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Unit information: Structural Analysis in 2020/21

Unit name Structural Analysis
Unit code AENGM0054
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Pirrera
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


The topics covered in this unit will include fundamental concepts of structural mechanics and stress analysis. The unit is propaedeutic to further studies on composite materials and their structures.

Structural mechanics is the branch of mechanics that studies the behaviour of elastic structures under the action of loads, such as forces and temperature changes. Students will learn basic concepts of structural design and performance evaluation and will come to understand the links between structural geometry, material properties, loads and support conditions, and the ensuing stiffness, deformations (or strains), deflections and stresses. Particular focus will be placed on structural elements for lightweight and monocoque constructions, including thin-walled beams, trusses and frames, plates, shells, shafts, etc. Fundamental loading conditions such as stretching, bending, torsion and buckling will be covered as part of this unit.

Aims: To equip the students with: (a) a basic understanding of the concepts of stress, strain, stiffness, deflection, loads and boundary condition; and (b) the knowledge and analysis tools required to perform basic stress analyses, structural design and performance evaluation.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Analyse loads in structures with idealised supports and constitutive elements (e.g. trusses, beams, plates, shells) using equilibrium and free body diagrams.
  2. Analyse stress, strain, deformation and stability of structural elements within simple structures using analytical and numerical methods.
  3. Perform preliminary structural design of simple structural elements and joints.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

100% Coursework

Reading and References

  • Hibbeler R.C., “Structural Analysis, 10th Edition in SI Units”, 2019. Pearson. ISBN: 9781292247137.
  • Megson, T.H.G., “Structural and Stress Analysis”, 3rd Edition, 2014, Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN: 9780080999364.