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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Civil

Undergraduate Course: Structural Form, Function and Design Philosophy 3 (CIVE09025)

Course Outline
School School of Engineering College College of Science and Engineering
Course type Standard Availability Available to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken) SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits 10
Home subject area Civil Other subject area None
Course website None Taught in Gaelic? No
Course description This course gives an introduction to the full discipline of structural design and analysis, identifying key ideas that are used in different courses within the complete degree programme, and putting them in proper relationship to one another. It also covers many items that do not appear anywhere else in the degree programme but which are nonetheless critical to an overall understanding of structures and their design. It deals with the functional role of different kinds of structure, the structural forms that are required to address these roles, the dominant factors in the behaviour of each kind of structure and the consequent simplifications that can be used to lead to an understanding of the behaviour. It then deals with the philosophy of design, limit state concepts, ductility and stability and their implications for simplifications that are possible in design calculations. It then deals with different classes of analysis of structures and the kinds of results that can be obtained from each, finishing with fundamental theorems of structural mechanics and their application to different classes of problem.
Entry Requirements
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Structural Mechanics 2A (SCEE08002) AND Structural Mechanics 2B (CIVE08010)
Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Theory of Structures 3 (CIVE09015)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Construction Management 3 (CIVE09013) OR Environmental Engineering 3 (CIVE09020)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisites Structural Mechanics/Analysis to 2nd year undergraduate level or similar
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2010/11 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 14:00 - 15:50
King's BuildingsTutorial1-11 11:10 - 12:00
First Class Week 1, Tuesday, 14:00 - 15:50, Zone: King's Buildings. Lecture Theatre 1, Sanderson Building
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes Stationery Requirements Comments
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Structural Form, Function and Design Philosophy 32:0016 sides / 2 x graph
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:0016 sides / 2 x graph
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course the student should be able to:
- describe different standard structural forms and explain the manner in which they can be used to deal with functional requirements;
- describe the dominant load carrying processes in different structural systems, and the way in which these influence design concepts;
- describe the kinds of simplified analysis that are appropriate to each structural system, explaining why each is appropriate, and defining the critical factors that dominate in controlling the strength of each system;
- explain limit state analysis, its objectives, statistical basis and the role of safety factors;
- explain the concept of ductility, identifying the difference between the ductility of a material and the ductility of structural behaviour, quoting examples where these differ from each other in one structure;
- explain the concept of structural instability, including the difference between stability of an element and stability of a structural system;
- describe linear and non-linear analyses that can be made of structures, their roles in design and the manner in which the results must be interpreted for safe design;
- use the fundamental theorems of structural mechanics to solve simple problems in elasticity.
Assessment Information
Coursework: 30%
Examination: 70%
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus 18 lectures, 9 tutorials, 2 laboratory sessions


L1 Overview of structural analysis
Introduction: key differences between determinate and redundant structures; methods of determining level of redundancy in trusses and frames.
Section A: Introduction
L1 Introduction: conceptual framework for civil engineering design and evaluation
Section B: Limit state design concepts
L2 Loads and actions on structures and their representation for design: statistical treatment of loads
L3 Statistical treatment of strengths, and their relationship to loads
Section C: Material behaviour and structures
L4 Behaviour of materials and relationship to structural behaviour
L5 Brittle and ductile behaviour in structures and in materials
Section D: Limit states and the design of structures
L6 Limit states and the design of structures: ultimate limit states
L7 Limit states and the design of structures: ultimate and serviceability limit states
Section E: Different structural behaviours and analysis
L8 Structural analysis and its role

Section F: Structural form and its key aspects
L9 Simplifications used for understanding in design
L10 Axial force and bending dominated structures
L11 Curved line structures
L12 Three dimensional structures
Section G: Structural functions and structural form
L13 Structural functions I
L14 Structural functions II
L15 Structural forms
Section H: Fundamental theorems of structural analysis
L16 Virtual Work
L17 Strain Energy and the Total Potential
L18 Summary and recapitulation

Tutorial 1 Simple Force Path Sketching
Examining a photograph of a structure and determining the patterns of force transfer within it.
Tutorial 2 Concepts for structural form;
Simple structural problems to demonstrate the differences between structures in bending and truss action; 3D structural arrangements, arches

Tutorial 3 Structural forms and loads
Limit State Design concepts and comparisons between truss and frame structures.

Tutorial 4 Limit states and loads on structures
Different materials used in structures with series and parallel load paths and their effect on the ductility of the system.

Tutorial 5 Ductility and brittleness
Different materials used in structures with series and parallel load paths and their effect on the ductility of the system.


Experiment 1 Portal Frame
A rectangular portal frame with pinned bases is tested. One base has a slider to make the frame determinate, but forces can be applied to the slider to restore the support to its original position. Superposition is used to explore the behaviour of a pinned base frame with one redundancy.

Experiment 2 Two Pinned Arch
An arch with pinned ends is tested. One base has a slider to make the arch determinate, but forces can be applied to the slider to restore the support to its original position. Superposition is used to explore the behaviour of a two-pinned arch.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Jennings, A.
Structures: from theory to practice
Spon Press (2004)

Francis, A.J.
Introducing Structures
Pergamon (1980)
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Keywords Not entered
Course organiser Prof Michael Rotter
Tel: (0131 6)50 5718
Course secretary Miss Nicola Marshall
Tel: (0131 6)50 5687
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