BENG 110 Biomechanics

Fall Quarter, 2014

Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00 am - 12:20 pm, WLH Room 2111
October 2nd - December 11th, 2014

We will use the UCSD Ted system to distribute grades and conduct online forums. Use your ACS username and password to access TED.

Course Objectives

The concepts, notations, theories and applications of continuum mechanics to engineering problems in general and to biomechanics problems in particular will be covered. Key concepts include tensors and tensor notations, kinematics, the stress, strain and strain-rate tensors, constitutive models for stress in solid and fluid continua and the field equations for conservation of mass, momentum and energy in continua. Theoretical problem-solving and the role of engineering design will be emphasized with weekly homework assignments posted at this website. Click here for the complete lecture schedule. BENG 110 is a required prerequisite for BENG 112A and BENG 112B Biomechanics, and where problems in biomechanics are frequently used as motivation in this course.

Course Format

In a break from the traditional format, this course will be "flipped". Lectures will be streamed online and students will be responsible for reviewing lectures before class. Students will be quizzed during each class. Clickers, available from the UCSD Bookstore, will be required to answer quizzes. Any i>clicker physical device is allowable, but not i>clicker GO apps, which are not yet supported by UCSD. You may not share a clicker with another student enrolled in this course. Your i>clicker must be registered in Ted. i>clickers that you purchased for BENG 1 or used i>clickers will work. The idea of using video streaming of electronic whiteboard lectures and i>clicker surveys is to allow more time in class to identify, explain and discuss those topics that are most conceptually difficult. Continuum mechanics involves new theoretical and physical concepts that take some time to digest and understand. Discussion and problem solving are more effective use of limited class time. I will use introductory questions to assess your understanding of key concepts from lectures and completed homeworks. We will then explain and discuss those concepts that are least well understood. This should also allow time during classes for us to make a start on homework assignments so that the total time spent outside class is not increased.


Dr. Andrew McCulloch, Professor of Bioengineering and Medicine
email: <amcculloch AT ucsd DOT edu>
Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall, room 231
Office Hours: by appointment

Graduate Student Instructors

Kim McCabe, Bioengineering graduate student, email: <AT ucsd DOT edu>
Will Valdez, Bioengineering graduate student, email: <AT ucsd DOT edu>





Graduate Student Instructor


10:00 - 10:50 am


Kim McCabe


11:00 - 11:50 am


Will Valdez


No textbook is required or recommended for this course. Lecture notes will suffice. However, Humphrey and Delange is required for BENG 112A and BENG 112B and has useful background material. There are many continuum mechanics textbooks that are very similar. The main differences are in notations and problem sets. Fung's book has many exercises and problems. Spencer has few problems but uses the same notations that will be used in class. Used copies of these books are often available.

  • JD Humphrey and SL Delange, An Introduction to Biomechanics: Solids and Fluids, Analysis and Design, Springer-Verlag, 2004

  • YC Fung, A First Course in Continuum Mechanics, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall, 1994

  • AJM Spencer, Continuum Mechanics, Longman, 1980 (Out of Print but used copies might be available)


To render equations in slideshow files properly, you may need the correct Upload new attachment "". Otherwise you can download the PDF printable version.


Computer and network access may be needed for assignments in this course. All UCSD engineering students are eligible for computer accounts through Academic Computing Services. You can see what kind of account you have on-line using the Account Lookup Tool at It will also show you what class allocations you have for OCE compatible classes in your major. If you do not already have an account with UCSD, you can register for one from the web site. If you do not have one for Engineering, but you are an Engineering major, you can upgrade your current account to an OCE account.

Computing labs are available throughout the campus including room 161 in Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall. For assistance with UCSD instructional computing facilities, do not come to the instructor or TAs as they are not managed by departmental personnel. You can email questions to . Student "Zebra" consultants are available to help in ACS labs on weekdays and evenings.


Homework and design assignments


Clicker quizzes (3 points for answering questions, five for correct answers; worst two session scores dropped)


Final Examination (closed book and notes)


Grading Policy

Every effort will be made to accept homework assignments that are handed in a little late. However, all late homework, whether an extension was approved or not, may be subject to a late penalty at the sole discretion of the grader. We cannot guarantee that late assignments will be returned on time, and they may not be eligible for regrading. Homeworks received after worked solutions have been handed out will receive no credit. Regrades: In fairness to all students, work is only regraded when there is evidence of grading error. We reserve the right to regrade an entire piece of work.

Late Homework Policy

Although we attempt to accept late homework, assignments submitted after the beginning of class on the day the homework is due, and the TA has left (so ~11:05am), will only receive credit for 80% of the total score. Homework received after the start of the tutorial section on the following day will be graded out of a maximum of 60%. This total will continue to reduce by 20% each day at the time of the start of class or section for that weekday. (There is normally a class or section on every week day). After solutions or design grading summaries are posted, late homework will not be accepted. A doctor's note or other written explanation will be required for exceptions to this policy.

Integrity of Scholarship

The Department of Bioengineering adheres to the UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship. This Policy states that "Students are expected to complete the course in compliance with the instructor's standards. No student shall engage in any activity that involves attempting to receive a grade by means other than honest effort ..." The full descriptions of these polices, as well as others regarding acceptable behavior are given in the Student Code of Conduct at The regulations on exams, grading and integrity of scholarship are also in the General Catalog at Helpful resources on understanding and complying with these regulations can be found at:

Students are not discouraged from discussing homework assignments among themselves or engaging in group study. However, individual homework assignments must be the sole work of the submitting student. Specific guidance will be given in the case of group projects. When submitted coursework incorporates material authored by a third party, the source should always be attributed according to the accepted standards of scholarly endeavor. Material taken from the internet or other forms of electronic media are subject to the same requirements of attribution applicable to printed reference sources or materials. Work suspected of being tainted by plagiarism will receive no credit. All cases of suspected academic dishonesty including collaboration, plagiarism and cheating as defined by UCSD regulations will be referred to the UCSD Academic Integrity Coordinator.

In cases of suspected academic dishonesty including cheating in an examination or altering graded work and resubmitting it, the student will be handed a copy of the student conduct code, and the case will be referred to the appropriate dean. The academic penalty for serious academic dishonesty will generally be a grade of F.

Department Seminars (BENG 281)

Fridays 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the Y-C Fung Auditorium. The schedule of speakers is posted on the Bioengineering Department web pages.