Paolucci Publishes Textbook on Continuum Mechanics

Author: Nina Welding


Samuel Paolucci’s new book Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Matter offers a unified view of continuum mechanics for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. A professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and concurrent professor of applied and computational mathematics and statistics at the University of Notre Dame, Paolucci details a well-grounded mathematical structure — with emphasis on the roles that thermodynamics and symmetries play in the development of constitutive equations for different materials — while giving readers a glimpse of how the theory can be extended in a variety of directions. The book, published by Cambridge University Press in January 2016, also features 250 end-of-chapter exercises and six appendices, including a comprehensive discussion of the kinematics, dynamics, and balance laws applicable in Riemann spaces.

Paolucci’s research expertise is in the fields of laminar and turbulent natural and mixed convection flows, non-Boussinesq convection, hydrodynamic stability, nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos, fluid mechanics of multiphase flows and reacting flows, nanofluids, multiscale computational methods, and analytical and computational solutions of partial differential equations.

In addition to his contributions in the classroom, Paolucci serves as associate editor of the Journal of Fluids Engineering and co-director of the Center for Shock Wave-processing of Advanced Reactive Materials (C-SWARM). The center is a Single-Discipline Center of the National Nuclear Security Administration as part of the Predictive Science Academic Alliance program II agreement. Its mission is to predict shock conditions under which novel materials can be created.


A fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, and a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

He came to Notre Dame in 1989, having previously served as a member of the technical staff in the Applied Mechanics Department at Sandia National Laboratory and an assistant engineer at Trane-Thermal Company and Philco-Ford Corporation.

Paolucci received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in 1975 and his doctorate in theoretical and applied mechanics from Cornell University in 1979.

Originally published by Nina Welding at on April 11, 2016.