C&ENVENG 4068 - Computer Methods of Structural Analysis

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

The objective of this course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the theory and application of computer methods of structural analysis including Matrix Methods of structural analysis and the Finite Element Method. Topics include analysis of two and three dimensional trusses and frames; basic concepts of elasticity; formulation of different finite elements for plane stress, plane strain, axisymmetric and plate bending problems. Students will develop their own computer program and will also use commercial software for analysing structures.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code C&ENVENG 4068
    Course Computer Methods of Structural Analysis
    Coordinating Unit School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Eng
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge C&ENVENG 3001, C&ENVENG 3007 & C&ENVENG 3005
    Assessment assignments, project work and examination - further details at beginning of semester
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Abdul Sheikh

    Contact details:
    Office: N235 (Second Floor), Engineering North Biulding, North Terrace Campus
    Email: abdul.sheikh@adelaide.edu.au
    Phone: +61 8 8313 6450

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Understand the fundamental concepts and theories of Matrix Methods for analysis of skeletal structures such as beams, plane and space
    trusses, plane and space frames and grillage structures, and competence in applying these theories to solve problems manually as well as using computer programs.

    2. Understand the fundamental concepts and theories of Finite Element Methods for analysis of continuum structures such as plane stress, plane strain, axisymmetric and three dimensional problems, and competence in applying these theories to solve problems manually as well as using computer programs.

    3. Competence in developing computer program for skeletal structures.

    4. Competence in using commercially available software for analysis continuum as well as skeletal structures. 

    5. Competence in problem identification, formulation and its solution for relevant structureand solid mechanics problems.

    6. Ability to manage tasks related to home assignments with the allocated time so as to meet their submission deadlines. 

    7. Ability to work professionally with other students for group projects on 1) Development and validation of a generalised computer program, 2) Analysis of structures using commercially available software. 

    8. Develop life long learning skills.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecture Slides (Power Point): To be available on MyUni. Printed copies of these slides (6 slides per page) will also be distributed at the beginning of lectures. 

    Lecture Notes: To be available on MyUni.

    Computer Software: To be available on CADS.

    Recommended Resources
    Concepts and Application of Finite Element Applications, 4th Edition, R.D. Cook, D.S. Malkus, M.E. Plesha and R.J. Witt, John Wiley
    Theory of Elasticity, 3rd Edition, S.P. Timoshenko and J.N. Goodier, McGraw-Hill
    Theory of Plates and Shells, 2nd Edition, S.P. Timoshenko and S. Woinowsky Krieger, McGraw-Hill

    Online Learning
    Apart from using MyUni for uploading lecture slides (power point) and lecture notes, it will be used for posting homework assignments and their solutions, and the details of the group project. MyUni will also be used for communication (email) with students. 

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The sessions assigned for lecture will be used for formal lecture except few sessions for the demonstration of computer software and quiz. In addition to these sessions, consultation sessions will be provided to help students individually or in small groups for homework assignments, group project, general understanding of theories and solving problems. Teaching assistants will be available for consultations. 


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In addition to 4 hours of regular lectures in a week, students are expected to spend approximately 6 hours (may be more) for studying lecture materials, practice examples from the lecture slides and solving homework problems. Students are expected to spend extra hours for the group project. 

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1:            Introduction and Review of Structural Mechanics

    Week 2:            Stiffness Method – Basic Approach

    Week 3:            Stiffness Method – Basic Approach

    Week 4:            Stiffness Method – Element-wise Approach                        
                            (Element Stiffness Matrices, Transformation Matrices and Transformation Process)

    Week 5:            Stiffness Method – Element-wise Approach                        
                            (Assembly Process, Incorporation of Boundary Conditions, Solution Technique, Determination of Member Forces)

    Week 6:            Strategies for Computer Implementation of Stiffness Method
                            Demonstration of Computer Software

    Week 7:            Theory of Elasticity

    Week 8:            Finite Element Method (Introduction, Plane Stress Triangular Element)

    Week 9:            Finite Element Method (Rectangular and Triangular Plane Stress, Plane Strain and Axisymmetric Elements)

    Week 10:          Finite Element Method (Isoparametric Elements)

    Week 11:          Finite Element Method (Three Dimensional Elements)

    Week 12:          Finite Element Method (Plate Bending Elements)
    Specific Course Requirements
    You have to achieve 40% in the final examination to pass this course.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The open ended group project consisting of maximum four students in a group will give an unique opportunity for small group discovery experience.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The assessment will have the following components:

    Homework Assignments (seven): 15%
    Quiz (two):                                 5%
    Group Project (one):                    20%
    Final Examination:                       60%

    Assessment Related Requirements
    The marks in the final examination should be at least 40% to pass this course.

    Assessment Detail
    The details will be provided during lectures.

    The details will be provided during lectures.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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