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KU Aerospace Short Course Program

Stress Analysis For Aerospace Structures

Instructor: Dennis C. Philpot
Printable Course Information (PDF)

Course Schedule

November 13-17, 2017, Orlando, Florida

Early registration course fee: $2,495 if you register and pay by September 29, 2017

Regular registration course fee: $2,695 if you register and pay after September 29, 2017

Orlando Lodging and Travel Information

You can also bring this course to your workplace. Learn more about our on-site program.


This course is designed for the practicing engineer who has an interest in the various aspects of stress analysis in aerospace structural-mechanical design and would like to enhance his or her expertise in this important field. The approach taken in this course is to start with a strong theoretical foundation and then build upon that foundation with practical applications that can be immediately put into practice in the workplace. In this manner, both the theory and practice of classical “hand” analysis techniques are presented as well as the more modern (numerical/computational) methods used in the industry.

Includes instruction, a course notebook, refreshments and four lunches.
The course notes are for participants only and are not for sale.


  • Introductory topics
  • Engineering mechanics review
  • Energy methods in mechanical analysis
  • Failure prevention of engineering materials
  • Fundamentals of deterministic stress analysis
  • Analysis of bolted joints
  • Fatigue analysis in mechanical design
  • Numerical optimization

Who Should Attend?

• Design engineers who would like to become more familiar with the techniques and modern practices of stress analysis to help them be more efficient and productive in their work • Mechanical engineers who have been out of college for a while and need to become more knowledgeable in the area of stress analysis due to a particular job assignment or new career opportunity that requires expertise in analyzing structures • Department managers whose staff are involved in stress analysis work • The subject-matter difficulty level is intermediate

Times / CEUs

28.00 classroom hours
2.800 CEUs

Certificate Tracks

Aircraft Design, Aircraft Structures

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify and correct problematic designs based on stress analysis results
  • Calculate margins of safety due to various types of loading conditions
  • Assess structures based on material strength, brittle fracture and fatigue criteria
  • Analyze bolted joints under preload, tension, shear and combined loading
  • Understand the theory behind the analysis processes
  • Optimize designs for greater efficiency and/or durability
  • Speak knowledgeably about structural integrity to customers and management

Course Outline

Day One


Engineering Mechanics Review

  • Introduction to solid mechanics
  • The importance and usefulness of free body diagrams
  • Two-dimensional theory of elasticity
  • The airy stress functions
  • Analysis of trusses
  • Analysis of beams
  • Stability analysis of columns
  • Analysis of torsion rods

Energy Methods in Mechanical Analysis

  • The usefulness of energy methods
  • Energy theorems
  • The principle of stationary potential energy
  • Strain energy in a variety of structural elements
  • The Rayleigh-Ritz method
  • Lagrange’s equations of motion
  • Finite element method discussion

Day Two

Failure Prevention of Engineering Materials

  • The stress analyst’s primary task
  • Deterministic vs. probabilistic stress analysis
  • Design criteria and product specifications
  • Computation of margins of safety
  • Failure by material distortion
  • Ductile rupture after extensive deformation
  • Sudden fracture of brittle materials
  • Progressive fracture through material fatigue

Fundamentals of Deterministic Stress Analysis

  • Definition of stress
  • Generalized Hook’s Law
  • Equilibrium of a 2-D stress element
  • Derivation of the principal stresses
  • Mohr’s circle of stress
  • Static failure theories for ductile failure
  • Static failure theories for brittle failure
  • Stress concentration factors in mechanical design
  • Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) approach

Day Three

Analysis of Bolted Joints

  • Anatomy of a bolted joint (free body diagram)
  • Estimating Joint Constants
  • The Bolted joint diagram
  • Calculation of critical external load
  • Failure modes of bolted joints
  • Analysis of bolts loaded in tension
  • Analysis of bolts loaded in shear
  • Interaction equation for combined loading

Fatigue Analysis in Mechanical Design

  • A brief history of fatigue failure
  • Mechanism of fatigue failure
  • Fatigue stress concentration factor and notch sensitivity
  • Endurance limit modifying factors
  • Modified Goodman approach
  • Gerber and ASME-elliptic relations
  • Fatigue crack propagation and Paris’ Law
  • Damage tolerance and fracture control

Day Four

Numerical Optimization

  • Introduction and motivation
  • The optimization problem
  • Unconstrained and constrained design problems
  • Optimization software
  • Structural optimization
  • The finite element method
  • Multidiscipline design optimization
  • Closing remarks

Day Five

Practical in-Depth Examples

  • Inertia relief theory and practice
  • Design Limit Loads for flight systems
  • Multi-cell thin-walled closed sections
  • Neuber’s Analysis of Notch Stresses
  • Radax fastener joint analysis
  • The rupture strain failure criterion
  • The Cozzone Method
  • Structural Qualification and Proof Load Testing

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On-site Contact Information

To learn about bringing a course to your workplace, contact Sarah Williams, on-site program manager, for a no-cost, no-obligation proposal.
Email ProfessionalPrograms@ku.edu
Phone 913-897-8782

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