72772 - Computational Structural Mechanics M

Course Unit Page


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

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course is an introduction to computational mechanics of solids and structures. The goal of the course is to provide the students with the fundamental concepts and operating tools to solve current structural problems.

Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

Fluent spoken Italian is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials, and all study material will be in Italian.

Course Contents

The direct stiffness method. Linear elastic rods and beams (Eulero-Bernoulli and Timoshenko beam theories). Truss and frame structures. Specific topics: restraints, constraints, offsets, semi-rigid connections and joint flexibility.

The finite element method (assumed displacement finite elements).

Eulero-Bernoulli and Timoshenko beam elements. Finite elements for two- and three-dimensional elasticity. Kirchhoff and Mindlin plate elements. Finite element modelling and performance. Convergence requirements. Patch test.

Nonlinear analysis of frame structures. Solution methods. Incremental methods and general control. Geometric stiffness and stability analysis of frame structures. Material nonlinearity. Elasto-plasticity. Limit analyses.

Linear and nonlinear dynamic analysis. Modal and transient analyses. Time stepping methods.


- Lecture slides and notes

- Leone Corradi Dell'Acqua, Meccanica delle Strutture, Volume 2: Le teorie strutturali e il metodo degli elementi finiti, McGraw-Hill.

- O.C. Zienkiewicz, R.L. Taylor, The finite element method, Butterworth-Heinemann.

- Robert D. Cook, Finite element modeling for stress analysis, John Wiley & Sons.

During the lectures, some reading assignments will be made from selected papers in the published literature

Teaching methods

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

Assessment methods

A final oral examination is planned, based on questions intended to assess the knowledge and understanding of the topics covered by the course. The student should present and discuss the solutions of some homework assignments and a final project.

To obtain a passing grade, students are required to at least demonstrate a knowledge of the key concepts of the subject and some ability for critical application.

A failing grade will be awarded if the student shows knowledge gaps in key-concepts of the subject and/or logic failures in the analysis of the subject.

Teaching tools

The teaching tools are projector and PC.

The course includes some laboratory sessions at the labs of the School of Engineering and Architecture.

Office hours

See the website of Stefano de Miranda

See the website of Giovanni Castellazzi