Theory of Mechanisms by John J. Uicker, Gordon R. Pennock and Joseph E. Shigley, 3rd Edition. Oxford Press, 2003

The scholarship of the late Joseph Shigley continues to influence mechanical design education almost a decade after his death in 1994 through the publication of new editions of his books Theory of Machines and Mechanisms (Oxford Press) with Profs. Uicker and Pennock, and his Mechanical Engineering Design (McGraw-Hill) with Prof. Mischke. The Theory of Machines and Mechanisms traces itself to the integration of Prof. Shigley’s Kinematic Analysis of Mechanisms and Dynamic Analysis of Machines into the single book Theory of Machines in 1961. John Uicker worked with Prof. Shigley on the 1995 second edition that included the analysis of spatial mechanisms and robots using vector formulations adapted for numerical computation. For this third edition, Gordon Pennock joins Prof. Uicker to provide an impressive new look to this classic text. The book is divided into three basic parts: kinematics and mechanisms, the design of mechanisms, and dynamics of machines. In the first part, the focus is on the analysis of mechanical movement, and I like the vector and matrix formulation that includes kinematic coefficients because it provides a convenient transition to the analysis of spatial mechanisms and robots. The graphical and complex vector approaches, which are well adapted to the study of planar mechanisms, are carefully presented as well. The second part is a survey of cams, gearing and linkages, and robot kinematics. The third part presents the force analysis, vibration and balancing of a range of machine systems including engines, flywheels, governors and gyroscopes. My primary concern with this book is that machine theory of the past necessarily focused on the velocity, acceleration and forces in a device at one particular configuration, while it is the value of these parameters throughout the movement that is of interest. Prof. Uicker’s Integrated Mechanisms Program (IMP), which dates back to 1964, was among the first software systems for machine simulation, and Prof. Pennock is a leading researcher in robot and spatial linkage analysis. I hope that their future editions move in the direction of showing students how to analyze and simulate the movement of machine systems using the computers that are available to most all engineers. In any case, this book provides an excellent presentation of machine theory with a depth and breadth that can find use in courses ranging from an undergraduate survey of machine theory to an advanced undergraduate or even graduate level course on machine kinematics and dynamics. Practicing engineers will find this book to be a valuable reference on the principles of machine theory.

University of California, Irvine