Fundamentals of Statics
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Fundamentals of Statics

Get to grips with static structural analysis once and for all. In this course we focus on getting the basics right.
4.2 (34 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,110 students enrolled
Created by Dr Seán Carroll
Last updated 9/2017
Price: Free
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 45 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • You will understand key concepts such as the moment of a force, static equilibrium and determinacy
  • You will be able to determine the support reactions for structures subject to a range of loading conditions
  • You will learn to use the Joint Resolution Method and Method of Sections to analyse pin-jointed truss structures
  • You will understand the key differences between simplified analysis models and the behaviour of real world structures
View Curriculum
  • You don't need any prior understanding or knowledge of static or mechanical analysis, just a pencil, paper, calculator and a few of hours of effort!
  • An understanding of basic high school level algebra and geometry will be helpful but not essential.

This course covers fundamental concepts and methods in static structural analysis. Starting with the very basics, we consider forces, moments and how to use the principle of static equilibrium. We then move on to look at pin-jointed structures or trusses; what are they and how do we analyse them? We'll cover the joint resolution method and method of sections in detail. Worked examples are used extensively to demonstrate the practical application of theory.

Based on my experience lecturing to engineering undergraduates, the course focuses on those areas students find particularly tricky when starting out. The link between theory and practice is reinforced using my experience as a structural design engineer. The course includes video lectures which combine screencast voice over with traditional style lectures. 

The emphasis is on worked examples with students encouraged to try questions before the detailed solution is presented. The teaching philosophy is 'learn by doing!'.

This course is suitable for engineering students who find their structures lectures confusing and feel a little lost when it comes to structural analysis. Students wishing to get a head start before starting their degree programme or more advanced engineering students who need a refresher would also benefit from taking this course.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is great for undergraduate engineering students who feel a little lost in their structures lectures. We start from scratch, establishing the basics and build from there.
  • More advanced engineering students who want a refresher or who didn't quite grasp the fundamentals first time around would also benefit from this course.
  • If you're about to start an engineering program, this course is a great way to get a head start.
  • If you're a structures genius already, this course is probably not for you.
Compare to Other Civil Engineering Courses
Curriculum For This Course
31 Lectures
An Introduction to Me and the Course
1 Lecture 01:34
An Introduction to Me and the Course
2D Force Systems
7 Lectures 59:38

In this lecture we'll start by introducing forces and their defining characterises. By the end of the lecture you should understand what a force is and how it influences mass. You'll also understand what a 2D force system is.

2D Force Systems

Force resultants and components

When dealing with 2D force systems, determining the resultant force is only half the story, we also need to determine the combined twisting or rotational effect generated by the force system. By the end of this lecture you'll understand what the moment of a force is and how to determine the resultant moment from a 2D force system.

The Moment of a Force

Now that you can analyse 2D force systems, in this lecture we put these skills to use by determining equivalent systems of moments and forces. By the end of this lecture you'll be able to replace complex systems of moments and forces with equivalent simplified systems. We'll also cover the concept of force couples.

Couples and Equivalent Systems

Test Yourself - Worked Example #1

Test Yourself - Worked Example #2

Test Yourself - Worked Example #3
Static Equilibrium and Reaction Forces
11 Lectures 46:37

Equilibrium is the foundation on which almost all mechanical analysis is built. In this lecture we'll first introduce the principle of equilibrium and show how it can be used to determine the reaction forces for simple structures. We'll also look at different types of structural support, how we can model structural supports and critically how this model behaviour compares to real life support conditions.

Equilibrium and Reaction Forces

The first step in analysing most structures is determining the support reactions. It's a critical skill that needs to be honed before we can advance. In this lecture we'll present a variety of structures and demonstrate how the support reactions are calculated. We'll also introduce different load types such as uniformly and triangularly distributed loads.

Calculating Reaction Forces

The three equilibrium equations can only get us so far. In this lecture we'll identify the limitations of using equilibrium equations to determine support reactions. By the end of this lecture you will understand the difference between statically determinate and indeterminate structures.

Limitations of the Equations of Statics

Test Yourself - Worked Example #4

Test Yourself - Worked Example #5

Test Yourself - Worked Example #6

Test Yourself - Worked Example #7

Test Yourself - Worked Example #8

Test Yourself - Worked Example #9

Test Yourself - Worked Example #10

Test Yourself - Worked Example #11
Analysis of Pin-Jointed Structures (trusses)
11 Lectures 01:15:47

In this lecture we introduce one of the most common forms of structure in the world, the pin-jointed truss. We'll focus on the details of the theoretical models we use in our analyses, discussing the key features of this type of structure and what makes it such an attractive structural form for civil and structural engineers.

What is a pin-jointed structure in theory

As with all models we use in our analyses, they're an approximation of the behaviour of the real structure. As such their behaviour will be different depending on the simplifying assumptions we make. In this lecture we focus on some of the important differences between our analysis models and real trusses. By the end of this lecture you will have an appreciation for how your analysis relates to reality.

What is a pin-jointed structure in reality

In this lecture we get into analysing pin-jointed structures to determine how forces are transmitted through the structure. By the end of this lecture you'll be able to use the 'Joint Resolution' method to determine the internal member forces within trusses and will appreciate how these elegant structures really work.

Force calculation using 'Joint Resolution'

Now we introduce an alternative analysis method known as the Method of Sections. Based on the principle of equilibrium just like the joint resolution method, this analysis procedure gives us more flexibility when analysing larger structures. By the end of this lecture you will be able to employ the method of sections to analyse trusses and will understand when to use this method joint resolution.

Force calculation using the 'Method of Sections'

The concept of statical determinacy introduced in lecture 7 also extends to pin-jointed structures. In this lecture we look at what it means in the context of pin-jointed structures. We'll introduce the concept of a mechanism as well as establish a simple test to determine the if a truss is statically determinate, indeterminate or a mechanism.

Statical determinacy

Test Yourself - Worked Example #12

Test Yourself - Worked Example #13

Test Yourself - Worked Example #14

Test Yourself - Worked Example #15

Test Yourself - Worked Example #16

In this lecture I give you some closing words of advice and some ideas on where to go next.

Wrapping up
1 Lecture 03:02

In this lecture I just want to let you know about another one of my fundamentals courses; 'Fundamentals of Internal Bending Moments'. 

Use promo code: SEANSUDEMYENGINEERS to enrol in this ($100) course for FREE.

You can find the course at:

See you inside!


BONUS LECTURE - FREE Bending Moments Course
About the Instructor
Dr Seán Carroll
4.2 Average rating
34 Reviews
1,110 Students
2 Courses
BEng (Hons), MSc, PhD, CEng MIEI FHEA

Seán is a UK based lecturer in structural engineering and a chartered engineer. He holds a degree in structural engineering, a masters degree in civil engineering and a PhD also in civil engineering. After graduating in 2006, Seán worked for several years as a structural design engineer before pursuing a PhD in structural dynamics. In addition to his civil engineering research, Seán's other passion is teaching. Whether that's live in the lecture hall or here on Udemy. Seán is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK, a recognition of his commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education.