• Length:
    5 Weeks
  • Effort:
    6–7 hours per week
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  • Course Type:
    Instructor-led on a course schedule


Recommend completing an undergraduate structural analysis course.

About this course

Skip About this course

Beam-column and frame stability analysis is an important component of all structural designs.

This course will cover the stability analysis methods for beam-column and frame systems with a focus on differentiating between the effective length and direct analysis methods for design.

Students will leave this course with an in-depth knowledge of the beam-column interaction equations, frame buckling analysis, and 2nd order analysis methods for design. Students will learn to distinguish between the effective length method and direct analysis methods for design and become familiar with the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) standard approaches for the design of beam-columns and frames. This course is best suited for students with an undergraduate civil engineering background including a structural analysis course and will build on these concepts.

Students will learn from an awarded structural engineering researcher with over 20 years of experience in the field. Professor Varma focuses on teaching through exploring example problems and applications of fundamental concepts, encouraging his students to both understand the principles of structural stability and be able to apply these concepts in realistic design scenarios.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • In-plane and out-of-plane interaction behavior and design for steel-beam columns.
  • Frame buckling analysis using geometric stiffness matrices.
  • Design using the direct analysis method as described in AISC360.

Week 1: Beam-Column Stability Behavior

Introduction to beam-column differential equations and solutions.

Week 2: Beam-Column Design

In-plane and out-of-plane P-M interaction equations for beam-column design.

Week 3: Frame Buckling Analysis

Introduction to stability coefficients, geometric stiffness matrix, and frame buckling analysis.

Week 4: Effective Length Method and Approximate Methods of 2 nd Order Analysis

Discussion of effective length methods and approximate methods of 2nd order analysis.

Week 5: Direct Analysis Method and Design of Steel Frames

Discussion of direct analysis method for the design of steel frames.

Meet your instructors

Amit Varma
Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of Bowen Laboratory of Large-Scale CE Research
Purdue University
Morgan Broberg
Doctoral Fellow, Civil Engineering
Purdue University

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