Structural Steel Design

Structural Steel Design, Architecture 311

Arch 211: Statics and Strength of Materials


Meeting time/place
M21, Tuesdays 6:00pm – 9:05pm
M22, Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:05pm

Structural Steel Design (4th Edition), Jack McCormac
AISC Manual of Steel Construction, 13th Edition

William Martin

Course Objective

To introduce students to the general behavior and design of steel members. The student is expected to compute member loads and design members to resist them. All course work is based on the latest edition of the AISC Manual of Steel Construction. Design and analysis of beams, tension members, columns, base plates, bearing plates, and connections are covered. The integration of individual members into the overall structure is stressed throughout the semester. Strength, deflection, and durability are also covered.

Instructional Methods

Classes will be lecture based with example problems, readings may be assigned.


The course is divided into modules for which students must demonstrate competency with tests.


Attendance will be taken at every class session. All students who are absent from class twice without an excuse will receive a written warning. Should a student miss the third class the student will be notified writing that they must withdraw from the class or fail, as any additional participation will not be acknowledged.

Online References

AISC Steel Section Properties Table
Formula Sheet 1
Vulcraft Steel Deck Catalog
Formulas for Cantilevered Beam with Two Supports
Formulas for Cantilevered Beam with One Fixed Support

Subject Modules

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Statics Materials Cross Sections Beams Tension Members Columns Frames Connections
Problems Problems Problems
Beams Project Bridge Project Frames Project
Test 1 Solutions Test 1 Solutions Test 1 Solutions
Lecture 1
Lecture 2
Lecture 3
Lecture Lecture 1
Lecture 2
Lecture 1 Simple Frame Method
Full Portal Frame


Week 1

Lecture 1: Brief introduction, course overview.
Course Introduction
Introduction to Steel by Prof Sanabria

Week 2

Lecture 2: Statics review (reactions, shear-moment diagrams)
Structural Theory
Static Equilibrium – Forces
Static Equilibrium – Moment
Internal Moment and Shear in Beams
Moment and Shear in Beams #1 by Prof Sanabria
Moment and Shear in Beams #2 by Prof Sanabria
PROBLEMS: Statics, VM Diagrams

Week 3

Lecture 3: Material properties, cross-sections, tension members, allowable stresses
Introduction to Cross Sections
Materials and Cross Sections by Prof Sanabria
Read Chapter 1 in McCormac
PROBLEMS: Materials

Week 4

Lecture 4: Load tracing, cross-sectional properties (centroid, moment of inertia)
Custom Steel Cross Sections
Load Tracing by Prof Sanabria
CLASS NOTES: Custom Cross Sections
Chapter 2: Specifications, Loads, and Methods of Design in McCormac
PROBLEMS: Custom Cross Sections

Week 5

Test Session 1
Module 1 (Statics) Solutions
Module 2 (Materials) Solutions
Module 3 (Cross Sections) Solutions

Week 6

Review of Test 1 Material (Modules 1-3)

Week 7

Lecture 5: Bending stress, section modulus, shear stress
Beam Selection Process for Moment and Deflection – LRFD Method
Intro to Beams by Prof Sanabria
Chapter 8: Introduction to Beams in McCormac

Lecture 6: Beam design using AISC manual, 13th edition

Beams with AISC Manual by Prof Sanabria
Chapter 9: Design of Beams for Moments and Chapter 10: Design of Beams – Miscellaneous Topics in McCormac.

MINI-PROJECT: LRFD Beam Assignment
Perform this assignment either alone or in pairs (absolutely no groups of three or more). Format and present this work as a clear and thoughtful analysis. Use graphics, text, and calculations to explain your approach. Select the beams for both flexure and deflection.

[Spring Break]

Week 8 (Apr 5+7)

Test Session 2 – Retesting for Modules 1-3
LRFD Beam Assignment Due (This assignment constitutes work for Module 4. Thursday section due on Apr 14, due to missed class before Spring Break).

Week 9 (Apr 12+14)

Tension Members
PROJECT: Cable Bridge
Perform this assignment either alone or in pairs (absolutely no groups of three or more). If you opt for this assignment instead of the test, please note that your grade will be determined statistically by the measured performance of your bridge.
Relevant reading: Chapter 3: Analysis of Tension Members and Chapter 4: Design of Tension Members in McCormac.

Week 10 (Apr 19+21)

Introduction to columns
Introduction to Columns

Lecture 7: Axially loaded columns, end restraint
Columns by Prof Sanabria

Relevant reading: Chapter 5: Introduction to Axially Loaded Compression Members in McCormac.
Relevant reading: Chapter 6: Design of Axially Loaded Compression Members in McCormac.

Week 11 (Apr 26+28)

Model Testing

Week 12 (May 3+5)

Steel Frames and the Portal Method
Simple Frame Method
Full Portal Frame
MINI-PROJECT: Steel Rigid Frame Analysis

Lecture 8: Bolted connections, welded connections
Connections by Prof Sanabria
Relevant reading: Chapter 12: Bolts, Chapter 14: Welded Connections, and Chapter 15: Building Connections in McCormac.

Week 13 (May 10+12)

Q&A for Portal Frames

Week 14 (May 17+19)

Test Session 3
Modules 1-3