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Unit Overview


This unit covers the knowledge and analysis methods for structural steel design based on Australian Standards such as the steel design code AS4100 and the loading code AS1170. The topics covered include load calculations, design of tension members, design of compression members, design of bending members, design of members subjected to combined actions, design of plate girders, design of connections and fatigue design. This is an introduction to the design of structural elements through the principles of limit states design. The unit includes the assessment of loads and load combinations, the assemblage of members to resist those loads and the design of individual members within an assemblage. Principal structural members are designed to resist tension, compression, bending and combinations of tension and compression with bending. Connections are a combination of both welded and bolted systems. Fatigue design of structural elements is also included. Students analyse structural loads and structural members and apply the results of these analyses to practical steel structure design.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Civil Engineering major sequence

Students are able to (1) discuss the design principles of structural steel; (2) communicate effectively in written technical reports; (3) simplify a practical steel structure in the design process; (4) apply structural analysis to the design of steel structures and structural elements; (5) perform an economical steel structure design using limit state design method; (6) apply AS1170 and AS4100 appropriately in the design of steel structures; and (7) conduct simplified plate girder design and quantify fatigue load effect.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) project; and (3) examinations. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Mohamed Elchalakani
Unit rules
GENG2004 Solid Mechanics (ID 8044) and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
CIVL4404 Structural Steel (ID 2600)
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week
practical classes: 2 hours per week

Gorenc, B., Tinyou, R. and Syam, A. Steel Designers' Handbook, 7th edn: University of New South Wales Press Ltd 2005

Australian Standards AS4100

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.