Undergraduate Teaching

Engineering Tripos Part IIA Project, GD2: Structural Modelling, 2019-20

Engineering Tripos Part IIA Project, GD2: Structural Modelling, 2019-20

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Prof A McRobie

Timing and Structure



3D4 essential


The aims of the course are to:

  • To study successful real structural designs of tall buildings
  • To learn how to design tension structures


This project runs in conjunction with Constructionarium. The project timing is subject to change, but will be such that students will be able to attend Constructionarium in Norfolk during this design project. It is also possible to undertake this project in conjuction with any of the language proijects, whose timetables are equally flexible.

The project is the complement of Constructionarium. It places central focus on design, as may be undertaken in a consultant structural engineering practice. There are two componets to the project, the first focussing on the design of tall buildings and the second involving the design of some form of tension structure. There will also be a day-trip to London where students, ingroups of 8, will visit and study a number the important buildings there.


The project consists of two parts. The first part concerns tall building design, and the second the design of tension structures.

For the first part of the course, prior to Constructionarium, students - working in pairs - will analyse in detail the structrual design of one of London's iconic tall buildings. Students willbe shown how to do this by international experts. This part of the project will also incude a day trip to London to look at the building designs first-hand.

On returning from Constructionarium, students will undertake the design of a tension structure. Again, instruction on how to do this will be given by world-leading experts. Working in groups of four, students will create physical,  mathematical and computational models of their proposals to present to the client and his team at a final "crit".


  • Thursday 7 May to Wed 13 May:  Analyse a tall building in London, including a one-day London study trip as a group of 8 (which can be any one of the days Friday 8th, Sat 9th or Sunday 10th May) 
  • Thursday 28 May to Friday 5 June: Design a tension structure. This will include building physical, mathematical and coputational models of the design, and a presentation of the design to the client.


  • How to design a tall building 
  • How to design a tension structure


Coursework Due date Marks

Group report on the buildings of London (as a result of the study trip) 


Report, in pairs, on the analysis of the chosen tall building


Report on tension structure design (and a final presentation to the client on Thurs 4 June 2020)

Wednesday 13 May 2020


Wednesday 13 May 2020


Friday 5 June 2020









Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.

Last modified: 04/10/2019 14:03