Course Title: Analysis of Complex Structures

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Analysis of Complex Structures

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Face-to-Face or Internet



City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2017


Voc Training Ctre of Hong Kong


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Offsh 3 11,
Offsh3 13,
Offsh3 14

Course Coordinator: Dr Srikanth Venkatesan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1963

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.12.028C

Course Coordinator Availability: As displayed on the office door.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisite Courses – None. Knowledge of shear force and bending moment diagrams, deflection of simple beams, analysis of forces in trusses, solving simple integration and matrices problems is highly desirable. Numerical, analytical and problem solving capabilities are essential to undertake this course.

Course Description

This course introduces the theories relevant to the analysis of indeterminate structures subjected to transverse and lateral loads by scaffolding the knowledge from structural analysis and statics courses. Topics covered include qualitative analysis of beam and framed structures, application of force method, stiffness method of analysis to beams and frames using slope-deflection method and matrix stiffness methods.

Through problem solving sessions and planned laboratory activities, this course is designed to develop skills in understanding and evaluating internal forces, moments, deflections and rotations in structural elements. Laboratory and other group work will provide an opportunity for testing the application of analytical skills covered in the course material. This course may enhance conceptual understanding and may lead to the development of cognitive skills that are relevant to professional practice as a structural engineer.

Final marks obtained in this course will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine GPA and other award levels. (This ruling applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.)

The WAM web page link:;ID=eyj5c0mo77631

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

1.1. Comprehensive theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.

1.2. Conceptual understanding of mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.

1.6. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline.

2.1. Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering solving.

On completion of this course you should be able to demonstrate the following course learning outcomes (CLO’s): 

1.Gain an understanding of various methods of analysing indeterminate structures.

2. Apply force method of analysis.

3. Apply stiffness method analysis to beams and frames using both slope deflection method and matrix stiffness method.

4. Gain an understanding of approximate methods of structural analysis.

Overview of Learning Activities

Students will solve a range of problems related to the sub topics in the course material.  Minor laboratory component may be involved. Predominantly requires individual study interspersed with collaborative team work. The course is supported by the Blackboard learning management system.

Overview of Learning Resources

Prescribed text:

Other Resources:
Fundamentals of Structural Analysis, Leet, Uang & Gilbert, 4th edition, McGraw Hill.

Standard textbooks may also be available in RMIT Library.
Online material may also be provided.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Task 1: Test 1 
Weighting 0%
This assessment task supports CLO 1

Assessment Task 2: Test 2
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 to 4

Assessment Task 3: Practicals
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 to 4

Assessment 4: Assignments
Weighting 10%
This assessment supports CLOs 1 to 4

Assessment 5: Exam
Weighting 50%
This assessment supports CLOs 1 to 4