i-structures on-line course
What is a structure ? How does it work ? How does one conceive a structure?
These are the questions that are treated in the i-structures course that was developed within the framework of the Swiss Virtual Campus.
Contents of the course
The course is based on a novel approach that follows the path of structures illustrated by the icons at the top of this page. It is primarily meant to be used by students of civil and environmental engineering as well as architecture in their first year of study. The students learn about the laws of equilibruium, strength, the behavior of cables and arches, and then move to more complicated structures such as trussess, beams and frames.
To help understanding the load-carrying mechanisms of these structural types, the course is using interactive Java applets, i-cremona for the graphical resolution of force systems and i-static for the computation of plane frames by the Finite Element method.. These two programs are available within the course by clicking on the iC and iS icons in the title bar.
General stores in Chiasso, 1924, ing. R. Maillart
The understanding of the structural behavior is approached graphically, which allows a global understanding of the load-carrying properties of various types of structures.
A detailed on-line help and an extended glossary (in French and Italian, the English version is only preliminary) allow to find help on the various topics of the course.
This course was produced by a project team Headed by EPFL-IBETON and including USI-Accademia et USI-COM, ETH-IBK and SUPSI-DTI.
Would you like to learn more about i-structures?
- The book « L’art des structures » on which the contents of the course was published in 2004, with a second edition in 2005. An English version is in the works, to be published in late 2009, hopefully.
- If you wish, you can directly register to obtain a free complete and unlimited access to the course contents. Don’t be intimidated by the contents: this course is meant for first-year university students.