Course Title: Steel Structures 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Steel Structures 1

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 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,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024

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

Required Prior Study
You should have satisfactorily completed CIVE1265 Introduction to Civil & Infrastructure Engineering before you commence this course. 

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.  

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.

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 (PLOs) for:
BH077P23 Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) (Honours)
BH088CIH23 Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) (Engineering) (Honours) / Bachelor of Business

PLO 1: 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. 
PLO 2: Utilise mathematics and engineering fundamentals, software, tools and techniques to design engineering systems for complex engineering challenges.
PLO 4: 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.
PLO 5: Communicate respectfully and effectively with diverse audiences, employing a range of communication methods, practising professional and ethical conduct.
PLO 6: Develop and demonstrate the capacity for autonomy, agility and reflection of own learning, career and professional development and conduct.  
PLO 7: 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. 

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for:
BH077 Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) (Honours)
BH088CHIDD Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) (Honours) / Bachelor of Business (Management)

1 Knowledge and Skill Base
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 Engineering Application Ability
2.1. Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
3 Professional and Personal Attributes
3.6. Effective team membership and team leadership.

For more information on the program learning outcomes for your program, please see the program guide.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will 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

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as pre-recorded lectures, tutorials and steel design projects. 

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.

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course. A list of Australian Standards, design handbooks and recommended textbooks will be given.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal

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

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.