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Syllabus for

Academic year
MMA169 - Structural engineering  
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-17 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPMOB
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Main field of study: Mechanical Engineering, Shipping and Marine Technology

Course round 1

Teaching language: English
Application code: 89119
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D+
Only students with the course round in the programme plan

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0121 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   13 Apr 2022 pm L,  17 Aug 2022 pm J  

In programs

MPMOB MOBILITY ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Jonas Ringsberg

  Go to Course Homepage


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

Mathematics (including mathematical statistics, numerical analysis and multi-variable calculus), mechanics and strength of materials and engineering materials.


The purpose of the course is to give professional knowledge of structural characteristics of (large) structures made of metallic materials, how to carry out an analysis of their strength using limit-state criteria, uncertainty analysis, and reliability analysis using probabilistic methods. The theory is general while the application examples are mainly on marine and civil engineering-related structures.

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

  • identify and discuss dimensioning loads acting on a structure which are crucial for its design with regards to its strength and “functionality”,
  • have understanding of where to find and how to use standards and guidelines for dimensioning and structural analysis using limit-state design criteria,
  • discuss how limit-state design as a design philosophy contributes to sustainable engineering to ensure safety for humans, the environment and property,
  • carry out full strength analyses of large and complex structures made of metallic materials,
  • carry out an uncertainty analysis of a target function (or property) considering uncertainties in external loads, material properties and dimensions of a structure,
  • discuss how factors that affect negatively the long-term usage/safety of a structure, such as corrosion and fatigue damage accumulation, need to be included implicitly in the design or the maintenance of a structure,
  • establish and carry out a reliability analysis using a first- or second-order reliability method,
  • critically evaluate and compare various design concepts with respect to reliability and limit state aspects. 


The student will gain professional competence how to systematically solve general problems which concern the structural integrity of structures where, e.g., limit-state-based criteria are used as a basis in the design philosophy.

The contents and learning outcomes address at least five of UN’s Global Sustainable Goals (SDGs): #9 - Industries, innovation and infrastructure, #11 - Sustainable cities and communities, #12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, #14 - Life below water, and #17 - Partnerships for the goals.

The course is divided into four parts, where the theory is applied in three mandatory assignments (solved in groups) that have clear connections to realistic cases and real problems.
  • Standards and guidelines for dimensioning and structural analysis using limit-state design criteria
    - Definition of four limit state criteria
    - Identification of and analysis of design loads
    - Sustainability aspects
  • Sustainable engineering and design solutions
    - Life cycle analysis
    - Maintenance strategies: factors that affect long-term usage/safety of a structure
    - Innovative design solutions, introduction to lightweight design principles and optimization procedures
  • Advanced structural analysis based on engineering beam theory
    - Normal stresses/strains due to axial loading conditions.
    - Normal stresses/strains due to biaxial bending conditions (Navier's theory).
    - Normal stresses/strains due to torsion (Vlasov theory).
    - Shear stresses/strains due to biaxial bending conditions.
    - Shear stresses/strains due to general torsion.
    - Calculation of effective flange and how to use it in structural analysis.
  • Reliability analysis by probabilistic (engineering) methods
    - Uncertainty analysis
    - Statistical distributions of stochastic variables
    - First-order and second-order reliability methods (FORM and SORM)


Teaching is in the form of lectures, tutorials and supervision of (mandatory) assignments. 


J.W. Ringsberg (2021). Structural Engineering. Division of Marine Technology, Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

J.K. Paik (2020). Advanced Structural Safety Studies - With Extreme Conditions and Accidents. Springer, Singapore.

Examination including compulsory elements

The examination of the course consists of two parts:
  • 3 mandatory assignments, presence on the mandatory seminar (see below)
  • 6 weekly tests offered only during the study period the course is taught
Each weekly test has a theory part and a problem-solving part. The maximum score on one weekly test is 20p and the requirement for passing one weekly test is 10p.

To pass the course, all 3 assignments must be approved, and the student must pass at least 5 of the 6 weekly tests. The final grade is determined by the total performance on the 5 passed weekly tests which have the highest score:
  • Fail: <50p
  • Grade 3: 50p – <70p
  • Grade 4: 70p – <85p
  • Grade 5: 85p – 100p
The mandatory seminar will be arranged at the end of the course. On the seminar, each assignment group will present one of its assignments (the examiner decides which one). The purpose is to develop/examine the student’s skills with regards to how to present, motivate, discuss and defend assumptions and results from engineering analysis work. Each student’s performance will be assessed as “pass” or “fail”. Students who fail due to, e.g., lack of preparations or engagement, will be notified that they did not pass the seminar. They will be offered a second opportunity to present to a smaller group on an extra seminar where they must present one of the problems solved on a tutorial, or, one of the homework problems.

Note: no written exam will be offered during the ordinary written exam period for the course. For students who do not pass the weekly tests, a written exam is offered at the next opportunity for a retake exam of the course.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.