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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
VSM196 - Timber engineering
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-18 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPSEB
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 22113
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: D+
Maximum participants: 65

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   17 Mar 2021 am J,  Contact examiner,  17 Aug 2021 am J

In programs



Robert Jockwer

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

The course is a supplement to the basic knowledge of wood as a building material and of timber structures, i.e. a basic understanding of the structural behaviour of the different elements (beams, columns) made of solid wood, wood-based products and different basic connection methods. A basic knowledge of structural system, loads and load combinations acting on structures is required.


The aim is to provide advanced knowledge of the design of both simple and complex timber structures, detailing and connections. This includes the necessary skills to understand and design the stabilising system for multi-storey timber buildings and frameworks made of timber elements, understanding both how different more complex elements such as engineered wood products (EWP) including glulam (especially curved-glulam beams), wood-based I-beams and wood-based panels behave in structures and the overall structural performance. Furthermore, the emphasis is stressed on understanding the design of connections and some detailing, to provide the necessary skills to design stressed-skin panels and understanding how different elements behave in service conditions, especially the vibration and springiness in timber-based floors. The use of Eurocode 5 (Design Manual for Timber Structures) will be emphasised.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

After this course, students will be equipped to work at structural engineering companies and be able to design the vast majority of timber structures. Students will obtain practical experience of ways of designing the main parts of multi-storey timber buildings. In order to do this, students should be able to:
- Explain the specific aspects of timber construction, the strengths and weaknesses and some specific problems related to timber design
- Perform structural design by applying Eurocode 5
- Describe, explain and design a stabilising system for multi-storey timber buildings
- Explain different properties of floor components, calculate the dynamic behaviour of wood-based floors and identify the components and properties that influence this behaviour
- Design different connections used in timber construction and have a good understanding of their mechanical behaviour


The course consists of four main areas and they include:
A) Introduction to Eurocode 5 (EC5)
i) Material properties related to EC5
ii) Structural timber and engineering wood products (EWP) - main differences
B) Design of structural timber elements in ULS and SLS
i) Tension, compression and loading at the angle to the grain
ii) Cross-sections subjected to combined stresses
iii) Glulam beams with varying cross-sections: tapered, curved and pitched
iv) Glued, thin I-beam, box beams and SSP
v) Vibration and springiness in floors
C) Design and production of multi-storey buildings
i) Structural systems and production methods - houses
ii) Stabilising system for multi-storey timber buildings
iii) Models for shear walls, diaphragms and their design
D) Detailing and connections
i) Dowel-type joints - theory
ii) Joints - mechanical and glued
iii) Design related to EC5
iv) Notched beams, holes, splitting and cracking


Learning activities: The course is organized in leactures, three times week and it includes lectures, exercises and design task.


- Design of timber structures. Swedish wood 2011, referred as "DoTS".
- Extracts from Eurocode 5.
- Timber Engineering - Design examples.
-  Memorandum to design task and lecture notes.
Additional recommended book: "Structural Timber Design to Eurocode 5" 2007 by J. Porteous and A. Kermani, referred as "STDtoEC5".

Examination including compulsory elements

To pass this course it is necessary to pass the exam. In order to take part in the exam both parts of the project work has to be approved. The exam has two parts; one part with design problems to solve, and one part with theoretical and descriptive questions - 26 points maximum (16 points coming from the first part and 10 points from the second). The second part consists of descriptive questions and multichoice questions. To pass the exam both parts have to be approved (at least 6 points from the first part and 4 points from the second), and a total of 11 points is required. Registration through the Student Portal is required.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.