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Memorial University of Newfoundland

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science



Engineering: 7704

Design of Steel Structures



Instructor                   Dr. Seshu Adluri                    

Phone                         864-3800                                                                    

Office Location          EN-3044                                             

Office Hours               Monday 11:00-11:50 a.m.                            

                                    Friday       1:00 - 1:50 p.m.                            





CALENDAR ENTRY:   Design of Steel Structures begins with a review of Design Concepts, Standards and Products. Topics include design of members and connections, tension members, bolted joints, welded joints, compression members, stability and effective length, flexural members, beams & beam-columns, plate girders, composite construction, introduction to serviceability, and deflections.




For the purpose of engineered designs, steel is the most prevalent engineered structural material in North America.  It is essential for all civil engineers to understand the process by which such engineered designs are carried out and the basic principles underlying the designs.  This course is primarily an introduction to steel design.  It covers the concepts and detailed design of the most common elements in steel structures.  The components include different types of axial and flexural members as well as some of the common types of steel joints.  The emphasis is on understanding the significance of the steel design code and applying the code based procedures for element design.  Some explanation of the underlying theory is also given to aid the understanding.  The depth to which the theory is given is tailored based on student aptitude.  While most of the course is about manual design, introduction to computer aided member design and code checking is also given whenever possible. 


PREREQUISITES:                     ENGI 5312, 5706

SCHEDULE:                              LECTURE: M. W, F 10:00-10:50 a.m. Room: EN2050

                                                TUTORIAL: Th 1:00-1:50 p.m.             Room: EN2050

CREDIT VALUE:                       3 credits




Kulak, G.L. and G.Y. Grondin. "Limit States of Structural Steel," Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, Willowdale, Ontario.


Canadian Institute of Steel Construction. "Handbook of Steel Construction." (The students must have this)



Salmon, C.G., and J.E. Johnson, 2009. "Steel Structures," 5th Ed., Prentice Hall


Additional references as cited in the text book and the handbook.



MAJOR TOPICS:                     


  • Introduction: Review of Design Concepts, advantages of steel, Material Strength and Cross-sectional Properties, Standards and Products
  • Design of Members and Connections

1.      Tension Members –yielding, rupture, shear lag, design

2.      Bolted Joints –failure modes, strength tables, limit strength, design for different configurations, shear and moment, etc.

3.      Welded Joints -types, failure modes, shear and moment, strength tables 

4.      Compression Members – Eff. Length, Torsional-flexural buckling, built-up memb., local buckling

5.      Compression member design

6.      Flexural Members – Beams, failure modes, classification, lateral-torsional buckling, bracing

7.      Beam design for shear and moment, deflections

8.      Beam-Columns, different checks

9.      Plate Girders

10.  Composite Construction –composite beams, failure modes, design

  • Serviceability: Introductions to Deflections as part of the topics on beams.

Expectations:  The students taking this course must make use of the knowledge from previous courses in structural analysis and design.  At the end of this course, the students are expected to clearly demonstrate a basic understanding of the underlying principles of structural steel element design, basic code based procedures, and their application to specific problems in element design.  They must be ready to design common member types and joints in practical steel structures. 



Assessment Procedure:

Class Assignments

10% Manual +5% Computer (computer assignment marks may be reassigned)
(May include computer work and the use of special software such as SSTEEL, Spread Sheets, Maple/Mathcad. Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due one week from the date of giving. Marks may be reduced for late submission)

Midterm Test 1

15% (June 03)

Midterm Test 2

15% (July 08)

Final Examination




Comprehensive examples will be discussed primarily during tutorials. During tutorials, the students may be required to solve the problems in class to gain practice. Tutorials and labs dealing with computer work are compulsory.

Please note that prewritten solutions may or may not be available for the assignments.  However, the tutorial immediately following the return of each marked assignment is allotted for discussing the relevant solutions.  At that time, if the students ask for it, the problems can be discussed and may even be solved in class.  If the students do not raise their need for discussion of the problems, the time will be spent on solving other problems.  The same policy holds for midterm exams and quizzes, if any.

The students are expected to solve the assignment problems by themselves in order to reinforce the class instruction.  Please refer to copying policy of the University if there is any doubt.  Help with the assignment problems can be sought during contact hours and/or tutorial time. 

Warning:  If the students are unable to draw proper Free Body Diagrams, Bending Moment and Shear Force Diagrams, the relevant questions may be marked zero even if the rest of the solution is partly or wholly correct.  The same applies for using and clearly stating the correct units in any given problem.  The same applies for using and clearly stating the correct units, the main assumptions and the relevant code clauses in any given problem.

Exam policy:  In all the examinations, ‘Handbook’ is allowed except as specified in the exam.  The handbook must not contain solved examples and detailed procedures written down (other than those already printed in the book).  No extra text or notes are permitted in the exam.  IPODS, Blackberries, MP3 players, or other electronic storage/retrieval devices are not permitted in the exam.  Please see the appropriate guidelines from the University regarding such matters.  Unauthorized use of the above aids or devices during quizzes, tests and examinations will be considered as an academic offence. 



Students are expected to conduct themselves in all aspects of the course at the highest level of academic integrity. Any student found to commit academic misconduct will be dealt with according to the Faculty and University practices. More information is available at


Students are encouraged to consult the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Student Code of Conduct at and Memorial University’s Code of Student Conduct at




Students who require physical or academic accommodations are encouraged to speak privately to the instructor so that appropriate arrangements can be made to ensure your full participation in the course.  All conversations will remain confidential.


The university experience is enriched by the diversity of viewpoints, values, and backgrounds that each class participant possesses.  In order for this course to encourage as much insightful and comprehensive discussion among class participants as possible, there is an expectation that dialogue will be collegial and respectful across disciplinary, cultural, and personal boundaries.


STUDENT ASSISTANCE:  Student Affairs and Services offers help and support in a variety of areas, both academic and personal.  More information can be found at




Assign1, Assign2, Assign3,  Assign4, Assign5, Asign6, 

Moment connection example,  

Plate girder example part1, part2

Composite beams:

Class example – safe design, unsafe design

Assignment problem – safe design, unsafe design

Some examples:

Lab:  SFRAME-SSTEEL  1, 2, Assign,

sample exam


Slide presentation files –

Introduction” “tension members” “connections-a,   connections-b

compression” “compression handout”   bending 

beam-columns  composite beams  plate girders 


Solution to cubic equations

Beam diagrams (from wood council, but work for steel too)


Some useful links: - Canadian Institute of Steel Construction - America Institute of Steel Construction – American Iron and Steel Institute - Research Council on Structural Connections - International Iron and Steel Institute - SDI - Steel Deck Institute - SJI - Steel Joist Institute - Earthquake resistant structures - Very large data base of structures (>10,000) and their pictures.  Fabulous site with additional information.  A bit overwhelming! Lincoln electric welding site –explains the basic terms, and over view 


Legal stuff:

The MUN Faculty Association asked us to include the following in Legalese. J  So there! J


The lectures and displays (and all material) delivered or provided in this course, including any visual or audio recording thereof, are subject to copyright owned by the instructor for the course (Dr. Seshu Adluri).  Other copyrights may also be applicable. It is prohibited to record or copy by any means, in any format, openly or surreptitiously, in whole or in part, in the absence of express written permission from the instructor, Dr. Seshu Adluri any of the lectures, materials provided or published in any form during or from the above course.