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MEng Civil and Structural Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Advanced Structural Analysis

Unit code MACE40012
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Civil Engineering Division L5
Available as a free choice unit? No


This module will focus on structural concepts and structural dynamics. Structural concepts from theory to practice will emphasise on qualitative and intuitive analysis techniques. Much of the contents are based on the newly published book, Understanding and Using Structural Concepts, written by one of the two lecturers. Correct modelling will be demonstrated through plane problems. The other half of the module will deal with structural dynamics covering theoretical fundamentals to practical applications using a quantified approach. Students will use theoretical calculations, computational analysis and qualitative analysis techniques. This module will equip students with advanced structural knowledge to produce engineering solutions to real structural problems.

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates


For students to gain an enhanced understanding of structural concepts and their applications, from structural elements to whole structures and from theory to application.

For students to understand plane problems and appropriate correct FE modelling of plane problems.

For students to understand the fundamentals of structural dynamics and the analysis of simple structures subjected to static and dynamic loads and to receive guidance on their applications.


The unit consists of 3 themes: Structural Concepts, FEM for Plane Problems and Structural Dynamics. These are supported by a 3 hrs lecture/tutorial/laboratory workshop per week for 12 weeks including 28 lectures, 6 tutorials and a 2 hrs computing laboratory workshop.

Structural concepts - Dr Tianjian Ji:
Structural concepts and tutorial (6 Hrs)

FEM for plane problems - Dr Tianjian Ji:
Definition of plane problems, behaviour of typical finite elements for plane problems solution of equilibrium equations using the FE methods, FE modelling, Application of FE methods in engineering practice, modelling errors and accuracy in linear problems, tutorial, revision(10 Hrs)
Use of LUSAS for analysing plane problems under static loads. (2 Hrs)

Structural Dynamics- Dr Jack Wu:
Dynamics of single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) systems (9 Hrs)
Free vibration; circular and natural frequencies; damping; logarithmic decrement; harmonic forced vibrations; resonance; Impulse.
Dynamics of multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) systems (6 Hrs)
Stiffness, mass and damping matrices; normal modes and orthogonality; coupling and de-coupling of the equation of motion; simplification and condensation; modal analysis and superposition method.
Dynamics of distributed-parameter systems (3 Hrs)
Partial differential equations in beam flexure; B.C. and initial conditions; dynamic response.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods

 In addition to normal feedback, a one-hour tutorial will be provided to give feedback to the first piece of coursework.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 15
Lectures 26
Project supervision 15
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 84

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Zhang-Jian Wu Unit coordinator

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