72758 - Advanced Structural Mechanics

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Alessandro Marzani (Modulo 1) Antonio Palermo (Modulo 2) Farhad Zeighami (Modulo 3)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2) Traditional lectures (Modulo 3)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Civil Engineering (cod. 8895)

Learning outcomes

The course is an extension and intensification of Mechanics of Solids and Structures. The goal of the course is to advance the understanding of structural behavior and enhance the ability to apply classical structural analysis methods to civil engineering systems.The advanced methods for the analysis of structures will be applied to some structural examples which will be developed by the students.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

The course is a continuation and intensification of Mechanics of Solids and Structures. Thus a prior knowledge and understanding of the static behaviour of planar truss and beam structures is recommended. All lectures, tutorials and office hours are in English.

Course Contents

1. Structural matrix analysis

  1. Truss element: mathematical and discrete models

  2. Structural matrix analysis for truss structures in 2D

  3. Basic concepts of the Finite Element Method

  4. Beam element: mathematical and discrete models

  5. Structural matrix analysis for frame structures in 2D

  6. Use of a FEM based software for the solution of truss and beam problems

2. Buckling analysis

  1. Equilibrium and energy method for buckling and post-buckling analysis of single and multi-degree-of-freedom rigid systems

  2. Equilibrium approach for buckling of continuous systems (beams, trusses and frames)

  3. Buckling analysis via stiffness matrix method: the geometric stiffness matrix

  4. Use of a FEM based software for the solution of buckling problems in discrete and continuous problems

3. Plastic analysis

  1. Fundamentals theorems of plasticity

  2. Plastic moment, plastic hinge, and interaction diagrams

  3. Incremental plastic analysis of truss and beam systems

  4. Limit analysis Plastic analysis of beams

  5. Use of a FEM based software for the solution of elasto-plastic problems of truss and beam systems


  • Instructors’ notes (available on the web site http://campus.cib.unibo.it [http://campus.cib.unibo.it/] ).
  • Matrix Structural Analysis, W. McGuire, R.H. Gallagher, R.D. Ziemian, John Wiley & Sons, 2000.
  • Fundamentals of Structural Stability, G.J. Simitses, D.H. Hodges, Elsevier, 2006.
  • Advanced Structural Mechanics. A. Carpinteri, Taylor & Francis, 1997.

Teaching methods

The course content will be entirely covered by lectures. The course includes laboratory sessions, which will cover some practical aspects of the lectures. The instructors will supervise students during the laboratory activities.

In consideration of the type of activity and the teaching methods adopted, the attendance of this training activity requires the prior participation of all students in the training modules 1 and 2 on safety in the study places, in e-learning mode.



Assessment methods

The assessment of the "expected learning outcomes" is composed of:

  • written exam: 3/4 exercises on the topics of the course, 3 hour.
  • oral exam: 3/5 questions on the topics of the course, 1 hour.

To obtain a passing grade (minimum is 18 points) students are required to demonstrate a knowledge of the key concepts of the subject, some ability for critical application, and a comprehensible use of technical language.

Higher grades (maximum is 30 points, cum laude) will be awarded to students who demonstrate an organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, and a clear and concise presentation of the contents.

In case of failure students can take any next final term, generally there are 6 final terms per academic year.

Teaching tools

The teaching tools are overhead projector, projector and PC. The course includes some laboratory sessions in which a finite element based software for structural analysis is used.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Marzani

See the website of Antonio Palermo

See the website of Farhad Zeighami


Industry, innovation and infrastructure

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.