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This content is taken from the University of Liverpool's online course, Understanding Superstructures. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Last week we talked about how everything has structure, how structures hold everything together and are defined by their purpose, material and form. We looked at how we can use free body diagrams to evaluate the forces that flow through structures. And we examined some elegant approaches to achieving structural integrity such as minimizing energy and tensegrity. This week we are going to discuss the degrees of freedom possessed by structures and how this influences our analysis of structures like this bridge. We will define some terminology including force, deformation, stress, and strain, and then use this terminology to explore the stresses in thin wall structures like this egg shell.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds Energy is a key factor in everything that happens in the world and it has already been mentioned in the context of lazy structures so we will extend those ideas a little further before wrapping up with a discussion on ingenious designs and another practical for you to do.


Welcome to week 2! We are going to look a membrane structures, such as bat’s wings and sails on junks, and then explore how structures absorb, transmit and dissipate energy.

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This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Superstructures

University of Liverpool