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Oklahoma State University

Structural Engineering / Mechanics


Structural engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the design of a structural system with the purpose of supporting and resisting various loads. A physical object or system can be considered a part of structural engineering, regardless of its application, if its main function is designed to resist loads and dissipate energy. A structural engineer, however, is most commonly involved in the design of buildings and non-building structures including civil infrastructure such as bridges. They can also play an essential role in the design of machinery or other systems where structural integrity of the design inpacts safety and reliability.

The field of engineering mechanics is the study of the response of bodies or systems of bodies to external forces. From the structural engineering perspective, these bodies are considered to be solids but mechanics encompasses a variety of different topics including: mechanics or strengths of material, deformation mechanics and the theory of elasticity, fluid mechanics and hydraulics, continuum mechanics, and discrete mechanics including finite element methods.

The undergraduate program in civil and enviromentnal engineering includes basic courses to provide a solid foundation in structural engineering/mechanics. Through the use of electives and in consultation with their advisor, undergraduate students may also take introductory graduate level courses (5000-level) to count towards their degree program. There are also a limited number of opportunities to participate in research at the undergraduate level if the student desires.

The graduate program in structural engineering/mechanics expands upon the basic courses provided at the undergraduate level leading to further understanding of the material from both a practical and theoretical perspective. The main areas of study include structural analysis, structural design, and theoretical and applied mechanics. Additional areas include mathematics, computer science, and other engineering disciplines. A number of active research programs are available and students participation in research is encouraged.


  • Robert N. Emerson, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor
  • M. Tyler Ley, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor
  • Bruce W. Russell, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor
  • William P. Dawkins, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor
  • John P. Lloyd, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor
  • Phillip G. Manke, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor

Selected Courses

Undergraduate Courses

  • Structural Analysis - CIVE 3413
  • Structural Steel Design - CIVE 3513
  • Reinforced Concrete Design - CIVE 3523

Graduate Courses

  • Advanced Strength of Materials - CIVE 5403
  • Classical Methods of Structural Analysis - CIVE 5413
  • Matrix Analysis of Structures - CIVE 5423
  • Energy Methods in Applied Mechanics - CIVE 5433
  • Computer-aided Structural Analysis and Design - CIVE 5503
  • Advanced Reinforced Concrete Design - CIVE 5513
  • Advanced Steel Structural Design - CIVE 5523
  • Prestressed Concrete - CIVE 5533
  • Structural Dynamics - CIVE 5563
  • Timber Design - CIVE 5573
  • Concrete Materials and Mix Design - CIVE 5673
  • Theory of Elasticity - CIVE 6403
  • Plate and Shell Structures - CIVE 6413