During Fall 2017, Spring and Fall 2018 quarters, various hands-on design, fabrication, and large-scale experimental projects were incorporated into a 10-week undergraduate structural steel design course offered in the Department of Architectural Engineering at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. Through these projects students investigated one or two unique steel lateral force resisting systems (LFRS) consisting of either: special moment frame (SMF), special concentric braced frame (SCBF), and/or buckling restrained braced frame (BRBF). Students completed design calculations per the American Institute of Steel Construction steel building and seismic codes, visualized their final design using AutoCAD software, constructed and tested the LFRS specimen. Finally, students compared test results to predictions determined via code equations.

These new projects offer a novel approach for engaging students in the process of learning steel design where they practice the technical structural design and analysis competencies while refining visual/written/oral communication, project management, construction, experimentation, and data analysis skills. Student feedback collected for each course offering indicated that students had a better visual and physical understanding of various steel LFRS systems by undergoing the complete cycle of design, fabrication, testing, and analysis. As a result, students were able to more fully comprehend consequences of their design decisions, lessons which they will hopefully draw on in their future structural engineering career focusing on seismic design.


Architectural Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/aen_fac/131