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CIVL9206: Steel Structures 1 (2020 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CIVL9206: Steel Structures 1 (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: A/Prof 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: CIVL9110 AND CIVL9201 AND CIVL9235.
Additional Notes: 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: A/Prof Wilkinson, Tim
Timetable: CIVL9206 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.

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.

Unassigned Outcomes
1. Competence in designing a simple structure to AS 4100.
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.
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 40.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
2 Design Assignment No 10.00 Week 4 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
3 Design Assignment No 10.00 Week 8 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
4 Design Assignment No 10.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
5 Quiz No 5.00 Week 7 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6 Quiz No 5.00 Week 11 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
7 Report No 10.00 Week 11 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
8 Assignment No 0.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
9 Research Assignment (MPE students only) No 10.00 Week 12 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: Please refer to the formal unit of study outline handed out in the first lecture, and also comments from the lecturer, for exact details on the assessment regime. There are additional minimum performance and compulsory components in this unit of study that must be achieved to receive a pass or better, regardless of the aggregate of all the individual component marks.

There may be statistically and educationally defensible methods used when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes and grade descriptors.”

In general, the following would probably apply for special consideration:

• For any assignment or report, an extension would be given that would last no longer than the period of consideration. Students should not expect that they will be exempted from completing any assignment, and should continue to work on any assignment after any illness without waiting for a formal response to any special consideration application.

• For one of the quizzes, re-weighting of the other quiz would be the likely response.

• For the final exam, a replacement assessment would be given. The original attempt (if made) would be disregarded.

Late submissions: The following late penalties apply to assignments and reports:

• Due to their nature, (most) assessment tasks require hard copy submission and will usually be due during business hours. A location for early or late submission will also be available.

• Each day late is a 5% penalty.

• Assessment tasks cannot be accepted (ie a mark of 0 will be awarded) after the earlier of (the return of marked assignments) or (the release of solutions and/or feedback) or (10 working days). It is anticipated the return/solutions date of the small assignments is 1 week, and lab reports 2 weeks.

Final Exam: There is a 2 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 will be provided with an un-annotated Australian Standard AS 4100 in the exam and quiz. Students may bring in handwritten equation sheet (details provided later). 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 three separate submissions due throughout the semester (3 x 10% = 30%). An essential criterion in this unit of study is the submission of all 3 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.
Assessment Feedback: Feedback will be given in the following ways:
* Specific individual written feedback on individual assignments
* Group written general feedback on each assignment
* Group oral feedback in lectures and or tutorials.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for 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.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • CIVL3206 Steel Structures 1 Lecture Notes
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: CIVL3206 Steel Structures 1 Lecture Notes by Greg Hancock, Murray Clarke & Tim Wilkinson (2019) – 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 Assumed Knowledge Session.
Intro to the Design Exercise.
Week 2 Structural Steel/Standards.
Structure Layout & Loading.
Week 3 Frame & Truss Analysis.
Tension Members.
Week 4 Compression Members.
Frame & Truss Analysis.
Assessment Due: Design Assignment
Week 5 Compression Members.
Week 6 Truss Design Briefing.
Week 7 Beams.
Truss Design.
Assessment Due: Quiz
Week 8 Beams.
Truss Design.
Assessment Due: Design Assignment
Week 9 Beams.
Frames & Beam-Columns.
Week 10 ASI Lecture (to be confirmed).
Civil Engineering Workshop Tour.
Week 11 Frame Design Briefing.
Frames & Beam-Columns.
Assessment Due: Quiz
Assessment Due: Report
Week 12 Connections.
Practical Steel Design.
Assessment Due: Research Assignment (MPE students only)
Week 13 Unit of study Summary.
Frame Design.
Assessment Due: Design Assignment
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
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Civil) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Fluids) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Geomechanical) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Structural) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3) No 0%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 3) No 0%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3) No 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 2) No 0%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 2) No 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 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.