The Engineering of Structures Around Us

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9/10 stars
based on  39 reviews
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Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • On demand

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22234 reviews

Course Description

In this introductory course, you’ll learn some engineering principles that can be applied to structural systems everywhere: in nature, in furniture, in mechanical and aerospace systems, and in any solid object that resists a load.

Together we’ll explore how structures work, why they were designed the way they were designed, how they support loads, and where forces flow through them.

More specifically we’ll:

  • Learn about funicular forms and how ropes and cables resist tension.
  • Discuss how columns, arches, and anti-funicular forms resist compression.
  • Discover how trusses, beams and walls resist loads. • Sketch the flow of forces through structures.
  • Compare and contrast different structural forms and systems to answer a range of questions such as: Why might an engineer choose a beam over a truss? How do the dimensions of a structure affect its response? How do engineers choose forms and systems to create structures that...

In this introductory course, you’ll learn some engineering principles that can be applied to structural systems everywhere: in nature, in furniture, in mechanical and aerospace systems, and in any solid object that resists a load.

Together we’ll explore how structures work, why they were designed the way they were designed, how they support loads, and where forces flow through them.

More specifically we’ll:

  • Learn about funicular forms and how ropes and cables resist tension.
  • Discuss how columns, arches, and anti-funicular forms resist compression.
  • Discover how trusses, beams and walls resist loads. • Sketch the flow of forces through structures.
  • Compare and contrast different structural forms and systems to answer a range of questions such as: Why might an engineer choose a beam over a truss? How do the dimensions of a structure affect its response? How do engineers choose forms and systems to create structures that are both elegant and functional?

Join us in exploring the engineering of structures around us.

The main course image, Kurilpa Bridge credited to: Alastair Smith, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Reviews 9/10 stars
39 Reviews for The Engineering of Structures Around Us

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Kevin Morice profile image
Kevin Morice profile image

Kevin Morice

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
One of the better Engineering courses on edx. Combines the maths with interesting examples. Well presented and a good balance of practical and lectures.
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jose vazquez profile image
jose vazquez profile image

jose vazquez

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 7 months ago
Very nice course and inspiring for all. I learned new things about places across human expedition with structures small and large. Those hands on activities are great to think and be engage with further creativity.
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Student

6/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 4 months ago
This is an excellent opportunity to acquire new knowledge, I hope that this type of site will be even more. I am satisfied the knowledge gained, all the praise for the teachers.
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2/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
2 years, 5 months ago
An instructor is a teacher. One can be an instructor of just about anything, but it usually applies to teaching hands-on skills, like a water-skiing instructor or the instructor of the knitting class held at the community center.
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Malluwa Wadu Amal Roshan Sriyantha (MIIESL, profile image
Malluwa Wadu Amal Roshan Sriyantha (MIIESL, profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
2 years, 6 months ago
Amazing and it is helpful to brush up my knowledge. Interesting and attractive to learn this way. Cosurse content and presentations are arranged verywell. Try to find out more suitable courses through EdXL for my proffesional development. Thanks EdXL
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Ravi Gautam profile image
Ravi Gautam profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
2 years, 6 months ago
Very exciting learnt very much about the subject the material was provided is very much help full for learning instructor is very good taught in a very good manner
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Student

6/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 9 months ago
Muito bom, esse curso vai me proporcionar mais conhecimento, além de me deixar mais interessado nas tecnologias do mundo de hoje.Para mim que faço engenharia esse curso ira tirar muitas dúvidas.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 9 months ago
it was a very nice experience studying the subject with you, a wonderful experience in studying thru the internet, looking forward for another time being with you, thanks and more power. God bless
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 9 months ago
Overall this course was excellent. The presentation was well put together and the combination of video tutorial, video lectures, light board examples, hands on modeling and discussions really made the course enjoyable. I am thankful that this opportunity was made available to me and would like to thank all of those involved that made this possible.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 9 months ago
This is a fantastic course. I never knew I could learn so much in just a few weeks! Videos are high quality and material is very well thought out. You do not need much of prior experience and it is amazing how much of it is just self explanatory, and yet counter intuitive. I had many "how did I not know this" moments.
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Sheelendra Singh profile image
Sheelendra Singh profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
2 years, 9 months ago
this course design in such way that ..it is very easy to understand...& help me understand the concept....& teching method is so good..i mean so excelent ...i mean to say so analysing way..
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 9 months ago
In two words: awesome course! Depth and clarity of the topics discussed .. Explanations, videos, simulations, tests, actviities, digital enviorement.
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Edgardo Gomez profile image
Edgardo Gomez profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
2 years, 9 months ago
This is an excellent and well thought course...very helpful for beginers as well as professional of structures in order to remind the basic principles of applied physics..
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Student

6/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 9 months ago
It was well structured, give a good understanding of different stress, forces, strain, moment.... The content of the course was brilliant, videos and the instructor. I did really enjoy this course.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 9 months ago
good content good instructor Fabulous content and explain enough. I advise anyone who wants to learn the principles of structural engineering I hope that you are more in-depth like this course with the same instructor
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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 10 months ago
I think the contents of this course should add some more topics in engineering. Anyway it's fantastic course. I really enjoy a lot. Thanks for instructor and provider.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 10 months ago
I really enjoyed this course. What I liked most about it was the focus on intuition and real-world applications, as opposed to how to solve math problems (I like math, but when I learn engineering primarily in terms of math, I don't intuitively understand it and then I forget it). I liked the simulations where you could watch how the behavior of structures changed as you varied different properties, and I liked the assignments that encouraged students to find or construct examples of structures in the real world. In my daily life I've found myself noticing instances of things I learned in this course, which is really exciting. The course was very well structured, with topics that are somewhat independent but also build on each other. I liked that it was broken down into short video segments followed by comprehension questions, and that it never got stuck in details or lost sight of the main big ideas. There were some cases ... I really enjoyed this course. What I liked most about it was the focus on intuition and real-world applications, as opposed to how to solve math problems (I like math, but when I learn engineering primarily in terms of math, I don't intuitively understand it and then I forget it). I liked the simulations where you could watch how the behavior of structures changed as you varied different properties, and I liked the assignments that encouraged students to find or construct examples of structures in the real world. In my daily life I've found myself noticing instances of things I learned in this course, which is really exciting. The course was very well structured, with topics that are somewhat independent but also build on each other. I liked that it was broken down into short video segments followed by comprehension questions, and that it never got stuck in details or lost sight of the main big ideas. There were some cases where a little more technical explanation would have made it less confusing. For example, an object's "moment of inertia" was described as something that depends on the cross-sectional shape and that you can look up formulas for, but then sometimes things would be referred to as having "higher" or "lower" moments of inertia and it wasn't clear what that meant in terms of the physical world. Another example is the idea of a "free body diagram", which would have been confusing if I hadn't seen them before, because it wasn't really made clear what it meant to take one part of a structure and consider it in isolation. Sometimes the comprehension questions had a button to show/explain the answer, and these explanations were not always good quality - it was as if they had been randomly selected from other students' answers, and although they were never incorrect, sometimes they were incomplete or uninformative or seemed to be answering a different question.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 10 months ago
I have taken several similar courses and this one is one of the best out there. It's compact and appropriate for all levels of abilities, regardless of Math or Physics foundations. They help to some extent but the course is structured so that the problems are not the critical piece to understanding.
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mark ma profile image
mark ma profile image

mark ma

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 12 months ago
the content - spot on for basic understanding of most structures instructor and her amazing mirrored whiteboard - she is an excellent lecturer. and the whiteboard is just brilliant. all online courses should do this. edx - can't give everything perfect scores.. but there really wasn't much edx could have done better..
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David Calton profile image
David Calton profile image

David Calton

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
Thanks for leaving this course open, nice introduction to the topic. Would love a version with more advanced mathematics, but this was awesome.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Love this class. Would recommend to anyone interested in engineering and architecture. The class was informative and fun, with hands on activities that will keep any student in the course ingaged . Well done.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Outstanding course! Meets a real need for courses that teach rigorous engineering concepts at a high school level. Excellent videos, demonstrations, simulations, and hands-on exercises.
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Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years ago
Excellent course! I had now prior knowledge in engineering/architecture and had very limited knowledge in math, but I never felt intimidated in this course - lots of exciting build-yourself exercises, educational visualisations, and examples from the real world.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Wonderful course I had great fun building things and observing more closely the structures around me. The instructor was clear and engaging and I especially liked the way the visuals of the projects were organized in the discussion section.
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Jade Blossom profile image
Jade Blossom profile image

Jade Blossom

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 1 month ago
Fantastic introduction to engineering. Hands on and exciting! It never feels like I'm taking a boring class on buildings and structures. It feels like a fun and exciting mishmash of basic engineering principles with real life! Take this course; I promise you'll get hooked on it immediately!
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
A very intuitive and a fun course , the instructor is very good and very well experienced with alot of knowledge The course videos were of better quality,which helped in understanding the course in alot better way.The Simulation tools were most helpful and the building activities and the Owl's problems sections were the most fun.:).
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
An excellent introduction to the subject matter. Information presented in a enjoyable, engaging manner. Just the right mix of mathematical and nonmathematical treatment of the sub-topics. The build it yourself activities were fun to do and did reinforce the learning topic.
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Javier Garcia profile image
Javier Garcia profile image

Javier Garcia

6/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
I am glad I came across edx' webpage! Wonderful classes the models, the math and the videos are great. Professor Vicki definitely has the experience to explain the different concepts related to structural analysis. I can't thank her enough.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Very engaging, great presentation, fun to take and yet very educational. Not at all boring. It can be a dry subject sometimes, but not here!! The lecture videos were engaging. The questions were thought provoking. Really enjoyed the course!
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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
It is useful, I learned more thinks from it, and I re remember the tools of the civil engineering with it and discover somethings news. I hope there is another course like this foe advance engineer.
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.