Instructor: Fall 2017, 2018, 2019; Spring 2018, 2019, 2020
Co-instructor: Fall 2016 and Spring 2017
This studio-style study introduces classic and computational approaches to creating design options for long span structures and tall buildings. Student teams collaborate across disciplines and propose new designs by finding relationships between form, materials, and behavior of systems resisting static and dynamic loads. An iterative process begins by assessing design challenges, precedent study of exemplary structures, hand sketches, simplified calculations, and parametric analyses of forms using generative computational methods, which lead to a detailed design and understanding of key variables that influence performance of the structure. A parallel emphasis is on environmental impacts, constructability, occupant experience, and visual appeal of designs. To develop an intuitive feel for practical aspects of constructing and controlling load paths through structural elements and connections, teams create physical models to anticipate structural behavior including membrane action, effects of joint restraint, slenderness, or system stiffness. Practicing structural engineers review the projects and share feedback. An overall goal is to understand the economic and cultural meaning of efficient forms that can be achieved through collaborative, creative, and disciplined design.
Instructor: Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Fall 2019
We begin with energy concepts including strain energy, virtual work, Betti's and Maxwell's theorems, then delve into the stiffness method. From the principle of virtual displacements and analyses based on the finite element theory, we build up to the discussion of structural nonliearity, including concepts such as geometric stiffness, physical and geometric nonlinearities, tangent modulus theory, stability, and plastic hinge theory. Drawing upon examples from built structures, we complement analytical and numerical modeling with methods such as graphic statics and influence lines to intuitively grasp structural behavior of trusses, frames, arches, cables, shells, and buildings.
Instructor: Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2020
The course presents advanced topics on behavior of structural elements and systems with a focus on fundamental structural mechanics and applications in steel design. Theory of elastic and inelastic buckling, global and local behavior of members and thin plates, flexural and axial-flexural elements, St. Venant and non-uniform torsion in elements with thin-walled cross sections, rigidly jointed frames and braced frames, and second order (P-delta) effects are studied in detail. Web buckling and post-buckling behavior of plate girders are analyzed. Discussion on ductility and principles of plastic analysis includes examples of continuous beams and frames under combined loads. Fundamentals in structural design of building elements exposed to fire connect a study of behavior from first principles and examples based on current standards.