Man constructing model airplane

Professional course

Aircraft Structural Design and Stress Analysis

About this course

Course code:
Professional/Short Course
Engineering Design and Mathematics
Five days
Programme leader:
Dr Christophe Berre and John Howard

Page last updated 4 October 2016


This course aims to give you an appreciation of the criteria used for selecting aircraft materials and the stress analysis of aircraft structures. It will give you an overview of how structural loading and stress analysis influence the decisions upon large commercial aircraft shape and airworthiness.

It is intended for engineers and managers who need to be aware of the influence of specific materials and structural considerations in the development of aircraft design. The course contains a combination of theory and experimental presentation associated with the design of aircraft components with short tutorial sessions on most topics addressed.

By completing the optional course assessment, this course can contribute towards one or more of the Awards within our Engineering Capability Development Framework. This framework of engineering modules gives you the opportunity to take a flexible route towards a named Postgraduate Award, such as MSc Aerospace, MSc Professional Engineering, MSc Engineering Management or MSc Engineering Operations and Improvement.

Careers / Further study

Aircraft Structural Design and Stress Analysis can be taken as a stand-alone professional short course, or used to build up to a named postgraduate qualification (PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Masters) within our Engineering Capability Development Framework. For a full list of professional courses please see our Engineering and Aerospace course list.

Professional accreditation

This module contributes towards the MSc Aerospace Programme, which is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAS) and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Both professional bodies also endorse the other professional engineering courses that we offer.

Our Engineering courses can also contribute to your portfolio of evidence for Chartered Engineering registration. Please refer to the Benefits of Professional Study for more information.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for undertaking this course as a standalone professional short course without the optional module assessment.

If you wish to complete the module assessment are expected to have a first degree at 2.2 level or above (or equivalent) or alternatively have industrial experience.  We strongly recommend that you speak to the course tutor prior to the course if you are unsure about your suitability to complete the assessment.



The course will cover the following topics:

  • Design requirements for aircraft structures
  • Aircraft materials and selection criteria
  • Introduction to composite material, design, analysis and manufacture
  • Fatigue, fracture toughness crack growth
  • Loading actions, bending, torsion and shear
  • Thin walled open and closed beams, bending and torsion effects
  • Buckling of Struts, skin-stringer panels, shear webs
  • Two and three dimensional stress, principal stresses and yield criteria
  • Aircraft shell structures and section idealisation
  • Experimental mechanics and Photostress analysis
  • Structural loads during flight tests

Learning and Teaching

This course will include a combination of lectures, a laboratory session and tutorials


Pre and post course assignments will be set. The pre-course assignment will be accompanied by appropriate theory and the post-course will address in the main the course presentation material.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

£1530.00 (includes optional UWE module accreditation)

All course prices include course materials, car parking, lunch and refreshments.

Course dates

Monday 16 January - Friday 20 January 2017


UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY

How to find UWE Bristol

How to apply

How to apply

For all enquiries, please complete our online enquiry form or contact us on the number below.

If you wish to attend the January 2017 run of our course without completing the UWE accreditation to gain postgraduate level credits, please complete our online booking form. All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

If you wish to gain university credits by completing the assignment, please register for our Engineering Capability Development Framework (If you have already registered, please contact your course administrator directly to make a booking.)


For further information

  • Email: For all course queries, please complete the on-line enquiry form above.
  • Telephone:

    +44 (0)117 32 87265

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