Last Updated S012021


Unit Name Advanced Structural Engineering Methods Part 2
Unit Code MCS602
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Master of Engineering (Civil: Structural)

Duration: 2 years

Year Level 2nd
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr Medhat Boutros & Dr Ahmad Firouzianhaji / Dr. Milind Siddhpura 


Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites MCS505 - Advanced Structural Engineering Methods Part 1
Credit Points



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 – 1 hour

Practical / Lab – 1 hour (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended – 7 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

This unit introduces and applies the concepts of (material and geometric) non-linear static behaviour of structural components and complex structures; such as beams, cables, roofs and frames.
The study extends the concept of stability which is applied to skeletal, plate and shell structures.
The use and capability of commercial Finite Element software is investigated and applied in non-linear and stability analysis.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Make judgements and apply geometric and material non-linearity.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  2. Evaluate non-linear geometrical static analysis of :
    1. line structural components (e.g., cables and arches);
    2. shell roof structures (e.g., vaults and domes);
    3. multi-storey frames including P-Δ
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  3. Determine stability analysis of:
    1. Frames;
    2. Plates and shells.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  4. Plan non-linear static and stability analysis using Finite Element software.
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  5. Optimise practical cases involving stability and non-linear structural behaviour.
    • Bloom’s Level 5

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(eg 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)

Example Topic: Up to topic 3

After Topic 3 15% 1, 2

Assessment 2

Type: Proctored test

Example: Short / Long answers and Problems to solve from topics 1-6

After Topic 6 25% 1-3

Assessment 3

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

Example Topic: Analysis a problem set on cables, arches, vaults and domes.


Example Topics: Analyze a problem set on frames (P-Δ effect) and curved beams.

After Topic 9 25% 1 - 5

Assessment 4

Type: Project Report

Word length: 4000

Example Topic: Critical investigation of:

  1. commercial software application to non-linear and stability analysis.

a case study of a structural actual or potential failure.

After Topic 12 30% 1 - 5

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Continuous 5% 1 - 5

Prescribed and Recommended readings

Required textbook

  1. Yoo. C. H., Lee. S. C. (2011) “STABILITY OF STRUCTURES Principles and Applications”, Elsevier
  2. Karnovsky, I. and Lebed, O.; “Advanced Methods of Structural Analysis”; Springer, 2021.

Recommended textbook(s)

  2. Chen and Lui (1987), "Structural Stability: Theory and implementation", Prentice-Hall.
  3. Galambos and Surovek (2008), "Structural Stability of Steel: Concepts and applications for structural engineers", Wiley.
  4. Timoshenko, S.P. and Gere, J.M.; “Theory of Elastic Stability”; 2ndedition, Dover Ed., 2009.

Reference Materials

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

  1. Resources from the American Institute of Steel Construction website ( )
  2. Other 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 stability of structures

  1. Introduction
  2. Types of Instability
  3. Methods of Stability Analysis

Topic 2

Elastic Buckling of Columns

  1. Introduction
  2. Buckling of elastic columns

Topic 3

Inelastic Buckling of Columns

  1. Tangent Modulus Theory
  2. Double Modulus Theory

Topic 4

Buckling of Beam - Columns

  1. Beam-Column with Uniformly Distributed Lateral Load
  2. Moment Amplification Factors

Topic 5

Frame Stability

  1. Differential Equation Method
  2. Application of Slope-Deflection Equations
    to Frame Stability
  3. Stability of Frames by Matrix Analysis

Topic 6

Curved Beams

  1. Circumferential Stresses in a Curved Beam
  2. Radial Stresses in Curved Beams
  3. Deflection of Curved Beams

Topic 7

Beams on Elastic Foundations

  1. Infinite Beam Subjected to a concentrated load
  2. Infinite Beam Subjected to a Distributed load
  3. Semi-infinite Beams
  4. Short Beams

Topic 8

Analysis of Arches

  1. Three Hinged Arches
  2. Arch Hinged at the Ends.
  3. Fixed Arches 

Topic 9

Stability of Arches

  1. Circular Arches Under Hydrostatic Load
  2. Stability of Different Types of Circular Arches 

Topic 10


  1. Cable with Neglected Self-Weight
  2. Effect of Arbitrary Load on the Thrust and Sag
  3. Cable with Self-Weight

Topic 11

Buckling of Plates

  1. Calculation of the Critical Loads in Rectangular Plates
  2. Buckling of Simply Supported Rectangular Plates Uniformly
    Compressed in One Direction
  3. Buckling of a Simply Supported Rectangular Plate under Combined Bending and Compression

Topic 12

  1. Introduction to FE
  2. Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far.  Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues.  Instructors / facilitators may choose to cover a specialised topic if applicable to that cohort.

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


  • N/A