72756 - Advanced Design Of Structures

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Claudio Mazzotti (Modulo 1) Stefano Silvestri (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Civil Engineering (cod. 8895)

Learning outcomes

Advanced methods for the verification and design of concrete structures will be given. The methods are based on the mechanics and simplified models for one- and two-dimensional concrete structures. A variety of civil engineering structures will be analysed. The advanced methods will be used to solve some real problems, with reference to European and US Codes and Guide Lines. The students will design some one- and two-dimensional structures under the supervision of the teacher.

Course contents


A prior knowledge and understanding of key concept as stiffness/flexibility and strength, section forces, stress, strain, constitutive model of a material. Futher, he is able to solve by hand statically determinated and redundant simple structural and knows the concepts for the axial-flexural and shear verification with regards to the Ultimate Limit States method (approach, loading combinations and properly checks). In addition, students should be able to manipulate structural resolution based on the principle of virtual works and linear effects superimposition in order to attend with profit this course. All these knowledge are, tipically, achieved in the course of Scienza delle Cotruzioni T e Fondamenti di Tecnica delle Costruzioni T. Fluent spoken and written English is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures, presentations and all study material will be in English.


The course is divided into two teaching units: the first one, with 6 credits, is mainly focused on the designing of reinforced concrete structures while the second one refers to the design of steel structures and prestressed RC elements.

Part 1 (Prof. Mazzotti)

1.1     Design of RC frame structures

Verification and design rules for RC sections under shear forces to the ultimate limit state method. Provisions by European Guide Lines (Eurocodes).

1.2      Serviceability limit states of RC beams

Evolution of cracking phenomenon for RC elements under tensile axial force. Moment-curvature diagrams in cracked range. Crack width and deformability of beams in cracker range. Approximate formulas and Code requirements.

1.3       Ductility of RC structures

Moment-curvature diagrams, tri-linear and bi-linear approximations. Ductility of RC sections under bending. Plastic hinge and admissible plastic rotation for RC elements under bending, Eurocode criteria. Influence of axial force. Examples. Ductility at sectional and structural scales

1.4      RC plates under transverse loads

Plate theory. Simply-supported and clamped plates. RC plate structures: design criteria and details. RC slabs over columns: approximate methods for calculation of internal actions, design rules and details. Verification against punching shear.

1.5     Cylindrical shells and tanks

 Shels of revolution. Membrane regime for cylinders. Flexural behaviour of cylindrical r.c. tanks.  Foundation hoop. Example of design of tanks for hydrostatic pressure.


Part 2 (Prof. Silvestri)


- the design process and the role of the structural engineer

- the framework of the current technical codes (Italian codes and Eurocodes, USA specifications).

- basis of design: safety-checking formats (i.e. verification methods)

- materials



- loads path to the ground

- vertical-resisting systems

- horizontal-resisting systems (bracing systems, shear wall systems, pendular systems and moment-resisting frames).

- multi-storey steel building structures

- detailed analysis of a n-storey braced frame structure



- serviceability limit states

- ultimate strengths (axial force, bending moment, shear, combined actions)

- buckling (axially loaded compression members, lateral-torsional buckling for beams, buckling for bending and axial force)

- brief notes about buckling of frames and second-order analysis methods



- idea

- composite beams (moment capacities, shear capacities, shear transfer and strength of shear connectors)

- composite columns



- history, development and general principles of prestressed concrete structures

- prestressing systems

- determination of the internal forces

- traction (in order to understand the behaviour)

- flexure

- shear

- loss of prestress

- end anchorages and local verifications


Notes from the classes.

Bill Mosley, John Bungey and Ray Hulse, Reinforced Concrete Design to Eurocode 2, Sixth Edition, Palgrave Macmillan.

Pozzati P. e Ceccoli C., Teoria e Tecnica delle strutture, ed. UTET, Torino, vol. II (1977).

Belluzzi O., Scienza delle costruzioni, ed. Zanichelli, Bologna, voll. II e III.

Leonhardt F., c.a. & c.a.p.: calcolo di progetto & tecniche costruttive. Edizioni Tecniche, Milano, voll. I-III, 1977.

Migliacci A., Progetto agli stati limite delle strutture in c.a., Masson Italia Ed., Milano, 1977.

Migliacci A., Progetti di strutture, Tamburini, Milano, 1968.

Cosenza E. e Greco C., Il calcolo delle deformazioni nelle strutture in cemento armato. CUEN, Napoli, 1996.

- E. Giangreco, “Ingegneria delle strutture”, UTET
- E. Torroja, “La concezione strutturale”, UTET
- J. Heyman, 1998, “Structural analysis. A historical approach”, Cambridge University Press
- G. Ballio, F.M. Mazzolani, “Strutture in acciaio”, Hoepli.
- G. Ballio, C. Bernuzzi, 2004, “Progettare costruzioni in acciaio”, Hoepli.
- N. Scibilia, 2005, “Progetto di strutture in acciaio”, 4° ed., Dario Flaccovio Editore.
- V. Nunziata, 2000, “Teoria e pratica delle strutture in acciaio”, 2° ed., Dario Flaccovio Editore.
- F. Hart, W. Henn, H. Sontag, 1982, “Architettura Acciaio Edifici Civili”, 2° ed., FINSIDER Gruppo IRI (edizione FINSIDER in lingua italiana del volume “Stahlbauatlas-Geschossbauten”, 2° ed., pubblicato dall'Institut für Internationale Architektur-Dokumentation di Monaco).
- J.C. McCormac, 2008, "Structrual steel design", Pearson Prentice Hall
- J.C. Smith, 1996, "Structrual steel design. LRFD approach", Wiley
- S.P. Timoshenko, J.M. Gere, 1961, "Theory of elastic stability", Dover publications
- T.V. Galambos, A.E. Surovek, 2008, "Structrual stability of steel", Wiley
- T.Y. Lin, N.H. Burns, 1982, "Design of prestressed concrete structures", Wiley
- R. Walther, M.Miehlbradt, 1990, "Progettare in calcestruzzo armato", Hoepli
- C. Cestelli-Guidi, 1987, "Cemento armato precompresso", Hoepli
- L. Santarella, 1998, "Il cemento armato", 22a ediz., Hoepli
- L. Goffi, P. Marro, 1998, "Appuni sul Cemento armato precompresso", CLUT editrice, Torino

From the technic-scientific book series for the design of steel structures by ITALSIDER:

- L.F. Donato, L. Sanpaolesi, 1970, “Gli acciai e la sicurezza delle costruzioni”, Volume I.
- L. Finzi, E. Nova, 1971, “Elementi strutturali”, Volume IV.
- D. Danieli, F. De Miranda, 1971, “Strutture in acciaio per l'edilizia civile e industriale”, Volume VI.

Teaching methods

The course will be delivered trough classes in presence. In regular classes, problems concerning the modelling and the design of reinforced concrete structures are discussed. Finally, details of nodes, steel positioning, etc. will be shown and discussed. Guidelines for different structural problems reported in national and international codes will be considered. Some classes will be devoted to show designs of actual realizations concerning the subjects of regular classes.

Assessment methods

Each didactic unit has its own final verification.

6 CFU Unit: Final mark will be given according to a series of written tests (one homework, a midterm and a finalterm) and a facoltative oral colloquium. The oral colloquium is for the students which want to improve the grade of the written part. During the oral will be verified the personal preparation of the student and his knowledge about the main theoretical aspects of the course.

3 CFU Unit: Single final test. It can be taken in written form (1 hour) or in oral form. In any case, it consists of three questions: two theoretical ones (each 11-points valid) and one “numerical” (numerical application, order of magnitude, important gross numbers, …, 8-points valid).

The final judgment of the student is calculated as weighted average on CFU of the two modules.

The oral tests are composed of two questions, and the assessment procedure will clarify if the student acquired a sufficient number of the predicted learning outcomes.

They aim to establish the knowledge and skills achieved by the student as well as to evaluate its technical language with reference to the topics discussed. Passing of the exam will be granted to students who demonstrate mastery and operational capacity in relation to the key-concepts discussed in the course showing, in particular, that the student learned the basic theoretical concepts and is able to argue in a comprehensive manner and in autonomous way the various steps leading to the definition of the main results. The higher scores will be awarded to students who demonstrate to understand with breadth of content and appropriate language, the subjects taught and, further, will show to be able to apply all the teaching content in operating autonomy even for the most complex cases. Failure to pass the exam will be due instead to insufficient knowledge of the key-concepts (such as the static equilibrium rules), failure to properly master technical language, or it can be due to low operational autonomy shown in the performance of the tests.

Teaching tools

Blackboard, slide presentations showed by videoprojector, further notes on shells and plates elements as integration of the class notes uploaded on the IOL web-site

Somo discussion moments will be possible to comment the answers provided by student to questions concerning the course topics.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Claudio Mazzotti

See the website of Stefano Silvestri