Institution of Structural Engineers > Resources Centre > Essential Knowledge Series

Essential Knowledge Series

Accessible study texts explaining the key fundamentals of structural engineering. The texts cover the core principles of structural design, analysis and mechanics. They're an invaluable resource for engineering students around the world.

How do I access the series?

Access Essential Knowledge Text No.1: Introduction: Part 1: Structure is Everywhere! for free - just click on the link below.

What about the other texts? 

Are you a student? Want to get the texts for free? Sign up for student membership today. As soon as your application has been successfully processed (5-7 days) you’ll have access to the entire series.

Devised by the Institution's Education Steering Committee, based on an advisory structural behaviour curriculum (Desired Learning Outcomes) and available online, each text has been fully peer reviewed by experts in the field.

Download the Institution’s Understanding of Structural Behaviour Curriculum and Desired Learning Outcomes

No.01. Introduction - Part 1: Structure is everywhere!

This text introduces the universal role of structures in our world.

No.02. Introduction: Part 2 - Designing a meaningful structure

This Text presents the fundamental thought processes of conceptual design and the basic principles that underpin all structural systems.

No.03. Historical development of structural form

Today, architects and engineers have a vast portfolio of products and structural forms to draw on; this text describes how these forms have evolved from earliest times.

No.04. Historical development of structural theories and methods of analysis - context of modern computer analysis

Nowadays, engineers usually predict structural performance using computerised methods of analysis. Program availability for this task is an enormous boon...

No.05. Lessons from failures

Failures happen and their causes are many. Some are avoidable, others may be unavoidable.

No.06. Introduction to structural materials

​This Text explains the importance of a knowledge of materials in structural engineering.

No.07. Traditional structural materials

This Text presents the most traditional and familiar structural materials.

No.08. New Structural Materials

This Text presents a range of emerging materials, both natural and man-made, which, in the right circumstances, can offer significant advantages over traditional materials.

No.09. Stress and strain

A summary of the essential knowledge of mechanics of materials.

No.10. Structural form

This Text introduces and explains basic structural behaviours, selection and analysis.

No.11. Triangulated structures

An introduction to the most important aspects of triangulated structures.

No.12. Flexure and flexural structures

This Text is an introduction to the most important aspects of flexure in structures.

No.13. Behaviour of beams and 2D frames

This is an introduction to the understanding of structural behaviour — applied to two-dimensional, mainly redundant frames.

No.14. Principles for computer analysis of structures

This Text presents the ‘reflective approach’ to the computer analysis of structures.

No.15. Approximate analysis of skeletal structures

This Text presents simple approaches to the approximate analysis of two-dimensional skeletal structures.

No.16. Stability

‘Stability’ is one of two fundamental requirements of a structure. The lack of stability during construction or during the life of a structure can cause catastrophic structural failure.

No.17. Dynamics

An introduction to structural dynamics, the study of how structures respond to loads that vary rapidly with time.

No.18. Ground engineering: Part 1 - Principles

This Text provides a summary of the ground engineering knowledge required of all engineers.

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