• Ph.D., Purdue University, 1976
  • M.S., Purdue University, 1972
  • B.S., National Technical University, Athens, Greece, 1970

Research Areas and Descriptors


Dr. Papastavridis began at Tech in 1979 as an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Sciences and Mechanics; he transferred to the School of Mechanical Engineering in Winter 1987. Prior, he was a Research Engineer at the Association of American Railroads and at American Steel Foundries.


Dr. Papastavridis is interested in analytical and structural dynamics, vibrations and stability, and mathematical methods in engineering. His current research includes the analytical dynamics of nonlinear nonholonomic systems. This study is a long-range investigation into the foundations of analytical dynamics and the subsequent formulation of equations of motion of mechanical systems subjected to the most general nonlinear nonholonomic (that is, nonintegrable) constraints in their positions, velocities, time, and even accelerations, including variable mass. Since conventional nonholonomic mechanics deals with linear nonintegrable constraints of the nonlinear type, one of the objectives of this research is to formulate general concepts and methods that lead to equations of motion under constraints of the noncontact type. In addition, the research includes the formulation of both differential and integral variational principles and their use in the derivation of conservation and invariance theorems.

Another research area is variational and energy methods in dynamics. This fundamental research aims at developing exact and approximate methods and criteria for the determination of periodic and nonperiodic motions of general several-degrees-offreedom nonconservative and/or nonlinear mechanical systems; and the testing of these motions for stability and instability. This area draws heavily on the integral variational principles of analytical mechanics (Lagrange, Hamilton, and others) and on the so-called "direct" methods of the calculus of variations. A considerable amount of theoretical work has already been completed and successfully applied to particular problems.


  • Sigma Xi (Georgia Tech Chapter)
    • Faculty Best Paper Award, 1988
    • Junior Faculty Award in Engineering, 1983
  • American Association of Publishers Annual Award for Outstanding Professional and Scholarly Titles of 2002 for Analytical Mechanics (Engineering Category), 2003
  • Midwestern Mechanics Seminar Tours Invited Speaker, 1993-1994
  • Licensed Civil Engineer in Greece

Representative Publications

  • John G. Papastavridis. 2002. Analytical Mechanics: Advanced Treatise. Oxford University Press, New York.
  • J. G. Papastavridis. 1998. A Panoramic Overview of the Principles and Equations of Motion of Advanced Engineering Dynamics. Applied Mechanics Review 51, 239-265.
  • J. G. Papastavridis. 1998. Tensor Calculus and Analytical Dynamics. CRC Press, Inc., New York.
  • J. G. Papastavridis. 1997. Time Integral Variational Principles for Nonlinear Nonholonomic Systems. Journal of Applied Mechanics 64, 985-991.
  • J. G. Papastavridis. 1995. Discussion of 'On the Geometry of Nonholonomic Dynamics,' by H. Essn. Journal of Applied Mechanics 62(2), 552.