2023-2024 / MECA0028-1

Aeronautical structures


30h Th, 20h Pr, 70h Proj.

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace Engineering5 crédits 


Ludovic Noels

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The purpose of the lectures is to introduce the design of semi monocoque structures used in aeronautics. Three domains are studied:

  • Structural idealization: Analytical models of wing and fuselage based on thin-walled section beam.
  • Thin structures models: Theory and introduction to finite-element model of plates and shells.
  • Introduction to buckling of thin structures.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The student will have acquired the methodology required to conduct a preliminary study in the context of aircraft structures. In particular:

  • He will have a deep understanding of the thin-walled beams and thin structures theory and will be able to summary, compare and explain them.
  • He will have a deep understanding of the resolution methods of thin-walled beams and thin structures buckling problems, and will be able to summary, compare and explain them. He will also know their application range.
  • He will be able to apply the resolution methods to classical problems.
  • He will be able to analyse and to evaluate (justify and criticise) these methods.
  • He will be able to analyse new problems.
This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.1, I.2, II.1, III.1, III.2, IV.1, IV.3, VI.1, VI.2, VII.4 of the MSc in aerospace engineering.


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Good knowledge in

  • Solid mechanics
Elementary knowledge in

  • Finite-element method
  • Aerodynamics
Mastering CAD and FE software

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Exercises and personal project. A major part or the totality of the personal project is achieved in the context of the APRI0004 class. Students who do not follow simultaneously APRI0004 will have to achieve a dedicated individual or group project.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-Face: default mode
In case of remote teaching is mandatory
1) Recorded classes that could not be given face to face will be available in myUliege on a weekly basis.
2) Questions on this recorded class can be asked on the etaching day on the forum created in eCampus https://www.ecampus.ulg.ac.be.

Recommended or required readings

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

- Remote

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Written work / report

Additional information:

Evaluation is based on the realization of a project (30%) related to the design and/or modeling of a semi monocoque structure and on a written examination (70%). In case of a resit, if a grade of at least 10/20 has been given to the project, only the written examination will be redone. In order to have a total grade equal to or above 8/20, the student should obtain a grade equal to or above 8/20 for both the project and the exam.

For students following simultaneously APRI0004, a major part or the totality of the personal project is achieved in the context of the APRI0004 class. However a separated and more complete report has to be delivered and will be used for the grading. Each student can be requested to provide a report on the personal achievement.

The examination is based on the whole content of the class. Problems similar to the ones studied during the classes, and new problems will be part of the questions. Justification using the theoretical content is also asked.

Participation to the exam, to the guest lectures (if any), and achievement of the project are mandatory. The student who does not attend to compulsory sessions or who does not delivered the assignments on time will not be allowed to present the exam.

On site:

Written examination

In case of remote evaluation:

Same content. Exam will be given through eCampus. in particular:

  • Questions will be obtained by eCamput the day of the exam;
  • Students will have to answer to the questions on separated sheets of paper; scan them; and upload them on eCampus;
  • There will be a limited time for each question.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


L. Noels (L.Noels@ulg.ac.be)

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Lecture notes
Lecture notes