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Purdue University

Stability and Design of Structural Members

Purdue University via edX


Buckling can be a controlling limit state for many structural elements.

This course will cover the intersection of buckling and member design – specifically the behavior of columns and beam elements.

Students will leave this course with an in-depth knowledge of governing differential equations for stability analysis of column and beam elements. 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.


Week 1: Inelastic Buckling of Columns

Introduction to inelastic buckling of columns including the effects of residual stresses and geometric imperfections and the tangent modulus theory.

Week 2: Column Inelastic Buckling Continued

Discuss the history of inelastic column buckling and the implications of the tangent modulus theory.

Week 3: Column Design

Detail column design using the tangent modulus theory and current US and international column bucking curves.

Week 4: Beam Buckling

Introduce beam buckling including solutions using the finite difference and inverse iteration methods. Discuss the effect of uniform moment distribution for different end conditions.

Week 5: Beam Design

Discuss the effect of non-uniform moment and beam design.

Taught by

Amit Varma and Morgan Broberg

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