Last Updated S022020


Unit Name Advanced Structural Engineering Methods Part 1
Unit Code MCS505
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Civil: Structural)

Duration: 1 year


Master of Engineering (Civil: Structural)

Duration: 2 years  

Year Level 1st
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr Medhat Boutros & Dr Subhra Majhi / Dr. Milind Siddhpura
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites MCS502 - Structural Analysis
Credit Points


Grad Dip total course credit points = 24

(3 credits x 8 (units))


Masters total course credit points = 48

(3 credits x 12 (units) + 12 credits (Thesis))

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

10 hours per week:

Lecture - 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours

Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

This unit deals with advanced topics in mechanics of materials. The constitutive relations of elastic media are introduced and applied to analyse plane-stress problems: deep beams, corbels and torsion of thin-walled beams.  Then, the deformations of beams in torsion are elaborated including uniform torsion, stresses and deformations due to warping, non-uniform torsion and the effects of diaphragms on the deformation of closed sections. 

Bending, twisting and deflections of thin flat plates is studied and applied to deduce the differential equation of plate bending.  Elastic plates and slabs are analysed by analytical and numerical techniques.

Plastic mechanisms are studied to determine ultimate load capacity of continuous beams, frames and isotropic and orthotropic slabs.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Formulate plane-stress structural cases and apply this knowledge to analyse 2D structures.
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  2. Determine the different modes of torsional deformation and the corresponding stress distributions and apply this knowledge to analyse open and closed sections with different deformation conditions.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  3. Formulate the Differential Equation of bending of thin plates to analyse elastic plates:
    1. Rectangular and circular isotropic plates.
    2. Bridge decks.
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  4. Evaluate structures using plastic methods. Determine ultimate loading and plastic mechanisms by incremental and / or energy methods for cases of:
    1. Beams using incremental and energy methods;
    2. Frames using energy methods;
    3. Slabs using the yield line energy method.
    • Bloom’s Level 5

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic)

Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed

(eg Week 5)

Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test (Proctored) / Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation

Example Topic: Up to topic 3

After Topic 3 15% 1

Assessment 2

Type: Proctored test / Report / Research / Paper / Case Study / Site Visit / Problem analysis / Project / Professional recommendation

Example: Short/Long answers and Problems to solve

Topic: Up to topic 6

Example Topic: Analyse 2D plane stress in a problem set for cases of:

   . plates with in-plane loading;

   . deep beams;

   . thin-walled webs of beams;

   . corbels

After Topic 6 25% 2

Assessment 3

Type: Practical assessments, Remote labs, Simulation software or Case studies, Project Report.

Word length: 2000 (approx.)

Example Topics: Determine deformations and stresses in thin-walled beams subjected to torsional actions in a problem set including:

    . Open and closed sections;

    . Beams with a variety of supports;

    . Finite Element application.

After Topic 9 25% 1-4

Assessment 4

Type: Project Report

Word length: 3000 (approx.)

Example Topic: Analyse plates and bridge decks in a problem set including:

   .  Circular plates subjected to symmetrical loads;

   .  Flat rectangular thin plates using analytical and numerical procedures;

   .  Finite Element analysis.

Example Topic: Perform plastic analysis and determine the ultimate loading for:

 . beams by incremental and energy methods;

 . frames by energy methods;

 . slabs by the yield line method;

in a problem set.

After Topic 12 30% 1-4

Tutorial Attendance & Participation

Continuous 5% 1 - 4


Prescribed and Recommended readings

Prescribed textbook

  1. Russell C. Hibbeler, “Structural Analysis”; 8th Edition, ISBN-13: 9780132570534, University of Louisiana, Lafayette,2012
  2. Weaver, William, and James M. Gere. Matrix analysis framed structures. Springer science & business media, 2012.

References textbook(s)

  1. Ghali, A.; Neville, A.M. and Brown, T.G.; “Structural Analysis: a unified classical and matrix approach” 7th edition; Taylor and Francis, 2017.
  2. Timoshenko, S.P. and Goodier, J.N.; “Theory of Elasticity”; 3rd edition; McGraw-Hill Int., 1970.
  3. Timoshenko, S.P. and Woinowsky-Krieger, S; “Theory of Plates and Shells”; Dover Publications, 2012.

Reference Materials

Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites as advised below (and during lectures);

  1. National and international technical journals.
  2. Specific material to be advised during the lectures.

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

Introduction to Elasticity

  • Deformation and stresses
  • Constitutive relations
  • Normal and principal stresses
  • Shear and Torsional Stresses

Topic 2

Analysis of Beams and slabs – Part 1

  • Development of mathematical formulation: Beam truss and plates 
  • Structural elements, joints and supports, stability, static and kinematic indeterminacy);

Topic 3

Analysis of Beams and slabs – Part 2

  • Plastic analysis

Topic 4 

Analysis of Beams and slabs – Part 3

  • Yield Line theory: the yield line method analysis of slabs.

Topic 5

Analysis of Structures: Towards a computer-based analysis – Part 1

  • Introduction to flexibility method

Topic 6

Analysis of Structures: Towards a computer-based analysis – Part 2

  • Introduction to stiffness method
  • Non-linear analysis

Topic 7

Analysis of Structures: Towards a computer-based analysis – Part 3

  • Non-linear analysis

Topic 8

Introduction to Matrix Algebra

  • Basics of matrix algebra for structural analysis: solution of linear simultaneous equations

Topic 9

Computer programming for structural analysis

  • Development of Stiffness matrix for a Beams, Trusses and Frames

Topic 10

Computer programming for structural analysis

  • Solution of Multiple degree of freedom structures: Beams, Trusses and Frames 

Topic 11

Finite Elements – Part 1

  • 1-D truss and Beam elements

Topic 12

Finite Elements – Part 2

  • 2-D Elements formulation
  • Introduction to 3-D elements
  • Review/Revision of previous topics (if needed)

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency
1. Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3. Professional and Personal Attributes
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanor.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self and professional conduct.
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: N/A

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


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