Course Title: Aerospace Structures

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Aerospace Structures

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)


Bundoora Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Prof. Adrian Orifici

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6092

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 251.03.44

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge: MIET2115 Mechanics and Materials 2 or equivalent

Course Description

In this course you will study the classical theory of aircraft structural analysis. You will learn the important methodologies for analysing stresses in primary aircraft structures including wings and fuselages. The assumptions and idealisations for thin-walled beams and stiffened-skin structures are covered. Buckling of columns and plates is covered, as well as the bending, torsion and shear response of thin-wall beams and stiffened structures. The classical behaviour and performance of aerospace structures is presented, as this is essential for all engineers involved with the initial design and practice associated with aerospace vehicles.  

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. This 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.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes for students who commenced their program prior to 2023:

  • In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
  • Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources. 

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes 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.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Define, describe and apply the fundamental concepts for analysis of thin-wall aircraft structures.
  2. Describe and analyse the bending response of solid, thick-wall and thin-wall beams of symmetric and asymmetric cross-section.
  3. Define, explain and analyse elastic and inelastic buckling columns in compression and bending, and thin plates in compression and shear.
  4. Describe and analyse the torsion response of thin-wall sections of circular and non-circular cross-section.
  5. Describe and analyse the shear flow of open and closed section thin-wall structures.
  6. Describe and analyse the bending stress, shear flow and torsion response of stiffened thin-wall structures.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities can include lectorials (combined lectures and tutorials), a laboratory and assignments. The laboratory experiment will assist you to interpret and interrogate data for the analysis process.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course-related resources will be provided on the course Learning Management System (Canvas), which is accessed through myRMIT. This can include lecture material, tutorials, supplementary course notes, problem sheets and solutions, and references.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment tasks 

Assessment Task 1:  Written Assignment
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 4 and 5 

Assessment Task 2: Laboratory
Weighting 25%
This assessment task supports CLO 3

Assessment Task 3: Spreadsheet Assignment
Weighting 25%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 and 6

Assessment 4: End-Semester Assessment
Weighting 30% 
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6