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Purdue University

Design of Steel-Concrete Composite Structures

Purdue University via edX


Steel-concrete composite structural members are key components of structures across the world.

This course will cover the design of composite structures with an emphasis on composite beams and floor systems, composite columns, and composite walls.

Students will leave this course with an in-depth knowledge of relevant limit states and failure modes as well as a familiarity with the AISC360 (American Institute of Steel Construction) provisions for composites. This course is best suited for students with an undergraduate civil engineering background including a basic steel design course and will build on these concepts.

Students will learn from a top composite’s 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 composite behavior and be able to apply these concepts in realistic design scenarios.

This course is available to practicing engineers for 1.5 CEUs for learners completing the course on the verified track.


Week 1: Composite Beams – Introduction and Full Composite Action

Introduce composite beams, including shear studs and the definition of composite action.

Week 2: Composite Beams – Partial Composite Action

Differentiate between full and partial composite action. Determine the location of a beam’s neutral axis/axes depending on the level of composite action. Calculate shear stud strength and understand strength modifiers.

Week 3: Composite Beams – Deflections

Discuss composite beam deflections and various methods for calculating the moment of inertia of a composite beam. Overview of using AISC design tables to estimate beam deflections.

Week 4: Composite Columns – Introduction and Column Behavior

Introduce composite columns including the strength of squat composite columns, columns under only axial load, and developing column curves.

Week 5: Composite Columns – Flexural Capacity and P-M Interaction

Discuss beam-column composite elements including the flexural capacity of composite columns and the effect of concurrent axial and moment loads on composite behavior.

Week 6: Composite Walls – Introduction

Introduce composite walls including the genesis of composite walls and recent applications.

Week 7: Composite Walls – Design

Discuss of experimental behavior of composite walls and current design provisions for composite walls.

Week 8: Exam Review

Taught by

Amit Varma, Sahaas Bhardwaj and Morgan Broberg

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