# Dr Seán Carroll  ## How to Analyse Indeterminate Beams using the Moment Distribution Method

In this tutorial we’ll explore the moment distribution method. This is an excellent technique for quickly determining the shear force and bending moment diagrams for indeterminate beam and frame structures. In this tutorial, we’ll focus on applying the moment distribution method to beams. We’ll start by getting a clear understanding of the steps in the procedure before applying what we’ve learned to a more challenging worked example at the end. ## How to Apply the Virtual Work Method to Trusses

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the virtual work method to analyse trusses and calculate truss deflections. The virtual work method is based upon the Principle of Virtual Work which underpins many elegant and versatile analysis procedures. We’ll focus here on how it can be applied to trusses. This tutorial will initially develop the underlying theory, starting with the concept of strain energy. This will make the jump to virtual work much easier to understand. We’ll bring it all together with a thorough worked example at the end. ## How to Calculate Reactions using Free Body Diagrams

In this tutorial, we’ll cover free body diagrams and how to use them to evaluate the forces acting on a structure in equilibrium. A free body diagram is a diagram in which only the forces imposed on an object are shown. Free body diagrams are a simple tool to help us identify all of the forces that influence an object or structure. Typically, one of the first steps in analysing a structure is to sketch out its free body diagram, identifying all of the forces that must be considered in the analysis. ## How to Calculate Beam Deflection

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to calculate beam deflection from first principles using the differential equation of the deflection curve. We’ll cover several calculation techniques, including one called Macauley’s Method which greatly speeds up the calculation process. We’ll work our way through a couple of numerical examples before discussing how we can use the principle of superposition and tabulated formulae to speed up the process even further. ## Forces, Moment of a Force and Force Systems

Welcome to the Fundamental Engineering Mechanics tutorial series. This is part one in a multi-part series aimed at anyone just starting out in the study of engineering. In this tutorial, we’ll start from the very beginning and discuss forces, moments or torques generated by forces and how to evaluate systems of forces and moments. Once you complete this tutorial and all of the worked examples, you’ll be well prepared for the analysis of simple structures in later tutorials in the series. ## A Complete Guide to Learning Structural Analysis

Learning how to use mathematics and mechanics to analyse structural behaviour is among the most challenging topics student engineers struggle with. Yet, for an engineer, particularly one involved in the analysis and design of structures, a firm grounding in fundamental structural behaviour is essential. In this post, I want to provide a complete structural analysis guide – a roadmap for learning structural analysis from the beginning; what to study, in what order and why. ## Free Truss Calculator – Quick Start Guide

This is a quick start guide for our free online truss calculator. Follow this short text tutorial or watch the Getting Started video to quickly orientate yourself with this handy free tool. We’ll walk through the process of analysing a simple truss structure. By the end, you’ll be comfortable using the truss calculator to quickly analyse your own truss structures. Students, in particular, should find it helpful as a quick and easy tool to test manual solutions against. ## Simulating crowd vibrations using the Duhamel Integral

In this Python mini-project, you’ll learn about the Duhamel Integral and how it can be used to simulate the dynamic response of a single degree of freedom system. We’ll discuss how to solve the integral and then write some Python code to implement our solution for any arbitrary loading. In the second half of this project, we’re going to use our Duhamel Integral solver to build a crowd loading simulation. This will allow us to simulate the vibration response of a footbridge to pedestrian traffic. ## P-Delta Analysis and Geometric Non-linearity

In this tutorial, we’ll explore the P-Delta effect; a form of non-linear behaviour that can lead to large magnitude sway deflections in columns. Put simply, P-Delta describes the phenomenon whereby an additional or secondary moment is generated in a column due to the combination of axial load (P) and lateral sway, (Delta), of the column. This leads to non-linear structural behaviour and can result in lateral deflections far in excess of those arising from lateral loading alone. We’ll explore the phenomenon and write some code to help visualise the behaviour. ## Building a Beam Deflection Calculator in Python

In this project, we’ll build a beam deflection calculator that can generate beam deflections by directly integrating the bending moment diagram. The technique we’ll use for calculating deflection in this project is not limited to statically determinate structures, although you will need a complete bending moment diagram to integrate. This project builds on our previous Shear Force and Bending Moment Calculator project. So at the end of this project, the final result will be a complete beam analysis code that calculates beam reactions, shear forces, bending moments and deflections.