Last Updated S022019


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: Structures)

Duration: 1 year


Master of Engineering (Civil: Structures)

Duration: 2 years  

Year Level 1st
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr Medhat Boutros
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

  1. 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

  1. 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

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

Word length: 3000

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: 4000

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

Ghali, A.; Neville, A.M. and Brown, T.G.; “Structural Analysis: a unified classical and matrix approach” 7th edition; Taylor and Francis, 2017.

Recommended textbook(s)

  1. Timoshenko, S.P. and Goodier, J.N.; “Theory of Elasticity”; 3rd edition; McGraw-Hill Int., 1970.
  2. Timoshenko, S.P. and Woinowsky-Krieger, S; “Theory of Plates and Shells”; Dover Publications, 2012.
  3. Szilard, R; “Theories and Applications of Plate Analysis: Classical Numerical and Engineering Methods”; John Wiley and Sons, 2004.
  4. A variety of suitable texts are available in technical libraries and may be referred to during lectures where relevant.

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 - Plane Stress problems:

  • Constitutive relations: deformation and stresses;
  • Stress functions and differential formulations.


Topic 2 and 3

Plane stress distributions - Application and solution of plane stress functions for:

  • deep beams;
  • corbels;
  • thin-walled beams.


Topic 4 to 6

Torsion of thin-walled beams:

  • Shear flow in open and closed sections;
  • Warping deformation and torsional stiffness;
  • Non-uniform torsion of beams with torsional restraints;
  • Diaphragms;
  • Finite Element analysis.



Topic 7 and 8

Bending of thin plates:

  • Derivation of the differential equation of deformation for:
    • Circular isotropic plates with axi-symmetrical loading;
    • Rectangular isotropic plates with various edge conditions;
  • Rectangular orthotropic plates, ribbed plates and bridge decks;
  • Finite Element analysis.


Topic 9 to 12

Plastic Mechanisms:

  • Beams and Frames: load increments, moment redistribution and minimum energy;
  • Slabs: the yield line method analysis of isotropic and orthotropic slabs with various edge conditions