3.054 | Spring 2015 | Undergraduate, Graduate

Cellular Solids: Structure, Properties and Applications

Instructor Insights

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 3.054 Cellular Solids: Structure, Properties and Applications as it was taught by Dr. Lorna Gibson in Spring 2014.

This course spotlights the structure and mechanical behavior of honeycombs and foams; students apply models for the behavior of cellular solids to applications in engineering and medicine and to natural materials.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

  • Learn about the structure of cellular materials and to understand how that structure can be related to mechanical or thermal properties of the materials.
  • Gain an appreciation of the broad range of cellular materials, and how similar principles can be applied to all of these materials.

Possibilities for Further Study/Careers

Academic and industry careers, including biomedical engineering, orthopedics, osteoporosis, orthopedic materials, and materials for engineering applications.

Instructor Interview


In the following short videos, Professor Lorna Gibson describes various aspects of how she taught 3.054 Cellular Solids.

Curriculum Information


3.032 Mechanical Behavior of Materials

Requirements Satisfied


Offered every spring.


The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 10% Problem sets (5)
  • 30% Project
  • 60% Tests (2)

Student Information


17 students

Breakdown by Year

Undergraduates (mostly juniors or seniors), and graduate students.

Breakdown by Major

Mainly material science and engineering students.

Typical Student Background

Students must have taken a course in solid mechanics or mechanical behavior of material in order to be able to follow the derivations and understand what goes on in this course.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

  • Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session; 25 sessions total.
  • Mostly lecture.

Out of Class

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2015
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples
Lecture Videos
Other Video
Course Introduction
Instructor Insights