CIVL3206: Steel Structures 1 (2014 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CIVL3206: Steel Structures 1 (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Wilkinson, Tim
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit of study is concerned with the behaviour and design of steel structures. Statics provided the fundamentals of equilibrium upon which most structural engineering is based. Structural Concepts and Structural Analysis provided information on the loads (actions) on a structure and how structures resist these actions with a resulting distribution of internal actions (bending moments, shear forces, axial forces; BMDs, SFDs and AFDs). Structural Mechanics considered how these internal actions resulted in stresses and strains in members. Materials considered the microscopic and molecular structure of metals to determine its inherent mechanical properties such as yield stress. This unit of study will then combine the knowledge of stresses, material properties of steel, structural analysis, and loading, and consider new concepts and modes of failure, such as local and flexural torsional buckling, combined actions and second-order effects to understand the behaviour of steel members and frames, and how this behaviour is accounted for in the design standard AS 4100.

Both the units of study “Steel Structures 1” and “Concrete Structures 1” can be considered the culmination of the various elements of structural engineering begun in “Engineering Mechanics” in first year, and is further developed in “Civil Engineering Design” in final year. More advanced topics, such as plate behaviour, advanced buckling and connection design, are considered in the final year elective subject “Steel Structures 2”.

It is recognised that not all students intend to become consulting structural engineers. The unit of study is designed so that students who make an effort to understand the concepts are most capable of passing. Students who are planning a career in the consulting structural engineering profession should be aiming at achieving a Distinction grade or higher.
Assumed Knowledge: CIVL2110 AND CIVL2201 AND CIVL2230. There are no prerequisites for this unit of study but it is assumed that students are competent in the content covered in CIVL2201 Structural Mechanics, CIVL2230 Introduction to Structural Concepts and Design as well as knowledge of the content in CIVL3235 Structural Analysis. Students who have failed previous units of study should note that no special consideration will be given to them if they do choose to enrol in this unit of study (on the basis of timetable clashes or lack of knowledge of basics), and they are discouraged from enrolling in this unit of study. Students who have not yet passed first or second year units of study must enrol in those units of study in precedence to any later year units of study. It is assumed that students are competent in the following areas: the methods of load transfer in structures – tension, compression, bending, shear, torsion, and bearing; an appreciation of stress and strain, and being able to determine stresses and strains in simple sections under axial force, bending moments, shear and torsion; calculating and understanding the physical significance of geometric section properties – centroid, Ix, Iy, Zx, Zy, Sx, Sy, rx, ry, J, Ag; knowledge of the basic elastic-plastic material properties of steel, E, G, fy, fu; and knowledge of loading of structures. A special “assumed knowledge” lecture will be given in Week 1 to refresh the knowledge of students.
Lecturer/s: Dr Wilkinson, Tim
Timetable: CIVL3206 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 3.00 3 13
2 Tutorial 3.00 3 13
3 Laboratory 2.00 1 2
4 Independent Study 3.00 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: Various tutorial questions will be distributed relating to each of the five major topics covered in the unit of study. It is hoped that students could complete most of the tutorial questions, and about 33 % - 50 % of the design exercises, during the timetabled tutorial sessions.

Laboratory: Students are required to attend two 2-hour laboratory sessions during the semester. This gives students the opportunity to experience some structural behaviour and failures at close hand.

Independent Study: Students should expect to spend around 3 hours per week outside university hours, mainly working on tutorial questions or lab reports per week.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Ability to design simple structures. Design (Level 3)
Observing how the theories in steel structures (such as buckling) are derived from fundamental equilibrium, physics and mathematics. Validating some of these theories through experimentation and practice problems. Appreciating how these theories of structural behaviour relate to practical design. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 2)
Students will receive data in a variety of forms: printed, WWW, email, experimental, and will use a variety of tools and resources to solve problems Information Seeking (Level 2)
Assessment results depends on how well the student has communicated the solution process through calculation, reasoning, explanation, justification and diagrams. Communication (Level 2)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 3)
1. Competence in designing a simple structure to AS 4100.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 2)
2. Familiarity with the behaviour of steel structures, in particular the various forms of failure for members and connections under tension, compression, bending and combined actions.
3. Understanding of the various types of buckling that occur, and the parameters which affect buckling.
4. Ability to determine strength capacities of individual members to AS 410.
Information Seeking (Level 2)
5. Ability to follow most other structural design specifications, given their similarities to AS 4100.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Final Exam No 50.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
2 Project No 30.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
3 Quiz No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
4 Report No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
5 Assignment No 0.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: Final Exam: There is a 3 hour examination at the end of the semester. The questions will be of a similar format to the questions in the tutorials. For each of the 5 main topics (tension, compression, bending, combined actions, and connections) there will be both an explanation-type and a numerical question. The “explanation” questions test understanding of the subject. Questions related to the design project and laboratory sessions maybe included in the final exam.

The final examination is partial open book. Students are permitted to bring in annotated versions of Australian Standard AS 4100 (or the student handbook HB2.2), and a programmable calculator. No additional written material is permitted in the examination room (inserts may not be added to the aforementioned books). More details on the format of the examination will be given in lectures, and the nature of the examination described above is subject to change.

Quiz: Two short (approximately 1 hour) quizzes will be held (2 x 5% = 10%). The main aim of the quizzes is to examine the students’ understanding of the main concepts in the unit of study covered to that date, and familiarity with the use of AS 4100, without excessive calculations. The quizzes will provide feedback to the students on their individual performance, and help the lecturer identify students at risk. Students should be aiming to achieve a mark of at least 65 % in these simple quizzes.

Project: A major design exercise forms a central part of this unit of study. Students will be required to design the critical components of a real steel structure in various stages. To spread the workload over the semester, there will be four separate submissions due throughout the semester (4 x 7.5% = 30%). An essential criterion in this unit of study is the submission of all 4 parts of the design exercise. The individual components are loads and layout; structural analysis, tension/compression design; and bending/compression design. The design exercise is integrated into the unit of study - eg there are the lectures on compression, followed by the tutorial on compression and finally the design exercise on compression. It is anticipated that the exercises will take 8 hours each. Specific details of the design exercise and expectations will be included in a separate information sheet.

Report: A report on each of the two laboratory sessions is required (2 x 5% = 10%).

Assignment: Various tutorial questions will be distributed relating to each of the five major topics covered in the unit of study. The tutorial questions are designed to complement the lecture material, and many important observations can be made from performing the tutorial questions. For this reason, students should aim to complete some of the questions immediately, and most of the questions as they progress through the semester, rather than waiting till Stuvac. In addition, the tutorial questions prepare students for the corresponding component of the design exercise. While these questions are not officially assessed, they are an important part of the learning process in this unit of study.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD (High Distinction), D (Distinction), CR (Credit), P (Pass) and F (Fail) as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Special Conditions to Pass UoS In addition to the normal 50 % total mark, the following criteria must be met to achieve a pass: (1) Final examination mark of at least 45 %, (2) Assessment mark of at least 45 %, (3) Attendance at the laboratory sessions & satisfactory report submissions and (4) Satisfactory submission of each design exercise. Students who do not meet all the criteria will not receive a pass in the unit of study, and regardless of their performance in individual components of the unit of study, will not receive a mark greater than 45 %. Students should note that satisfying the non-exam criteria listed above does not necessarily imply that they have achieved “satisfactory progress” as mentioned below.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Online Course Content:
Note on Resources: CIVL 3206 Steel Structures 1 Lecture Notes by Greg Hancock, Murray Clarke & Tim Wilkinson (2007) – available from the University Publishing Service.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Welcome.
Intro to the Design Exercise.
Assumed Knowledge Session.
Week 2 Structural Steel/Standards.
Structure Layout & Loading.
Week 3 Frame & Truss Analysis.
Tension Members.
Week 4 Compression Members.
Frame & Truss Analysis.
Week 5 Compression Members.
Week 6 Truss Design Briefing.
Week 7 Beams.
Truss Design.
Week 8 Beams.
Truss Design.
Week 9 Beams.
Frames & Beam-Columns.
Week 10 Beam-Columns.
Civil Engineering Workshop Tour.
ASI Lecture (to be confirmed).
Week 11 Frame Design Briefing.
Frames & Beam-Columns.
Week 12 Connections.
Practical Steel Design.
Week 13 Unit of study Summary.
Frame Design.
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Civil 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Commerce 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Design in Architecture 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Medical Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Construction Management) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Environmental) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Geotechnical) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Law 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Structures) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) 2010, 2011, 2012
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Science 2011

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 3) Yes 20%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 2) Yes 60%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 2) No 0%
Information Seeking (Level 2) Yes 20%
Communication (Level 2) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.