Welcome to ME036004 - Introduction to Fracture Mechanics


Over the years Fracture mechanics ha evolved from a theoretical framework to a practical approach for design and reliability assessment. The aim of this introductory class is to present the basic concepts of fracture mechanics for undergraduate & graduate students, which are interested in broadening their understanding of design principles originating from solid mechanics and materials science. We will start by laying the required foundations for understanding Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics and the concept of Small Scale Yielding . Building upon these foundations, the role of a material’s microstructure on its ability to resist crack growth will be discussed. Next, we will discover how the concepts learned so far relate to the phenomena of Fatigue which in turn accounts for ~25% of structural failure in engineering components and more than 50% of failures in aircraft components 1.

Reading Materials

  • Links within the lecture notes and Moodle course website.

  • Anderson, T.L., 2017. Fracture mechanics: fundamentals and applications. CRC press.

  • Dharan, C.K.H. and Kang, B.S., 2016. Finnie’s Notes on Fracture Mechanics.

  • François, D., Pineau, A. and Zaoui, A., 2012. Mechanical behaviour of materials: volume ii: fracture mechanics and damage (Vol. 191). Springer Science & Business Media.


Course email: ME036004@gmail.com.

Lecture notes: Course Website.

Announcments: Moodle course website.

Reception hours: Wednesday 12:45 to 13:35

Assignments and grading

The final grade will be combined of 30% homework assignments, 15% project proposal (5-10 minutes presentation), 60% project evaluation (oral presentation + written report).

Homework assignments

A total of 3 assignments will be given during the semester. All homework assignments are to be submitted in order to pass the course.

HW1 - 5%(+3%);   HW2 - 8%(+3%);   HW3(+3%) - 8%  

The HWs will be published two weeks before the submission date.

The HW grading is binary and the HWs will be peer-reviewed. A week after each submission deadline, each group will present a short review of another group’s submitted assignment.

Course project

The projects can be of computational, theoretical or experimental nature.

At week 8 of the semester each student/group (up to 2 students) will present their project while emphasizing:

  • The theoretical background of the project.

  • The problem to be solved.

  • The solution approach.

  • What will be considered as a success of the project.

Important dates



Submision Format





HW1 review

Oral presentation





HW2 review

Oral presentation


Project proposal

Oral presentation





HW3 review

Oral presentation


Project presentation

Oral presentation


Project report


Table of Contents

Experimental Methods in Fracture Mechanics

Computational Methods in Fracture Mechanics

Home Assignments


Why aircraft fail. Materialstoday, Vol. 5 p.18-25, 2002.