A flagpole is mounted to the ground and an eagle is sitting on top with wind causing the pole to sway back and forth. Describe ways to reduce the amount of motion in the flagpole

Don’t be stumped when you have questions that seem out of the blue! Companies often like to disguise beam bending questions in the form of an application or hypothetical situation.

This is a classic beam deflection question. Think of the general form equation:

Deflection = \frac{PL}{EI}

By looking at the equation:

  1. Reduce the load (w), move the load closer to support of cantilever beam if it’s a point load, distribute the load more if distributed load
  2. Decrease the length L
  3. Increase the stiffness EI factor
  • Increase modulus of elasticity and moment of inertia
  • Increase the section size/depth if steel and with most materials