2020-2021 / MECA0001-2

Mechanics of materials


27h Th, 25h Pr, 2h Labo., 12h Proj.

Number of credits

 Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Architectural Engineering5 crédits 
 Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering5 crédits 


Jean-Pierre Jaspart

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Overview and structure of the course

  • Genaral equilibrium principles (identification of all external efforts acting on the studied body, concept of the cut and identification of the internal forces acting on both sides of the cut)
  • Notions of stresses and of plasticity surfaces (Mohr circle in in-plane stress field)
  • Material properties: link between the stresses and the deformations
  • Beam definition
  • Calculation of internal forces in a structure constituted of beams (MNT diagrams)
  • Calculation of internal forces in a truss
  • Security concepts
  • Study of the different internal forces in a beam section - how to pass from internal forces (MNT) to stresses (axial and shear stresses)
  • Deflections in structures made of beams
  • Concept of second order analysis and notions of elastic buckling of beams in compression

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course establishes a link between general courses of mathematics, physics and a particular field of the engineering: the mechanics of materials. It strides towards a double objective:

  • to teach the students how to make use of notions studied in these general courses in broaching a new subject, implying to "mix" these notions and to develop the aptitude of synthesis and application;
  • to give to the students the basics in Material Mechanics and to teach them how to apply these ones to some practical cases of beams.
For engineering students who shall specialize in civil engineering, architecture, mechanics, applied physics, this course will be of basic use for series of more specialized courses, such as mechanics of solids, theory of structures, knowledge of materials, ... It will enable them to integrate the notions of equilibrium and stress on the actual and unidimensional case of beams before studying applications requiring the use of full tensors in the course of Solid Mechanics.

For the others, this course is an education to scientific approach for engineers, while providing basic terminology that will be useful for discussions with specialists.
After the courses, the student should be able, for structures made of beams and for a given loading situation, to achieve the following tasks:
  • Draw the MNT diagrams in the structure
  • Achieve adequate cuts in the structure and evaluate the corresponding internal forces
  • From these internal forces, to calculate the stresses in the cross-section
  • Define whether or not the constitutive material may resist to the stresses
  • Define how this structure deforms
  • Define whether there is a risk of flexural buckling the the columns
  • Calculate the internal forces in a truss structure

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Course of « Physique Générale », of « Analyse Mathématique» and of « Algèbre »

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Classical organisation (excluding sanitary crisis)

  • Lectures are ex-cathedra courses. They are taught in French but the PowerPoint presentations are in English (2 hours per week). Time for questions is allowed especially after each lesson or during breaks.
  • Mandatory sessions for exercises (2 hours per week); the latter are solved, explained and commented by student-instructors. The active participation of students is hightly recommanded during exercises sessions. These exercises sessions are given in French.
  • Complementary exercises proposed to the students, for students to train themselves to solving exercises (in the specific exercise book of the course and in the specific booklet for the exercises. Final answers are given)
  • home-made assignments (compulsory): resolution of exercices representative of what the student should be able to do at the end of the course. Detailled corrections are provided at the end of the year.
  • 2 special sessions for questions and answers (optional). A team of students-instructors is in a classroom for 2 hours to answer the questions of the students. The schedule and classes for these sessions are provided via eCampus
  • A mandatory visit to the laboratory session (compulsory - 1 1/2 hour); some of the taught principles will be illustrated.
Special organization due to sanitary conditions (academic year 2020-2021)
  • The theoretical course will take place in the A300 auditorium of Building B7a.·         Each week, half of the registered students will attend this course face-to-face. The following week, the second half of the cohort will be affected.
  • Before the lessons, the educational materials (PPWT) will be put online via MyULiège.
  • At the end of each class, a podcast of the session will be made available to students who were unable to attend the face-to-face class. They will therefore be able to follow the course at distance.
  • As the holding of traditional "face-to-face" exercise sessions is difficult to envisage for organizational reasons, the so-called "reverse class" educational approach will therefore be followed (details provided via MyULiège).
  • Homework and laboratory visits remain compulsory (see above). 

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Classical organisation (excluding sanitary crisis)

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Compulsory participation in exercise sessions where application examples are handled by student monitors
Particular organisation for the academic year 2020-2021
  • See section here-above

Organisational adjustments related to the current health context

The present educational commitment lists the specific organisation conditions linked to the Coronavirus crisis.
More precisely, these conditions correspond to a so-called "YELLOW" level of the epidemic, in force at the start of the academic year.

If ULiège was forced to switch to the "ORANGE" code, all of the conditions described in the teaching commitment would still apply. The only difference would be that the theoretical courses could no longer be held in face-to-face, in view of the very limited gauges allowed in terms of the number of students in an auditorium, and all the students would then follow the theoretical lessons via podcasts.

Recommended or required readings


  • Photocopies of the book " "Mécanique des Matériaux » (S. Cescotto) (available by CdC, "Centrale des Cours")
  • The two first chapters of the book for the courses of "Mécanique du Solide" (/!\ the engineers-architects and the civil engineers in the Construction and Mechanics options, need the whole book of "Mécanique du Solide" taught in the second semester) (available by CdC, "Centrale des Cours")
  • The slides presented during the courses are made available on eCampus, as far as possible before the theoretical courses

  • Book of exercises (available by CdC, "Centrale des Cours")
  • The two first chapters of the book for the courses of "Mécanique du Solide" (/!\ the engineers-architects and the civil engineers in the Construction and Mechanics options, need the whole book of "Mécanique du Solide" taught in the second semester) (available by CdC, "Centrale des Cours")
  • A specific booklet containing the main theoretical aspects required to solve the exercises; it is made available on eCampus
  • A collection of solved exercises, available on eCampus

Assessment methods and criteria

  • Two homeworks (in French)
  • Written exam (in French): open questions on theory (1 hour) and solution of problems (3 hours)
Authorized tools during exams:

  • theory : none
  • exercises : all notes
The homeworks are inseparable from the teaching unit and considered mandatory. A student who has not finalised the homeworks within the prescribed deadlines or in the prescribed forms will not be allowed to present the examination. A "A" evaluation (absence) will be reported as a mark for the session.
Attendance at the second session exam is also subject to prior submission, around mid-August, of similar homeworks which will be provided to the concerned students after the first session exam.
In the first session the following distribution is classically applied:
- 15% for the homeworks
- 5% for the mandatory participation to exercices and lab sessions.
- 20% for the "theory" part of the exam (open questions)
- 60% for the "exercises" part of the exam
In the second session, the grade of the homeworks is no longer taken into account, except for the students who would not have submitted their assignments at proper time and date during the first semester.
In this pandemic year, no attendance note of 5% will be counted and the homeworks will have a value of 20%.
The organisation of the written exam (classically in an auditorium) could possibly be modified according to the sanitary situation during the January and August/September 2021 examination periods. An alternative is to organise a distance examination, under similar conditions than those described here-above (except that it will be at open books for theory also), via the eCampus platform.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

Courses and sessions of exercises (only courses in 2020-2021) are organised on the Sart-Tilman campus. Students are informed in case of an exception. All informations are communicated through eCampus. To have access, students should have validated their study program.
For the courses : Wednesday, from 08h00 to 10h15 with a break : auditorium A300 (building B7a, zone Agora) - few exceptions are planned (see timetable of the course on eCampus)
Information not of concern for 2020-2021 - For the sessions of exercises: Wednesday, from 10h30 to 12h30. The groups and classrooms for the sessions of exercises are given during the theoretical course - few exceptions are planned (see timetable of the course on eCampus)


  • Teacher: J.P. JASPART, Full Professor ; phone : 04 366 92 47 ; jean-pierre.jaspart@uliege.be
  • Possible substitute: either Laurent Duchêne, chargé de cours; (phone : 04/366 93 28; l.duchene@ulg.ac.be), or Anne-Marie Habraken, Directrice de Recherches au FNRS (phone: 04/366 94 30; Anne.Habraken@uliege.be)
  • Secretary: Laurence Defrère ; phone : 04 366 93 57
  • Assistants : Loris Saufnay; loris.saufnay@uliege.be (office:buildong B52, +1/538; tel: 04366 92 19) and Chantal Bouffioux ; Chantal.Bouffioux@uliege.be (office: building B52, +1/546; phone: 04366 92 19);
- The assistants are available to answer the questions of the students concerning the course and the organization of the latter. Do not hesitate to make an appointment by email to ask your questions - The assistants will as much as possible answer the questions sent by email, knowing that it is always better and easier to make an appointment and discuss orally of your questions
- The assistants will no longer answer questions concerning the course during the last 2 days before an exam or the submission of a report

  • Students-instructors:
Simon Dehareng (simon.dehareng@student.uliege.be)
Julien Jacquemin (julien.jacquemin@student.uliege.be)
Valentiny Damien (damien.valentiny@student.uliege.be)
Estelle Pitti (estelle.pitti@student.uliege.be)
Chloe Jeholet (chloe.jeholet@student.uliege.be)
Caroline Dejace (caroline.dejace@uliege.be)