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Design of Steel Structures

2014 unit code: CVE30002 (formerly HES3121)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points12.5 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester
Contact hours48 Hours
CampusHawthorn, Sarawak



Aims and objectives

This unit of study aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to analyse indeterminate structures using approximate methods and to design steel structures.
After successfully completing this unit, you should be able to:
1. Analyse indeterminate frames and trusses using approximate methods of analysis. (K1, K3, S1, S2)
2. Describe the material properties of steel. (K1)
3. Determine the ultimate tensile capacity of steel members considering both yielding and tensile fracture. (K1, K3, S1)
4. Determine the ultimate bending moment capacity of steel members considering both yielding and lateral buckling. (K1, K3, S1)
5. Assess shear capacity of beams and design web bearing stiffeners if required. (K1, K3, S1)
6. Determine the effective length of compression members in both braced and sway conditions. (K1, K3, S1)
7. Determine the ultimate capacity of compression members taking into account both yielding and buckling. (K1, K3, S1)
8. Identify the load paths in connections and classify the function of steel connections according to their moment carrying capacity. (K1, K3, S1)
9. Describe different welding techniques and classify different types of bolts and their installation. (K1)
10. Design bolted connections in shear, tension and combined actions. (K1, K3, S1, S2, S3)
11. Design welded connections and fastener groups. (K1, K3, S1, S2, S3)
12. Function effectively in small groups to design a simple steel structure considering different loading actions, constructability and structural safety. (K3, S1, S2, S3, A4, A7)
Swinburne Engineering Competencies for this Unit of Study
This Unit of Study will contribute to you attaining the following Swinburne Engineering Competencies:
K1 Basic Science: Proficiently applies concepts, theories and techniques of the relevant natural and physical sciences.
K3 Discipline Specific: Proficiently applies advanced technical knowledge of the specific discipline within that context.
S1 Engineering Methods: Applies engineering methods in practical applications.
S2 Problem Solving: Systematically uses engineering methods in solving complex problems.
S3 Design: Systematically uses engineering methods in design.
A1 Ethics: Values the need for, and demonstrates, ethical conduct and professional accountability.
A4 Information Management: Demonstrates seeking, using, assessing and managing information.
A7 Teamwork: Demonstrates effective team membership and team leadership.

Teaching methods

Lectures (24 hours), Tutorials (18 hours), Laboratory class (2 hours) and Design classes (4 hours)



Individual or Group Assessment




60% - 70%




Laboratory Reports


0% - 5%



0% - 5%

Project Reports


20% - 25%



0% - 5%


Approximate Methods of Analysis of Indeterminate Structures

  • Analysis of frames under vertical loads using approximate methods
  • Analysis of frames under lateral loads using the portal and cantilever methods
  • Analysis of trusses to find member forces and deflections using approximate methods
  • Introduction to stiffness methods of analysis

Steel Properties

  • Steel making process
  • Material specifications and properties

Design of Steel Members

  • Design of tension members considering both yield and net section fracture
  • Lateral torsional buckling in flexural members
  • Bending moment capacity of beams considering section and member capacities
  • Shear capacity of beams
  • Yielding and buckling of webs in bearing and design of web stiffeners
  • Determination of effective length of compression members using the simplified and detailed methods
  • Capacity of compression members considering yielding and buckling
  • Use of design capacity tables
  • Industrial buildings, economical steel design and constructability

Design of Steel Connections

  • Types of connections (flexible, semi-rigid and rigid)
  • Standardised steel connections in Australia and types of fasteners
  • Bolt and weld technology
  • Design of bolted connections for strength and serviceability
  • Design of welded connections for fillet and butt welds
  • Analysis of bolt and weld groups


Reading materials

Australian Steel Institute (ASI), Design Capacity Tables for Structural Steel.
Australian Steel Institute (ASI), Economical Structural Steelwork.
Gornec, B., Tinyou, R. & Syam, A. (2005). Steel Designers Handbook, Australian Steel Institute.
Hibbeler, R. C. (2006). Structural Analysis, 6th edn, Prentice Hall.
Trahair, N. S. & Bradford, M. A. (1988). The Behaviour and Design of Steel Structures to AS4100, E&FN Spon.

Text books

Standards Australia. (1999). Steel Structures Design Handbook (HB48).
One Steel Market Mills. (2002). Hot Rolled and Structural Steel Products.
Lecture and study notes as provided by Unit Coordinator.