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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: ENGM043 Module Title: SPACE STRUCTURES
Module Provider: Civil, Chemical & Enviromental Eng Short Name: SE1M82
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: DISNEY PL Dr (C, C & E Eng)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Semester 1

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment






Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)






2 hour examination












Coursework – Three assignment:






Formex generation of a relatively complex grid.






Review of the collapse of the Hartford Coliseum .






Preliminary design of a single layer barrel vault.












Qualifying Condition(s) 






An overall mark of 50% is required to pass the module.






Module Overview
A knowledge of Structural Analysis and Design to Level HE3
Module Aims

This module aims to:






Provide a comprehensive coverage of the basic ideas associated with the analysis, design and construction of space structures with the emphasis being on the practical aspects rather than theoretical details.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module a student will be able to:-






  • demonstrate an understanding of the behaviour and the methods of analysis of: double-layer grids, barrel vaults, and domes;


  • generate space structure geometry using the Formian program;


  • demonstrate an understanding of the modes of failures of space structures;


  • show an appreciation of cable domes and membrane structures;
  • describe and explain various jointing systems and methods of construction of space structures.
Module Content
  • Description of main types of space structures including grids, domes, towers, radar dishes, membrane structures and cable systems; prefabricated space structure systems; notable space structures.


  • Description of different methods of analysis applicable to space structures.


  • Computer aided analysis of space structures; techniques for efficient generation of data; graphical presentation of analytical results; formex configuration processing.


  • Polyhedra and geodesic forms; tensegrity systems; foldable and retractable structures.
  • Special considerations including use of materials, loading, safety, cladding and foundations.
Methods of Teaching/Learning

25 hrs lectures/independent study, 5 hrs tutorial/question classes/self assessment questions, 38 hrs assignment work, 2 hrs examination and 80 hrs independent learning.






Total student learning time 150 hours.

Selected Texts/Journals

Makowski ZS (ed) Analysis, Design and Construction of Double-Layer Grids, Applied Science Publishers Ltd, 1981. (ISBN 08533 4910X)






Makowski ZS (ed), Analysis, Design and Construction of Braced Domes, Granada Publishing Ltd, 1984a.  (ISBN 02461 22846)






Makowski ZS (ed), Analysis, Design and Construction of Braced Barrel Vaults, Elsevier Applied Science Publishers Ltd, 1984b. (ISBN 08533 43772)






Nooshin H (ed), Stu dies in Space Structures, Multi-Science Publishing Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 09065 22056)






Parke GAR and Howard CM (eds). Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Space Structures, Thomas Telford London , 1993.  (ISBN 07277 19688)






Subramanian N, Principles of Space Structures, Wheeler Publishing, 1999. (ISBN 81754 40678)
Parke GAR and Disney P (eds), Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Space Structures, Thomas Telford, 2002.  (ISBN 07277 31734)

Last Updated

6 August 2010