Steel Structures 1 (CIVL3206)


This unit of study is concerned with the behaviour and design of steel structures. Statics provided the fundamentals of equilibrium upon which most structural engineering is based. Structural Concepts and Structural Analysis provided information on the loads (actions) on a structure and how structures resist these actions with a resulting distribution of internal actions (bending moments, shear forces, axial forces; BMDs, SFDs and AFDs). Structural Mechanics considered how these internal actions resulted in stresses and strains in members. Materials considered the microscopic and molecular structure of metals to determine its inherent mechanical properties such as yield stress. This unit of study will then combine the knowledge of stresses, material properties of steel, structural analysis, and loading, and consider new concepts and modes of failure, such as local and flexural torsional buckling, combined actions and second-order effects to understand the behaviour of steel members and frames, and how this behaviour is accounted for in the design standard AS 4100.
Both the units of study "Steel Structures 1" and "Concrete Structures 1" can be considered the culmination of the various elements of structural engineering begun in "Engineering Mechanics" in first year, and is further developed in "Civil Engineering Design" in final year. More advanced topics, such as plate behaviour, advanced buckling and connection design, are considered in the final year elective subject "Steel Structures 2".
It is recognised that not all students intend to become consulting structural engineers. The unit of study is designed so that students who make an effort to understand the concepts are most capable of passing. Students who are planning a career in the consulting structural engineering profession should be aiming at achieving a Distinction grade or higher.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lecture 3 hrs/week; Tutorial 3 hrs/week; Laboratory 2 hrs/week.


Through semester assessment (50%) and Final Exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge


Additional Information

It is assumed that students are competent in the following areas: the methods of load transfer in structures - tension, compression, bending, shear, torsion, and bearing; an appreciation of stress and strain, and being able to determine stresses and strains in simple sections under axial force, bending moments, shear and torsion; calculating and understanding the physical significance of geometric section properties - centroid, Ix, Iy, Zx, Zy, Sx, Sy, rx, ry, J, Ag; knowledge of the basic elastic-plastic material properties of steel, E, G, fy, fu; and knowledge of loading of structures. A special "assumed knowledge" lecture will be given in Week 1 to refresh the knowledge of students.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.