Motivation


In the fields of Structural Mechanics mechanical aspects - which are a fragment of physics in general - for the constructing engineer are treated. In this scope performant model concepts are developed, allowing to describe our structures mechanically. The fact that this is necessary results from the insight "that the generally applicable rules of mechanics do in fact not allow to solve all upcoming tasks strictly and precisely. The scientist approaches such tasks different to a technician. ... The technician faces the constraint of necessity; he has to act without hesitation ... thats why he has to adopt - just as precise as suitable - any kind of theoretical concept." (Föppl “Vorlesungen über technische Mechanik I”, 4. Edition 1910)

The "Adoption of theoretical concepts" is done by performant ideas of Structural Mechanics like for example the Technical Bending Theory for beams. The lectures on structural mechanics are intended to give a fundamental knowledge for further studies on the topics construction, structural analysis, structural dynamics, soil mechanics and concrete, metal and timber design and to give the to-be engineer the ability for abstraction and recognition of the limits of mechanical concepts.

There are many roadblocks on the way - intelligence and indurance are necessary to achieve a comprehensive understanding for technical mechanics. The earning is a "feeling" for mechanics which spreads into many areas of life and consistently gives new suggestions and possibilities to think about. It's not a contingency that in history mechanics and the principle of causality (cause-transmission-effect) very often served as a pattern for other sciences like e.g. physiology or economy. Learning mechanics not only provides an important basis for practise as a civil or environmental engineer but also broadens the mind and trains the ability to reason and abstract thinking.

Studying mechanics should always be done with an intense focus on mathematics. This is often difficult since "mechanics exploits the tools of mathematics in an extensive manner. By respecting this fact one should not overestimate the role of mathematics in mechanics or even consider mathematics as the main issue." (Föppl “Vorlesungen über technische Mechanik I”, 4. Auflage 1910). Today Föppl would probably extend this statement towards numerics. Our lectures in the bachelor studies therefore require profound abilities in mathematics at highschool level (basics on integral- and differential calculus as well as vector analysis). Lectures in higher semesters resort to the higher mathematics tought in the scope of the studies.