Composite Airframe Structures ENG5019

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course considers structural analysis with complicated loads, tailoring of composite materials and treats buckling in aircraft structures.


Two sessions per week

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements


Recommended Entry Requirements


Excluded Courses





100 % Final report, based on 3 interim assignments.

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to provide familiarity with analytical methods of structural analysis, develop an understanding of the properties of composite materials and examine the process of laminate tailoring to achieve optimised thermal-mechanical behaviour at the structural level.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ demonstrate competence in the execution of complex engineering calculations, work with rigour with the mathematics and perform numerical analysis completely with precision and accuracy;

■ demonstrate competence in algorithm generation for the solution of the engineering models presented in the course;

■ demonstrate that they can develop validated computer code or spreadsheet to solve engineering problems, and present their results;

■ write well-structured, accurate, concise report that highlight the key features of the investigations with a clear writing style supported by appropriate figures, diagrams and tables;

Structural analysis

■ describe composite materials for aircraft structures and how they are manufactured;

■ critically assess the benefits and penalties associated with using fibre composites in place of metals;

■ apply stiffness and compliance matrices for orthotropic laminates in fibre-aligned and general coordinate systems;

■ calculate strains and stresses in a general laminate given a set of applied loads;

■ calculate the material failure stresses;

■ calculate the thermal response due to high temperature curing;

■ calculate the initial buckling stress for composite plates and describe the post-buckling response.

■ use a finite element package to set up and apply a finite element model of a complex aircraft structural component.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components of the course's summative assessment.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates.  Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.