Course Title: Steel Structures 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Steel Structures 1

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities. 

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
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


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Susanna Lin

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2023

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 251.02.66

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

CIVE1265 Introduction to Civil & Infrastructure Engineering

Course Description

This course provides foundation knowledge and skills relevant to the concepts, principles and components of structural design.  It introduces the design of steel structures using the limit state design philosophy. You will gain an understanding of statutory requirements, design standards, steel industry practices and design documentation. Steel structural members, structural design principles and evaluation of loads and estimation of member capacities for steel structures will all be addressed. The course content builds on your knowledge of force systems in equilibrium, analysis of simple structures and structural mechanics. You will gain experience in the design of a low-rise steel building via a design project.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH077 Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) (Honours) for students who commenced their program prior to 2023:

1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within 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 problem solving.

2.2. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.

3.6. Effective team membership and team leadership.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH077 Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) (Honours) for students who commenced their program in 2023:

  • PLO1: Demonstrate an in-depth understanding and knowledge of fundamental engineering and scientific theories, principles and concepts and apply advanced technical knowledge in specialist domain of engineering. 
  • PLO2: Utilise mathematics and engineering fundamentals, software, tools and techniques to design engineering systems for complex engineering challenges.
  • PLO4: Apply systematic problem solving, design methods and information and project management to propose and implement creative and sustainable solutions with intellectual independence and cultural sensitivity.
  • PLO5: Communicate respectfully and effectively with diverse audiences, employing a range of communication methods, practising professional and ethical conduct.
  • PLO6: Develop and demonstrate the capacity for autonomy, agility and reflection of own learning, career and professional development and conduct.  
  • PLO7: Collaborate and contribute as an effective team member in diverse, multi-level, multi-disciplinary teams, with commitment to First Nations peoples and globally inclusive perspectives and participation. 

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Interpret ultimate and serviceability limit state approaches in current structural design philosophy
  2. Simplify a standard building into a number of manageable idealised substructures and structural elements and construct their load paths.
  3. Estimate primary design loads by consulting appropriate standards and handbooks and obtain critical load combinations
  4. Model and analyse a structure to obtain actions such as bending moments, shear forces and deflections
  5. Design steel structural elements for design actions
  6. Prepare structural design documentation according to professional standards

Overview of Learning Activities

Pre-recorded lectures, tutorials and steel design projects. 

Learning materials are available via Canvas. You will be involved in two steel design projects, namely the steel beam project and building design project. In the steel beam project, you will be divided in to groups and design a steel beam with group members. You may either fabricate and test the beam in the lab or attend the online demonstration. 

In the building design project, you will conduct the structural design of a low-rise steel structure according to the requirements of relevant Australian Standards. This process will include the determination of loads (including dead, imposed and wind loads), determination of load combinations and their design actions and subsequently the design of typical and/or critical members.

Overview of Learning Resources

Lecture slides and design examples are available online. A list of Australian Standards, design handbooks and recommended textbooks will be given.

Subject Guide: 

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment tasks

Assessment Task 1:  Building design project 
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6

Assessment Task 2:  Online quiz
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1-5

Assessment Task 3: Steel beam project
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLO 4-6

Assessment Task 4: Online quiz
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLO 1-5