Skip to main content


Course Description

The objective of this course is to introduce students to experimental methods of investigating static and dynamic behaviour of structural components and systems. The course involves two lectures and one practical per week. The course will cover various aspects of experimental investigation, including test planning, model preparation, loading systems, sensors and instrumentation, data acquisition, data processing, and reporting of experimental results. Laboratory experiments will include static, dynamic and stability problems in structural engineering. The key idea of conducting such tests is to verify theoretical and analytical predictions. It is expected that students will develop a deep insight into the theories of structural mechanics and dynamics and a keen interest in verifying new theories and analytical predictions through laboratory testing.

Course Content

Similitude and structural models: dimensional analysis, Buckingham's Pi theorem, scale factors and dynamic similitude; Uses and applications of models: types of model investigation, indirect and direct models, elastic and inelastic models (steel, concrete and masonry), size effects; Analysis of experimental data: error and uncertainty in experiment, measurement systems, accuracy in models and reliability of results; Test planning, design and implementation: testing sequence and experimental plan, loading systems, devices, actuators and their control; Instrumentation: mechanical, electrical, electronic system and their calibration, various types of sensors for displacement, velocity, acceleration, pressure, loads, strains, full-field measurements; Data acquisition system and data processing: analogue systems, digital systems using personal computers, dynamic measurement, numerical and graphical data processing and archiving; Lab exercises: experiments to illustrate buckling of structural members; load-deformation behaviour of beams, columns, joints, and frames under various loads, mode shapes, natural frequency, damping factors from free and forced vibrations, shake table tests.

Course Audience

PG students in Structural Engineering