University of Vermont

Structural Monitoring Diagnostics and Prognostics Lab

K-12 Education

CE 173 Reinforced Concrete

3 credits


Structural Analysis I - CE 170.

Catalog Data:

Analysis of stresses in plain and reinforced concrete members; design of reinforced concrete structures; and theory of prestressed concrete.

Prerequisites by topic:

Statics, Mechanics of Materials and Structural analysis


Concrete is the most common engineered construction material in the world. Its popularity stems from its high strength-to-cost ratio, versatility, ease of construction, aesthetics, and durability. Buildings, bridges, pipes, foundations, roads, tunnels, ports, offshore platforms, sculptures among many other constructions are made with plain, reinforced and(or) prestressed concrete. The objective of this course is to provide the basic concepts necessary to adequately analyze and design plain, reinforced and prestressed concrete structural elements and systems. The course will emphasize on the application of familiar concepts from strength of materials, statics and structural analysis to the understanding of the mechanics and behavior of concrete elements and systems. For design related applications the course will be based on ACI-318 – Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete. Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the ACI-318 throughout the course.


Reinforced Concrete, Mechanics and Design 5th Edition, by Wight and MacGregor, Prentice Hall.


Design of Concrete Structures 13th Edition, by A. Nilson, D. Darwin and C. Dolan, McGraw-Hill.
Concrete Structures: Stresses and Deformations 3rd Edition, by A. Ghali, R. Favre and M. Eldbadry
ACI-318-08. Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete. American Concrete Institute PCI Design Handbook. Precast Concrete Institute


Dr. Eric M. Hernandez Office: 359 Votey, e-mail:

Christine Gingras Office: 120B Votey, e-mail:

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the basic material properties of concrete, its components and reinforcement
2. Analyze and design reinforced and prestressed concrete structural systems for civil engineering applications.
3. Understand the basic assumptions behind the Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) criteria for concrete structures. Introduce the concept of performance-based design
4. Compute stresses in reinforced and prestresed concrete beam-column elements prior to cracking
5. Compute stresses in reinforced and prestressed concrete beam-column elements after cracking and prior to failure
6. Compute the nominal failure load of reinforced and prestressed concrete beam- column elements under various load conditions. Interaction diagrams.
7. Perform reinforcement detailing of common reinforced concrete structural elements
8. Understand current seismic design criteria in ACI-318 chapter 21. Introduce the concept of performance-based seismic design
9. Enhance inquiry-based, research-based learning; technical writing; and interpersonal skills


  • Overview of RC structures
  • Concrete and its components
  • Properties of concrete
  • Properties of reinforcement
  • Structural systems
  • Design criteria
  • Pure compression
  • Pure flexure
  • Shear and torsion
  • Combined effects
  • Prestress concrete
  • Anchorage and detailing
  • Seismic design criteria
  • Pathologies


MATLAB, EXCEL and WORD are expected to be used for various class related projects.

Final Project:

A practical design project will be assigned in which students will work in groups of three(3) or smaller. The specifics of the project will be discussed in class at the appropriate time. The project is expected to bring together the knowledge acquired in this course and previous courses related to analysis and design of civil engineering structural systems.


Assignments: 20%
Final Project: 15%
Research Paper: 5%
Midterm(s): 30%
Final: 30%

-All exams are to be completed in class. No books, notebooks or scientific (graphic) calculators are allowed. The student may bring one (1) 8-1/2” x 11” sheet hand written and prepared by him or herself with any information that he(she) finds useful for the purposes of the exam.

-Most assignments are to be completed in pairs. Every problem must have a doer and checker clearly stated. The doer and checker tasks must be shared evenly in each team. Every assignment must be completed by hand and on “engineering paper”.

-All assignments are given on Thursday and are due next Thursday, seven (7) days after, and must be turned in within 10 minutes after the beginning of the corresponding class. No exceptions. The graded assignments will be returned Tuesday, 12 days after they have been assigned.

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In keeping with University policy, any student with a documented disability interested in utilizing accommodations should contact ACCESS, the office of Disability Services on campus. ACCESS works with students to create reasonable and appropriate accommodations via an accommodation letter to their professors as early as possible each semester. Contact ACCESS: A170 Living/Learning Center; 802-656-7753;; UVM’s policy on disability certification and student support: Learn More

Religious Holidays:

Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. If you need to miss class to observe a religious holiday, please submit the dates of your absence to me in writing by the end of the second full week of classes. You will be permitted to make up work within a mutually agreed-upon time.

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Last modified December 20 2013 03:50 PM