CIVIL 719 : Matrix Structural Analysis


2021 Semester One (1213) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Direct stiffness method applied to linear, nonlinear and stability analyses. Introduction to variational principles and finite element method. Projects in practical modelling of major structures such as bridges and multi-storey buildings. Use of commercial software.

Course Overview

This course aims to provide:
1. An understanding of the principles of the Direct Stiffness Method for structural analysis, the basis of most structural and finite element analysis programs.
2. Experience in the application of a commercial structural analysis program (SAP2000) that implements the direct stiffness method, to a range of practical structures. An introduction to modelling techniques – overcoming some of the problems and pitfalls.
3. An introduction to the matrix formulation and solution of linear, nonlinear, stability and dynamic problems.

Course Requirements

Restriction: CIVIL 416

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of and appraise discrete methods of analysis versus the classical continuum approach. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2 and 4.2)
  2. Develop, apply and deconstruct the use of direct stiffness method as it is applied to the linear analysis of skeletal structures such as trusses and frames. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2 and 4.2)
  3. Demonstrate and understand how to apply stationary principles to finite element analysis, including the general development of 2D elements and iso-parametric formulations. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.2 and 5.2)
  4. Justify, plan and conduct Nonlinear and stability analysis, with consideration of sources of nonlinearity in structures and typical solution techniques in overcoming common nonlinear structural problems, such as, plastic collapse, calculation of critical loads and post-buckling behaviour. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2 and 5.2)
  5. Demonstrate ability to conduct dynamic analysis of large structural systems using matrix methods (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2 and 5.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Test 15% Individual Test
Coursework 35% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam
Student must achieve 40% or greater in the exam to pass the course 

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures, an 1 hour tutorial, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 4 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation, on average per week.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

This course is intended to be a Campus Experience course but allowances have been made for those unable to attend on campus due to the impact of COVID 19.

For those attending on campus:

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including labs/tutorials to complete components of the course.

Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will not be available as recordings.

The course may include live online events including group discussions.

Attendance on campus is required for the test and exam.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

For those approved to study remotely due to the impact of COVID 19:

Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities including labs/tutorials to complete components of the course.

The course may include live online events including group discussions/tutorials/lectures and these will be recorded.

Attendance on campus is required for the test/exam.

Where possible, study material will be released progressively throughout the course.

This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Health & Safety

The course is based on desktop activites and no specific health and safety risks beyond this is expected.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 18/02/2021 09:21 a.m.