residential course at MIT?
A: Yes, the three course series covers the same material taught in the MIT residential course 2.001: Mechanics and Materials I (the first core course in mechanical engineering typically taken the first semester of sophomore year).

Actually the online 3-course series is a slightly extended version of the residential 1-semester course.

Q: Will we continue to use MATLAB as we did in 2.01x?
A: Yes