84189 - Design of Offshore Structures

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide for the basic and some advanced elements for design of offshore structures. After an extensive illustration of requirements and protocols for certification of steel for construction, the elements of design of steel structures will be given, including strength requirements, instability verification, design of connections (bolted and welded), with particular emphasis to those typical of offshore structures. Criteria for life extension of existing off shore platforms will be also given. In the course the students will develop a structural project related to a simplified off-shore structure. The project will be done by the student alone or in small groups, under the supervision of the instructor.

Course contents


A prior knowledge and understanding of key concept of theory of the structures, structural mechanics, design and verification of simple steel elements, construction techniques and geotechnics. All these knowledge are, tipically, achieved in the course of Advanced Design of Structures, Advanced Structural Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. Fluent spoken and written English is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures, presentations and all study material will be in English.


The course is mainly focused on the designing of off-shore steel structures.

The course will concerns the following main topics: main off-shore structures categories, outline on steel materials and protection tecnique; production transportation and installation; definition of external loadings and setting of limit states combinations; design and check of steel tubular elements; design and check of connections (bolded and welded); equilibrium instability theory and instability checks; fatigue theory and verification; outline on dynamics of the structures; seismic design of structural elements and equipments; inspections and maintenance.


  • M. A. El-Reedy, Offshore Structures: Design, Construction and Maintenance, Elsevier, Inc., 2012.
  • N. D. P. Barltrop and A. J. Adams, Dynamics of fixed marine structures, Thomson Litho Ltd., East Kilbride, Scotland, 3rd edition 1991.

Teaching methods

In regular classes, problems concerning the modelling and the design of off-shore structures are discussed. Finally, details of nodes, connections, etc. will be shown and discussed. Guidelines for different structural problems reported in the international codes will be considered. Some classes will be devoted to show designs of actual realizations concerning the subjects of regular classes.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be given according to a midterm and final written tests and a possible oral colloquium. During the written tests the pratical skills of the student in solving exercises of design and verification will be checked. In the oral will be verified the personal preparation of the student and his knowledge on the main theoretical aspects of the course.

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, 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 during classes.

Office hours

See the website of Claudio Mazzotti

See the website of Michele Palermo