I am a first-year mechanical engineering PhD at a Canadian university. I had by undergrad and a master's degree in materials engineering. My previous master's research was mostly experimental with some implementation of a mathematical model in Matlab and Fortran. All graduate courses were on programming or simple mathematical modeling or experimental analysis.
Now for the PhD degree, my research topic involves continuum mechanics, variational mechanics, and finite element analysis. There are no courses available in my university for the next two semesters. I had taken an "advanced" course last semester which had some continuum mechanics in it, but I found it fairly introductory.
My advisor says that in graduate school one must learn topics by oneself. And no one will look for these courses in the CV if one can publish papers using the methods.
I am starting to learn these from online courses and books. But I feel inadequate because of my poor undergraduate background in mathematics and these topics.
My PhD funding is for three years (can be extended to one more year). I need to start my research by the second year. I don't know what to do.
My advisor just points me towards relevant literature. I wonder if she has my best interests in mind.