SMC Training Classes
Introductory to advanced level training is available on various subjects.
Classes can be taught at your facility, at our training center in Redondo Beach, one-on-one in person, or virtually using WebEx.
Contact us if you have a specific course you would like developed, have special requests, comments, or questions.
All Structural Mechanics Corporation training classes are taught to allow the immediate implementation of these ideas in practical design and manufacturing environments. Theory is described at a high level to allow the student to understand the origin of the concepts without being burdened by tedious derivations or unnecessarily complicated math. The implementation of engineering concepts is the end goal of each course. Best practices are described by teachers who have had to sign drawings, release parts, and sign MRB requests. These courses are meant to fill in the gaps often left by traditional academic engineering courses and software training classes.
“You guys reek of competence.” – Tom Brand, Senior Technical Fellow of Lockheed Martin Mission Services
“Tom gave a spectacular presentation to the Aerospace & Defense Forum in February on design and fabrication capabilities provided by composites.” - Ivan Rosenberg, Ph.D., President of Frontier Associates
“Tom Ochinero is one of those rare engaging engineers who can take complex rocket science and make it applicable and exciting. His company is doing incredible cutting-edge projects, which Tom brings down to earth with his accessible approach. It makes you want to be a rocket scientist too.” – Abigail Walsh, CEO of True Compliance Group
“Dr. Ochinero gave an excellent presentation on composite structures and additive machining to the Aerospace and Defense Forum in Los Angeles as they relate to aerospace applications. Tom concisely articulated a highly technical subject to a mostly non-technical audience.” – Robert Jacobson, Managing Partner of Desert Sky Holdings
Available Classes and Descriptions
Finite Element Methods
FEM theory crash course
This course will provide the high level theoretical background behind displacement based finite element codes for the production stress engineer or designer. It is intended to familiarize the typical FEM user with what is happening behind the black box and highlight the common mistakes responsible for most modeling errors.
How to report FEM based stress singularities
This course describes the common causes of stress singularities in finite element models and engineering approaches to justify ignoring the numerical results that show parts of the model above the yield or ultimate strength of the material. Engineering approaches including net section analysis, Neuber’s method, non-linear analysis, detailed bolted joint, and fitting analysis will be described with real world examples.
Building system level FEM models
This course will describe in detail recommended approaches to building models meant to connect large systems together such as spacecraft, rockets, aircraft, or detailed electronic enclosures and their components. Recommended practices for connecting the interfacing components, modeling major subsystems, post processing results, and specific modeling practices such as number conventions will be illustrated with real world examples.
Buckling and stability analysis in FEM
This course will describe the use of finite element modeling to predict both linear and non-linear buckling and structural instability. The focus will be on modeling details to properly capture the physics of the actual configurations and how modeling approaches influence the ability to correlate accurately with test data. Column, column in column, thin shell, monolithic structures, and composites will be covered with real world examples from aerospace.
Nastran Centric Modeling
This course will focus on the use of Nastran to create engineering models. Common approaches to typical engineering details will be described with the intent of having flexible, scalable, and well documented models. Recommended modeling practices, model checks, and results processing will be detailed with real world examples.
This course will provide recommendations for the responsible reporting of finite element model results. Topics will include fringe range and colors, text size, file formats, background colors, labels, number of views, ability to exactly repeat output, tabular outputs, max-min reporting, nodal and elemental averaging, displacement plotting, modes plotting, and transient and random results.
Bolted Joint Analysis
This course will focus on the design and analysis of bolted joints. Both classical hand calculations and finite element based approaches will be described and compared. Practical subjects such as vibration loosening, preload determination and variation, anti-rotation features, and inserts will be discussed with industry standard recommendations for successful implementation.
Plastic Bending and Ultimate Analysis
This course will review the concepts of plastic bending and plastic torsion and their application in determining ultimate strength capability. The integration of these concepts with linear finite element modeling and load interaction failure criteria will be covered with real world examples and software tools in both Mathcad and Excel/VBA.
Aerospace Casting Analysis and Design
The design and analysis of castings for aerospace applications will be covered in detail. Lessons learned and recommendations for the successful design of light weight, highly stressed components will be described. Casting factors, FAA requirements, and non-destructive testing methods, fatigue, material properties, and modeling methods will be covered.
Material Selection for Aerospace Applications
A review of typical aerospace metallic materials will be covered with emphasis on proper selection for application, availability, manufacturing, and strength. Material allowables and acceptable material data sources will be described and supplied to the student. Topics covered will include corrosion, high temperature applications, coatings, material compatibility, thermal mismatches, fatigue, fracture mechanics, and stress corrosion cracking.
Natural Frequency Identification
This course will be a practical guide to the use of natural frequency prediction and computation to gain an intuitive understanding of the structure being analyzed. Both classical and finite element based approaches to frequency determination will be covered with the emphasis on understanding the driving factors of dynamic response. Kinetic energy, strain energy, and modal effective mass will be described through the use of real world engineering examples.
This course will cover the topic of random vibration in engineering structures and how to predict responses to arbitrary random inputs. Random vibration power spectral density (PSD) inputs will be described with common inputs for various aerospace applications. The computation of rms and positive crossings will be described with related software tools to aid in the use of numerical results to compute fatigue life, maximum expected responses, and electronic component life.
The details of pyro shock input and response will be covered with the aerospace designer and analyst in mind. Typical shock inputs for military and space applications will be covered and described. Typical design approaches and isolation methods will be described in addition to the state-of-the-art analysis approaches in use today.
Fatigue and Damage Tolerance (DaDT)
This course will cover the use of stress-life and strain-life approaches to both low cycle and high cycle fatigue in aerospace applications. The Boeing Detail Fatigue Rating (DFR) method will be described in detail for use by Boeing suppliers and vendors. Material data and allowable will be described in addition to the statistics behind fatigue analysis and life testing to validate the design. Stress concentration determination and finite element methods will be described with real world engineering applications in aerospace.
This course will provide as an introduction into DaDT analysis with emphasis on principals behind the use of software tools such as Nasgro and AFGROW. Load cycle determination and cycle counting will be covered with supplied software tools. The use of finite element modeling and integrating the FEM output into the DaDT analysis will be covered in detail with recommended methods for both modeling and post processing.
Introduction to Composites
This course will provide an introduction to composite design and analysis. Topics will include the practical use of laminated plate theory to design layups, material selections, composite specific failure modes, composite joint designs, sandwich panels, and lessons learned from years of expensive mistakes.
Advanced Composite Topics
This course will provide answers and solutions to advanced composites topics including ply drop off analysis, fatigue of composites, damage tolerance, bonded joints, woven products, orthotropic stress concentrations, potted inserts, and manufacturing related defects such as porosity, wrinkles, and ply mis-orientation.
Sandwich Panel Design
This course will provide an introduction into sandwich panel design and recommended practices. All sandwich failure modes will be discussed and their analysis methods described. Both edge inserts and potted inserts will be described. Material properties, CTE determination, and thermal distortion analysis considerations will be covered.
This course will cover the most complicated part of composite design. Typical composite joint details will be described with the related design considerations and analysis methods used to validate the design. Joint types covered will include bolted joints, bonded joints, inserts, fittings, clips, and co-cured parts.
This course will focus on the review of topological optimization output. The setup of topological optimization models will be discussed to provide sufficient output to review. The interpretation of model output with be covered to allow the analyst to make rational engineering recommendations to design or set up a traditional optimization problem.
This course will describe the basics of structural optimization with the focus on multi variable optimization methods. Both classic and finite element methods will be discussed with a focus on Nastran solution 200 optimization of structural models. Real world applications will be solved with templates that will allow easy implementation to the unique problems of the clients.
An introduction to monte-carlo simulation for optimization based in Nastran.
Effective Communication – Email
Email is the greatest company sanctioned time waster in the world. This course will cover how to manage your email so you can focus on your other business priorities. Topics will include effective use of the subject line, footers, when to check email, email program settings, how to manage email in project groups, organization systems for email archive and retrieval, email etiquette, and how to write effective emails.
Effective Communication – Voice Mail
This course will focus on how to leave effective voicemail. The cost of ineffective communication is extracted in delayed responses, slipped deadlines, and unnecessary overtime. The principles of effective voicemail will be highlighted and practiced in real world situations. Voice mail greetings, vacation greetings, checking your voicemail, and cell phone etiquette will be covered.
Effective Communication – Technical Report Writing
This course will provide Microsoft word templates with examples of various technical reports and how to write them in a team environment. Emphasis will be placed on working with multiple authors across many computers and how to integrate edits and revisions while maintaining cross references and captions. Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) and pyramid principle authoring styles will be explained and promoted. Effective use of pictures, graphics, and charts will be covered with examples of recommended ways to describe most data commonly reported.
This course will cover annual goal setting and how to set realistic goals for your employees and yourself. The emphasis is on career development and meeting the needs of a constantly evolving workforce and business climate.
Simplified Project Management
The principles of project management for newly minted IPTL’s or project managers will be taught with an emphasis on getting things done instead of theory or software. This course is best for those new to project management who are managing teams of approximately 10 or less and budgets of less than $5M. Topics will include how to determine tasks and assign them, how to assign and manage deadlines, team selection, feedback, and the power of online based self reporting.
How to Hire Good Engineers
This course will provide actionable guidance to hiring managers on how to select the best candidates from the labor pool. There will be an emphasis on ensuring technical competence while ensuring that there is a good personality fit with your corporate culture. Technical questions and styles will be provided for various engineering fields.
This course will provide guidance on the conversion of commercial off the shelf (COTS) parts to military and space rated ruggedization. Lessons learned and best practices guidelines will be provided to the engineer responsible for designing robust systems or retrofitting existing hardware. Failure modes and analysis techniques to determine hardware acceptance will be covered.
Margins of Safety, Factors of Safety, and Design Factors
This course will provide an overview of all the factors that go into a typical structural or system level analysis. The history of common aerospace and specification based safety factors will be reviewed with recommended data for newly designed systems. Topics covered will include the origin of the ultimate factor of safety of 1.5 in aircraft, gust factors, yield factors, buckling factors, casting factors, fitting factors, pressure vessel factors, man rated factors, NASA approved factors, and more.
The SMC computing environment (how to get your job done despite IT)
This course will provide an introduction into the SMC computing environment. This environment is based on open source and inexpensive software to augment the typical computing environment supplied by corporate IT. This layer of non-administrator required software gives almost unlimited ability to add functionality and increase effectiveness. Topics will include: Cygwin, text editing, perl and python scripts, software substitutes, image manipulation and processing, format conversions, iso creation, virtual machines, web capture, pdf creation and manipulation, and more. The student will receive a CD of all the software illustrated in the course.
Accelerate Your Career
This course will discuss the pros and cons of contract employment. Designed for technical & business professionals interested in contracting jobs and careers. Honest assessment of income potential & maximizing your rate, preparing contract resumes, how to excel in phone and job interviews, dealing with recruiters.
Perl for Structural Analysts
This course will provide an introduction to the use of PERL for parsing engineering data. The emphasis will be on output files of various engineering programs including Nastran, Ansys, Femap, and Patran. Perl is an open source, multi-platform scripting language designed for the rapid parsing of arbitrary text files. The course will be focused exclusively on solving practical problems with lots of example code and interaction with students.
This course will focus on how to use Mathcad effectively to support engineering reports and verify VBA, perl, matlab, and other software is coded properly. Introductions into the Mathcad handbooks will be presented with many SMC examples of real world problems, unique solutions, multi-variable optimization, and instructional displays of engineering principals.
This course will focus on the practical implementation of VBA for engineering applications. An emphasis on function creation and subroutines will be presented for processing large amounts of engineering data. Real world examples and lots of coding examples will be reviewed and shared with the students.