Student review: Mechanics of Materials

November 8, 2012

Author: Russell C. Hibbeler

Edition: Eighth (in SI units)

Publisher: Pearson Education

Pages: 920

Price: £49.97

ISBN: 9789810690137

This is a book that should be on every university's recommended reading list for mechanics modules. It contains a multitude of problems and easy-to-follow solutions intended to lead readers to a perfect understanding of the subject. It would be great for someone in the first or second year of any engineering degree, and an essential textbook for any student who is new to the topic. The mechanics of engineering is a subject where practice is essential, and this book provides a huge amount of help for independent study.

In terms of presentation, the text is divided into easily digestible sections. Each starts with an introduction to its chosen subject, including the theory behind the equations that will be used and the techniques for solving the problems presented. This is followed by an example section containing mock questions, with each of them completed and fully explained step by step. These are then followed by practice questions that start relatively simply and gradually become much more complex. The problems presented are generally diverse, with real-life applications that should give students the confidence to tackle any problem. The answers to each are found in the back of the book, and step-by-step solutions can be found online.

A companion website is possibly the most useful part of the package for anyone who is struggling to visualise theories or wants step-by-step guidance on problems. The site contains answers to the questions supplied in video format with an informative voiceover. Each video explains the problem and the logic needed to solve it, and it can be paused and played to suit.

The website also offers interactive animations that explain shear and moment diagrams particularly well, and that will help any student to solve these with ease. Each animation pauses at each step of the explanation and students can click through at their own pace. A secondary online programme, "Mastering engineering", allows tutors to assign problems to students and provide feedback.

Mechanics of Materials would make any mechanics exam much less daunting, especially given the combination of online tutorials and animations alongside the problems posed in the text. A must-have for any students who have doubts about their preparedness.

Who is it for? First- and second-year engineering students.

Presentation: Built around problems and solutions.

Would you recommend it? Yes, definitely.

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