Calculate force systems within simple beam structures (72 HRS)

Nominal Hours: 72 | Diploma/Adv Dip: Elective (Group 2) | CompetencyBased  
Assessment Plan A: (One Semester: 18 weeks x 2 hrs/wk)
Updated Feb 2015

Task Topic Links and Videos Quiz # Practice
Assess schedule Work Load% Must Pass
1 Free Body Diagrams 10201 1 3 10 Y
2 Adding Forces 10202 2 4 10 Y
3 Equilibrum of Concurrent Forces 10203 3 5 10 Y
4 3-Force Principle and other tricks 10204 4-5 7 10 Y
5 Moments 10205 6 8 10 Y

Non-Concurrent Forces

10206 7-10 12 20 Y


10207 11-12 14 15 Y


10208 13-14 16 15 Y
9 Written / Unseen Question Test  Exam - - - 17* - -
- TOTAL - - - - - 100 -

CBT = Computer Based Testing: Typically consists of practice mode (iTester) and assessment mode (Moodle).
Exam = Written test submitted on paper, all working shown neatly.

*Where applicable.




(CAUTION: This subject contains most of MEM30006A Stresses, so you should do both together) Assessment is a combination of multiple choice tests, written tests, and submitted reports (print/email).

  • Lab Reports: Specification for lab reports. (Including error analysis where required)
  • Project Reports: Specification for project reports.
  • TESTER tasks: Computer based learning and assessment using the TESTER program.
    Procedures and rules. For most computer-based assessments, homework must be presented before Tester (exam mode) can be attempted.  In some cases, certain programs (e.g. Excel) are excluded from running with Tester during an exam. 

When you have completed this unit of competency you will have developed the knowledge and skills to determine the resultant and equilibrant of systems of forces, in one plane, then determine nominal sizes for a simple horizontal beam subject to a combination of uniform and point loadings.


Required Texts   

Text book Subjects Picture
Ivanoff, Val
Engineering mechanics: An introduction to statics, dynamics and strength of materials 
McGraw-Hill.  1996
ISBN 0074702394
RRP $80.95 (June 2009)
  • Forces (Statics)
  • Dynamics
  • Stresses


Elements of Competency and Performance Criteria

Note: Competencies and topics in RED will be covered (properly) in Stresses MEM30006A.
Students doing both subjects have the advantage of doing it once and getting credit twice.

Students who are doing this subject ONLY will achieve Competency 2 by completing the following five assessments in Stresses MEM30006A.


1. Determine the resultant and equilibrant of systems of coplanar forces


Calculate the magnitude and direction of the resultant and equilibrant of coplanar force systems. 



Calculate the line of action of a resultant using the principle of Moment.

2. Determine nominal sizes for a simple horizontal beam subject to a combination of uniform and point loading  


Support reactions for a simply supported horizontal beam using the equations of equilibrium and including the moment effect of a couple are calculated.



The possible types of failure that need to be considered are determined.



Shear force and bending moment diagrams are drawn.



Bending stress is determined.



Calculations are completed to determine the nominal size for the beam.



Factors of safety are applied to finalise nominal size of beam.

Knowledge and Skills

 Required skills 

  • calculating and using trigonometry, transposition, algebraic formula
  • drawing shear force and bending moment diagrams


 Required knowledge

  • force and gravity
  • the concept of force
  • characteristics of force
  • rectangular components of force
  • graphical addition of forces
  • mathematical addition of forces
  • weight as force
  • moment and torque
  • moment of force
  • addition of moments
  • equilibrium of moments
  • torque
  • equivalent force moment systems
  • equilibrium of coplanar forces
  • conditions of equilibrium
  • calculation of beam reactions (simply supported, point load, uniformly distributed load (UDL), self-weight)
The following are duplicated in Stresses MEM30006A
  • simple beams
  • shear force and bending moment diagrams
  • bending stress
  • deflection by formulae
  • stress and strain
  • shear stress and strain
  • allowable stress
  • factors of safety

Delivery Plan

1. Element Systems of coplanar forces 

  • magnitude and direction of coplanar force systems
  • resultant 
  • equilibrant
  • line of action of a resultant
  • moments

2. Uniform and point loading

The following are duplicated in Stresses MEM30006A
  • types of failure
  • shear force and bending moment diagrams
  • bending stress
  • calculations
  • factors of safety

3. Trusses

(Maxwell diagram)   (TL: Waste of time.)
  • method of sections
  • pin reactions
  • Teaching and Learning Resources

    • Unit Resource Manual for this unit of competency.  
    • Textbook:  Ivanoff, V; Engineering Mechanics; McGraw-Hill, Sydney, 1996