Structural Design 1

This course introduces students to the analysis and design of structural systems. The fundamental principles of statics, structural loads, and rigid body equilibrium are considered first. The course continues with the analysis and design of cables, columns, beams, and trusses. The structural design of steel follows, culminating in the consideration of building systems design. The quantitative understanding of interior forces, bending moments, stresses, and deformations are an integral part of the learning process throughout the course. Students are expected to have completed all prerequisites in mathematics and physics.

Course Objectives:

  • Provide an understanding of the behavior of structural systems.
  • Introduce basic structural engineering concepts and simple calculations applicable in the early stages of the design process in order to select and size the most appropriate structural systems.
  • Teach the engineering language in an effort to improve communication with design colleagues.


  • Statics (equilibrium of loads and force reactions)
  • Load Modeling (load types, flow of force, and load calculations)
  • Interior Forces (axial, shear, and bending moment diagrams)
  • Mechanics of Materials (stress, strain, elasticity, thermal considerations)
  • Analysis and Design of Columns (slender v. compact column design)
  • Analysis and Design of Hanging Cables
  • Analysis and Design of Arches (funicularity)
  • Analysis and Design of 2D Trusses (method of joints, method of sections)
  • Analysis and Design of Beams (flexural stress, cross sectional properties)
  • Steel Design (allowable stress design, ultimate limit state design, yield stress)
  • Building System Design

Course Requirements:
Reserved text: Schodek, D., Bechthold, M. Structures (Prentice Hall, Latest Edition)
Scientific calculator capable of calculating exponents, trigonometric functions, etc.
Note: The use of smartphones and/or computers will not be allowed during class or examinations

Design Teams:
Students will assemble themselves into teams of 3 persons each. Weekly homework assignments are to be completed by those teams; single submissions of each assignment will be accepted per team. These teams will remain intact for the duration of the semester. Weekly quizzes, a Mid-Term Examination, and a Final Examination will be taken individually (i.e. not in teams).