Skip main navigation


Eann introduces the concepts found in week 5.
I hope that our discussions last week about how stress varies depending in which direction
align:middle line:90% you are looking and where you are standing in a structure wasnt too strenuous or should I say stressful because this week we are going to take it a step further and discuss how dynamic loads loads that vary with time cause additional stress. We will take a look at the analysis tools that designers use to optimise structures and create modern super structures. So well move away from simple components like the beams we talked about last week and in week 3 to real structures like the cruise ship behind me.
Real structures have to be resilient have to survive unexpected and extreme events; and when they are part of a complex system we see interaction between the parts of the system that cause interdependencies that lead to unforeseen risks. In other words complex systems can be more than the sum of the parts and so we’ll touch on emergent behaviour before finishing with an end-of-course quiz concluding the design exercise and wrapping up with some thoughts on elegance and embracing simplicity.

Welcome to our final week. Last week we piled on the stress in more ways than one. This week we are going to do it quickly; in other words, we will discuss how dynamic or time-varying loads influence the behaviour of structures. And, the tools designers use to optimise structures to be resilient and to survive extreme or unexpected events. We will touch on unknown unknowns and emergent behaviour; before concluding the design exercise and finishing with a quiz and few farewell comments.

This article is from the free online

Understanding Superstructures

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education