CVEN 345 Syllabus
Spring 2019a
January 14th to May 7th, 2019

Section 501 (10685) - MWF 12:40 pm to 1:30 pm - Zachry Room 315
Section 502 (36242) - TR 3:55 pm to 5:10 pm - Zachry Room 315



Professor: Lee L. Lowery, Jr., PhD, P.E.

Office: DLEB Dwight Look Engineering Building
Room 705E (above the old first floor Pi*R2)
Phone: 979-845-4395 (Office), 979-775-5401 (Home)

Office Hours:

NOTE: My office hours as listed here are suspended on days before major exams, giving me time to make them out.  Please do not wait until the day before a major exam for help.  Plan to see me or the Teaching Associate earlier in the week.

Teaching Associate for Spring 2019:  Jilong Cui   <=   Click here for help desk hours.

The TA will be located in the new Crystal Palace (new second story addition on the east end of CVLB now called the Solarium).  See above for the help desk hours for 345.  Email me if the TA changes these times at

Textbook: The textbook is excellent:  Kassimali, Structural Analysis. 5th Edition. CENGAGE Learning. 

Looking for a used textbook?  See below:

Structural Analysis:: Kassimali, Aslam  

2015 5th edition ISBN numbers

  • 1133943896 (10 digit) or

  • 9781133943891 (13 digit)

Note that less expensive international editions are available for almost all books.  For the Kassimali 345 5th edition, I have found that most of the international editions are the same as ours except for the numbering of the homework problems.

Texas A&M University Bookstore  Fill in the Department, Course, and section number. - NOTE!  The text and the problems in the international edition are the same as the US edition.  However, the problem numbers have been changed.  Thus you would have to get with someone who has a real text to see what problem number is assigned.  I think they are all in there, but the problems will have a different number.  Also, check the ISBN number carefully, and be ready to return it, but AbeBooks is a good company.  I have bought a ton of books from them.

A student sent me this list of the problem numbers for the US vs. the international edition, but I don't know if it's accurate, so no guarantee.  If you get one, check with someone who has a real book before working your homework problems.

Catalog Description: Theory of Structures. (3-0). Credit 3. Structural engineering—functions of structures, design loads, reactions and force systems; analysis of statically determinate and indeterminate structures including beams, trusses and arches; energy methods of determining deflections of structures; influence lines and criteria for moving loads; analysis of statically indeterminate structures including continuous beams and frames.

Prerequisites: CVEN 302 or registration therein; CVEN 305. Course Objectives: To introduce students to the general behavior of statically determinate and indeterminate structures and determination of forces therein. Construction of influence lines.  Determination of load and load placement on structures.  Use of available computer programs for analyzing statically indeterminate structures. Learning Outcomes - This course emphasizes the following ABET Learning Outcomes. Note that the letters refer to those used by ABET. knowledge of basic mathematics, science, and engineering. Course Prerequisites: To take CVEN 345, you must have received a passing grade (no D's, F's or I's) in CVEN 305 and be registered or have already passed CVEN 302.

Course Assessment:

  • Graded major exams (Quiz A, Quiz B, Final Exam = 3 @ 25% each) for 75% of final grade.
  • Team Project = 10% of final grade
  • Graded homework assignments, readiness assessment tests (RATs), class participation, attendance = 15% of final grade.

Syllabus Information

Resources available to the student:

Objectives and Outcomes:

Benefits of taking the course: Students will analyze and evaluate both determinate and indeterminate structural systems. They will be able to describe the structural engineering profession and demonstrate the role of structural analysis within the context of structural engineering design and decision-making

Course Objectives:
This course focuses on the following major learning objectives:

(1)  To develop an understanding of the basic principles of structural analysis and be able to explain them,

(2)  To determine and analyze models of applied loads on structures

(3)  To utilize various exact methods (both classical and matrix-based) of analysis of beams, trusses, and rigid frames to determine the response of both determinate and indeterminate structures

(4)  To utilize various approximate methods of analysis of beams, trusses, and rigid frames to determine the response of both determinate and indeterminate structures

(5)  To apply the method of virtual work in determining deflections of structures,

(6)  To develop and utilize influence lines of structures,

(7)  To evaluate the response of various structural systems (both determinate and indeterminate) under a range of demands, such as applied loads, support motions, and temperature changes

(8)  To demonstrate the role of structural analysis within the context of structural engineering design and decision-making.

ABET Outcomes Addressed

1.     Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics through differential equations, science (including physics, chemistry, and one additional area of science), and engineering

2.      Ability to formulate and solve civil engineering problems

3.      Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

4.      Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning

5.      Ability to use modern tools, techniques, and computation methods necessary for civil engineering practice

The correct time (to the nanosecond)

Major exams 
Exams are closed book. Bring calculator and pencils. You are also permitted to bring one 8.5" x 11" cheat sheet, hand written by you (no copies) on ONE SIDE only, no example problems. Equations only. You should also bring a copy of the Fundamentals of Engineering Reference Manual, Structural section only, unless you have memorized the wide flange tables.  No notes of any kind written on them. Click here for a copy 

Quiz A - held in our regular classroom on Tuesday, March 5th, room reserved for 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Covers everything above through homework problem 7.26. 

As you enter the room you will be given a numbered exam and directed where to sit.  It will take a few minutes to get in and prepare the room, so the exam may start a few minutes late and will then finish in 75 minutes.  You will then have 5 minutes to write your name on your exam and hand it in at the proctor's desk.  Any exams submitted past 5:00000.001 minutes will be put in a separate stack and graded as late.  Lame excuses like "I was just putting my name on the paper, Joe blocked my way getting to your desk, I am in a wheelchair and only have one leg after the horrific accident suffered on the way to the exam", will be ignored.  If your last name is Xoneggramxmmnzoztsotherby-jonesblyth, you will be given an extra second to write your name.

Quiz B - held in our regular classroom on Thursday, April 4th, your regular classroom reserved for 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Covers everything above through Chapter 7, plus Chapter 13 through 13.26.  Same other rules as Quiz A.

Final Exams - held in our regular classroom. Same rules as other major quizzes except for content and times.  Covers everything covered in the class.  Click here for official times and dates.  I think they are as follows, but it is up to you to make sure:

345-501 -  Friday May 3rd 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
345-502 -  Monday May 6th, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Course Syllabus: Please note that the syllabus will be revised throughout the semester. Please do not work problems very far ahead of the date due. Some may be dropped, others added that are better (in my opinion).

Material covered Reading Assignment Homework Problem Assignments

Click here for homework requirements for this class

Each week's homework assignment is due the following week on Thursday (for sections  502/503) or Friday (section 501) at beginning of class.

Please refer to homework problems often.  Some may get delayed until we cover the material and the problem numbers and dates may change.

Note that web-linked homework problem numbers refer to hints, or some solutions.  Click on link for the problem.
Week 1 - Jan 14-18


  Read Chapters 1 and 2: Loads on structures.  Dead Loads, Live Loads, Wind Loads, Load factors, combined loading.

See hazards map and how to use to get wind loads at:

  Read: Wind Load Procedure

Introduction: Statically Determinate Frames, Reactions, Moment Diagrams
1, 2, 3

This week's homework assignments are due at the end of the next week on
 Friday (for section 501) or
Thursday (for section 502)
at the beginning of class before you sit down:

Week 1 assignment:  2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.8, 2.9, 2.12(use v = 110 mph), 2.13(use 54 m/s)

Assignment: Go ahead and set up a team of four to work on your 345 team project.

Week 2 - Jan 21-25
  Discuss team projects

 Introduction to the use of MASTAN2

View videos on getting and using MASTAN2

MASTAN2 header sheets for data entry and exams
Get MASTAN and install, and run a cantilever beam with a concentrated load on the free end - not to be handed in.  Output: draw moment diagrams.

Equations for bending moments in frames.

Detailed procedures for drawing shear and moment diagrams.

Interactive shear and moment diagram practice module
or try here
Chapters 3, 4,
5.1-5.4, Discuss Team Project

Due at the end of next week on
 Friday (for section 501)
Thursday (for section 502)
at the beginning of class before you sit down:

Week 2 assignment:  3.27, 3.34, 4.47 (member IH only), 4,49 (member DE only),5.35, 5.39, 5.41, 5.44

Week 3 - Jan 28 - Feb 01
 Frames – moment diagrams, deflections by direct integration, advantages, disadvantages Chapter 5.5-5.6, 6.1-6.3 Week 3 assignment:   5.52, 5.56, 5.57, 5.65, 5.69, 5.70.
Week 4 - Feb 4-8
 Beams and Frames – Deflections by Work-Energy Chapter 7.1-7.5 Week 4 assignment:  6.1, 6.5, 6.7, 7.1, 7.3, 7.5, 7.11


Team Project Part I

Figures Modified on 1/1/19
Team Parameters
General Notes
Cover Letter
Week 5 - Feb 11-15
Volume Integrals

Chapter 7.5, 13.1 Week 5 assignment:  7.16 (see pg 281 for example of how to do this), 7.20 (click for help on 7.20), 7.23, 7.24, 7.26.
[For 7.23 and 7.24, use either the graphical method (volume integrals), or integral of mMdx/EI, whichever you prefer].

Week 6 - Feb 18-22
Introduction to solution to statically indeterminate structures using the flexibility method/consistent distortions. Chapter 13.1, 2 Week 6 assignment:

Team Project Part II

7.31, 7.36, 7.38, 7.39, 7.45
Week 7 - Feb 25-Mar 01
Solution to statically indeterminate structures with multiple degrees of indeterminacy using consistent deformations - Flexibility Method  
Example for Mastan2:
Videos of Use of Mastan2
1) Open an existing file
2) Generate nodes
3) Define and attach elements and properties
4) Add loads, supports.  Run program and generate reports


MASTAN2 header sheets for exams
Chapter 13.2, 13.3  
Week 8 - Mar 4-8 + Spring Break


Video files:
Generating reaction influence lines.
Generating shear influence lines.
Generating moment influence lines.

Chapter 13.3, 8.1, 8.2 Week 8 assignment:  13.1, 13.10, 13.16[Use Rb as the redundant in 13.16] Use the reactions listed below as the redundants on the following problems:
[13.18 - Use Rbh as the redundant reaction], [13.20 - Use Rdh as the redundant].  On the following, solve for redundant reactions only.  Final member forces not required.

13.26 - Use Rch as the redundant].


How to construct and use influence lines

Notes:  The first influence lines are to be generated by statics.  All later influence lines can be worked by statics or by Mueller-Breslau if it is to your advantage.

All numeric values are required on all influence lines for statically determinate structures unless otherwise noted. Numeric values on statically indeterminate structures are not required - only the general shape of the influence line. 

Highly recommended:
Interactive Practice with Influence Lines -
(Note that only a few of the ones on the top row are working, including the Help modules, but those are still quite useful to learning how to work them.)

Muller-Breslau Principle, Use of Influence Lines.  Moving Loads,
Influence Lines for Structures

Use of influence lines to determine where to put live, dead, uniform, concentrated loads and compute maximum results. 
Examples 1

Examples 2


Week 9 - Mar 18-22

Use of influence lines for series of wheel loads.  Indiana truck loads specs.


Chapter 9 Team Project Part III

Week 9 [13.27 - Use Rcv as the redundant], [13.27a - Use Rdv as the redundant. You should get the same answers as 13.27], [13.37 - Use Rbv & Rcv as the redundants], [13.43 - Use Rav and Rah as the redundants], 13.49 pg. 557 with figure on pg. 552.
Chapter 14: Influence lines for statically indeterminate structures. Chapter 9 Week 9 assignment:
 8.5, 8.10, 8.19,
8.20, 8.21, 8.38
Week 10 Mar 25-29
Chapter 12: Approximate solutions to statically indeterminate structures. Solutions for vertical loads. Horizontal loads - Portal Method. Chapter 12, 14

Team Project Part IV

Week 10 assignment:  9.4, 9.6, 9.21

Week 11 - Apr 1-5

Chapter 12: Approximate solutions to statically indeterminate structures. Solutions for vertical loads. Horizontal loads - Portal Method. 

Quiz B - held in our regular classroom on Thursday, April 4th, your regular classroom reserved for 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Covers everything above through Chapter 7, plus Chapter 13 through 13.27.  Same other rules as Quiz A. Week 11 assignment:  12.2, 12.6, 12.9, 13.1(solve 13.1 again using MASTAN click here for help on area.)

Week 12 Apr 8-12

Stiffness Methods

Slope Deflection methods

Slope deflection equations
Week 12 assignment:  14.1*, 14.15*, 14.19*
*SHAPE of influence lines ONLY. NO VALUES required.

Team Project Part V

Typical unfactored loads on frames
Week 13 Apr 15-19
  Stiffness Methods

Slope Deflection methods
  Week 13 assignment:
Do not draw moment diagrams for any of these.  But you should be able to.

15.1, 15.6, 15.10
Week 14 Apr 22-26
  Stiffness Methods

Moment Distribution
  Week 14 assignment:
Do not draw moment diagrams for any of these.  But you should be able to.

16.1, 16.3, 16.5

Help session today and tomorrow (12/1/18, 12/2/18) 8-5 DLEB my office Room 705e, or if you are out of town, join by Webex 

Let it connect and then click "Call over internet".  Then on the bottom of your screen you have a microphone, a camera, three dots, and a "close application".  Click on the mike to mute your call to me, click on the camera to start sending your video to me, Click on the "..." for other stuff like putting a shortcut on your desktop to sign in later on, chat, settings, etc.

Pretty slick.

If you are in the main room downstairs and can't get in the elevator, call me at 979-845-4395 and I will send one down.  When you get here come to room 705e and I will assign you problems from the old exams at

and work with you as needed.  I will then remove that problem from what I had intended to give on the final and replace it with something else.

Week 15 Apr 29-30
  Matrix methods if time permits.  

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