CIVILENG 2001 - Strength of Materials

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

The strength of a material is its ability to resist external forces without breaking. Strength of Materials is the foundation for Engineering design courses. The course covers material behaviour, stresses, strains and deformations with simple applications in engineering designs. Topics to be chosen from: elastic and elastic-plastic behaviour; plane stress and strain; constitutive relationships, principal stress and strain; failure criteria; stresses in thin-walled pressure vessels; bending and shearing stresses in beams; Mohr's circle; deflections of beams; Euler buckling; short and long columns; torsion of solid and hollow circular sections; introduction to statistical indeterminacy and simple redundant structures; work and strain energy concepts.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CIVILENG 2001
    Course Strength of Materials
    Coordinating Unit Civil Engineering
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites MATHS 1012 and (CEME 1004 or CIVILENG 1004 or C&ENVENG 1010)
    Restrictions Available to BE(Civil & Struct), BE(Mining), BE(Architectural) & associated double degree students only
    Assessment Exam, Lab practicals, Quizzes, Assignments, Design Projects
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Giang Nguyen

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to: 

    1 Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of stress and strain, and the stress-strain relationships for homogenous, isotropic materials.
    2 Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between loads, member forces and deformations and material stresses and strains in structural members under axial loading, torsion, flexural loadings, shear, and thin-walled pressure vessels.
    3 Demonstrate an understanding of failure under complex stress states in structural members subjected to combined loadings.
    4 Apply the above understanding to the designs and analysis of structural members based on strength and deformation criteria.
    5 Demonstrate an understanding of the assumptions and limitations of the theories used in mechanics of materials.
    6 Demonstrate competence in problem identification, formulation and solution, and critical thinking.
    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Entry to Practice Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer. The course develops the following EA Elements of Competency to levels of introductory (A), intermediate (B), advanced (C):  

    B B A B B A A B A A
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecture slides and practice questions with solutions will be uploaded regularly on MyUni.

    Lectures will follow the contents in “Mechanics of Materials” 8th SI Edition by RC Hibbeler, published by Pearson (2011). Earlier and later editions can also be used.

    Other suitable textbook, Mechanics of Materials by Beer & Johnston & co-authors, can also be used as references.
    Recommended Resources
    Course textbook: “Mechanics of Materials” 8/9th SI Edition by Hibbeler, Prentice Hall, 2011. (Earlier or later editions can also be used).

    Other recommended textbook: “Mechanics of Materials” 5th SI Edition by Beer, Johnston, DeWolf and Mazurek, McGraw Hill, 2009. (Earlier or later editions can also be used.
    Online Learning
    All course materials including lecture slides, assignments, lab practicals, group projects and formative assessments (practice questions) will be made available in MyUni.

    Lectures will be automatically recorded but they should be considered complementary to, rather than a substitute for, attendance. In the event of technical failure it will be the student's responsibility to find an alternative source of information.

    Course announcements will be provided on MyUni regularly throughout the course. It is students' responsibility to check MyUni regularly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures: fundamental theory will be presented, followed by examples to illustrate how the theory can be applied to solving practical engineering problems

    Tutorials & consultations will be used to help reinforce the understanding of the fundamentals, practice problem solving skills, and answer questions related to assignments and design projects

    Lab sessions: linking the fundamentals with practical problems.

    PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions)
    PASS classes utilise a 'flipped classroom' approach (they are not tutorials) and there is no teaching involved, just facilitation for up to 25 no. students to work stuff out on their own. PASS classes are structured (unlike the Drop-In Zone) with worksheets and extra  problems design by the PASS leader (a high achieving undergraduate student who recently completed this course) to help students. PASS is for all students, whether to improve from a Distinction to a High Distinction; a Pass to a Credit or even just to obtain a pass. You don't have to enrol or register, just find the class time that suits you and come along. For more information please refer to:

    Students are also encouraged to visit the Maths Learning Centre for assistance should they have any queries associated with the mathematics that is assumed knowledge for this course.

    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. This can vary from one student to another.
    Activity Contact Hours Independent Study Hours Total
    Workshop 24 36 60
    Tutorials (x 11) 11 11 22
    Assignments (x 8) 24 24
    Quizzes (x2) 2 10 12
    Lab practicals (x 2) 3 3 6
    Design projects (x 2) 12 12
    Exam 3 20 23
    Total 159
    Learning Activities Summary
    The learning activities cover the following 9 lecture series:

    Ch. 1 – Stress, Strain and Material Properties
    Ch. 2 – Axial Loading
    Ch. 3 – Torsion
    Ch. 4 – Bending
    Ch. 5 – Transverse Shear
    Ch. 6 – Transverse Shear and combined loading
    Ch. 7 – Transformations of Stress/Strain and failure criteria
    Ch. 8 – Deflections of Beams
    Ch. 9 – Buckling of Columns

    Specific Course Requirements
    There are five lab practicals covering elastic behaviour and failure of both brittle and ductile materials used in civil & structural designs, under different loading conditions. These five lab practicals are organised in different sessions, each of which can accommodate max 25 students. Students are required to enrol and attend two sessions (First Session: practicals 1-3; Second Session: practicals 4-5) that cover all five lab practicals. For each session, students are required to:

    (1)   Read & print out the lab practical sheets corresponding to the session. The sheets are available in MyUni.
    (2)   Do the calculations as instructed in the lab practical sheets before your Session. This is considered as a condition to enter the enrolled Session; the lab demonstrator will sign the sheets and return them to students.
    (3)   Observe the tests and perform calculations for elastic and failure properties using the data provided by the lab demonstrators. Submit lab practical sheets with calculations to the lab demonstrators before leaving the lab. They will be marked and returned later.

    There are also two design projects that require group work (max 6 students / group). Each project focuses on the structural design and construction of a structure (e.g. truss or composite beam) from simple materials (e.g. balsa wood, foam, glue, wooden board…). Tutorial hours and consultation sessions will be used to help the design, calculation and construction. A report covering the design and strength calculation of structural components and overall load capacity of the structure will be submitted before testing it in the lab. The designed and built structure will be tested in the lab during weeks 7-8 (design project #1) and weeks 12-13 (design project #2) and groups are required to enrol in their own sessions (one session for each design project).
  • 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

    Assessment Task Weighting %
    Hurdle Criteria Learning Outcomes
    Assignments 25% Individual Summative Weeks
    1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
    Quizzes 15% Individual Summative Weeks
    6 and 10
    1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
    Lab practicals 5% Individual Summative Weeks
    1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
    Design projects 15% Group Summative Weeks
    7 and 12
    1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
    Exam 40% Individual Summative Min 40% 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
    Total 100%
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
    This course has a hurdle requirement. Meeting the specified hurdle criteria is a requirement for passing the course.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Consistent with the School policy, in order to pass the course, students must obtain at least 40% in the examination, in addition to obtaining 50% or more of the total marks available for the Course. If the exam hurdle is not met students will receive a course result of the lesser of their calculated grade and the nominal grade of 45 (Fail). In addition, and in accordance with modified arrangements for coursework assessment policy, students must complete all assignments and group projects to be eligible for an Additional Assessment.

    Requests for exemption from coursework components will only be considered when presented on an Exemption from Attendance Form. All exemption requests must be made by the end of Week 3 of Semester. Exemptions will not be considered for exams or in-class quizzes.
    Assessment Detail
    Assignments (total 25%): There will be 6-8 assignments throughout the course, each worth about 3%-6% of your final grade. These assignments will be submitted, marked and returned regularly throughout the semester. Marks on these assignments will make up 25% of the final subject grade.

    Quizzes (total 15%): There will be two Quizzes (summative) during the semester, each worth 10% of your final grade. The Quizzes will be closed book, closed note and run under examination conditions. If you miss a Quiz or cannot attend it due to medical reasons, please contact the Course Coordinator as soon as possible.

    Lab practicals (total 5%): There will be five lab practicals, each worth 1% of the total mark, organised in several Sessions in weeks 2-6. Week 2-3 for lab practicals 1-3, and weeks 4-5 for lab practicals 4-5 (virtual practicals in 2022). Students are required to enrol in two Sessions covering all five lab practicals: one Session during weeks 2-3 for pracs 1-3, and one Session during weeks 4-5 for pracs 4-5 (currently made virtual in 2022). Preparation before the each session is an essential condition for entering the session. Lab practical sheets with calculations must be submitted for grading at the end of each session.

    Design projects (total 15%): There are also two design projects, each worth 7.5% of the total mark, that require group work (max 6 students / group). A report covering the design and strength calculation of structural components and overall load capacity of the structure will be submitted before testing it in the lab. The designed and built structure by the group will be tested in the lab during weeks 7-8 (design project #1) and weeks 12-13 (design project #2) and groups are required to enrol in their own sessions (one session for each design project).

    Final Examination (total 40%): The final examination (summative) will cover all the materials in the course and contribute towards 40% of the final grade. The examination will be 3-hours and conducted under open book conditions. You must obtain at least 40% in the final examination and 50% overall to pass the course.

    Full worked solutions to past examinations will not be provided. The exam format and syllabus has changed significantly in the last
    5 years.

    Digital submissions should be submitted by the appropriate MyUni portal for the particular assessment. Further information will be provided through the course’s MyUni website.

    Late submissions will not be accepted in all but the most exceptional circumstances. There will be a loss of 10% of the marks obtained if the late submission is less than 24h late, 20% if the late submission is between 24 and 48h late and so on. Extensions will only be granted in special circumstances (e.g. illness) and must be sought for each assessment task individually. Extensions will not be granted less than 24h before the deadline for a given task, with the exception of a medical certificate. No submissions will be  accepted after 7 days of the due date unless an extension has been formally granted.

    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 ( 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
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.