This unit of study aims to provide a basic introduction into the design principles of structural elements. The following topics would be covered:
Timber: Load calculation, dead and live loads, design loads rationale, calculation of specific loads. Design of timber beams, columns. Nailed and bolted connections in simple shear.
Steel:  Design of simple structural members in tension, compression, bending and shear. Design of bolted and welded connections in simple shear or tension
Other materials: Review of fundamental concepts based on Solid Mechanics.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


NEC2102 - Solid Mechanics

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Design structural steel elements to withstand tension, compression, bending and shear;  
  2. Design bolted and welded steel connections;  
  3. Design timber beams and columns and appropriate connection details for a variety of construction applications;  
  4. Apply and explain fundamental design principles to inform the construction of timber and steel structural elements compliant with relevant industry standards; and  
  5. Formulate and solve specific problems, and work both autonomously and as a member of a team.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise In-class Group Exercises (2) (small design problems) 20%
Test Two (2) Individual Class Tests 50%
Assignment Two (2) Team Project reports 30%
The portfolio provides documented evidence demonstrating that the learning outcomes for the subject have been achieved. The portfolio may include skills audits, laboratory activities, project reports, reflective journals, self and peer assessment.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit may be available as a single unit of study.

Find out more about how to apply for single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.