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Unit information: Nonlinear Structures and Structural Stability in 2020/21

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Unit name Nonlinear Structures and Structural Stability
Unit code AENGM0057
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Schenk
Open unit status Not open

Structures and Materials 3 (AENG31200) or equivalent



School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit aims to introduce students to fundamental concepts in structural stability and the analysis of nonlinear structures, as well as develop their skills in analysing and interpreting the response of nonlinear structures using commercial finite element (FE) software. This will be achieved through a lecture series complemented by computer labs and will be assessed by means of homework exercises and a project to design and analyse a nonlinear structure.

Intended learning outcomes

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

• recognise and explain different types of structural stability;

• apply analytical and semi-analytical methods for solving problems in structural stability;

• explain fundamental concepts in the numerical analysis of nonlinear structures;

• analyse and interpret the response of nonlinear structures using finite element software;

• apply their knowledge to design and evaluate nonlinear structures;

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

SP Timoshenko and JM Gere, “Theory of Elastic Stability”

  • ZP Ba┼żant and L Cedolin, “Stability of Structures: Elastic, Inelastic, Fracture and Damage theories”
  • JMT Thompson and GW Hunt, “General Theory of Elastic Stability”
  • VV Novozhilov, “Foundations of the Nonlinear Theory of Elasticity”
  • R de Borst, MA Crisfield, JJC Remmers and CV Verhoosel, “Non-linear Finite Element Analysis of Solids

and Structures”