Bridge design is a common career for civil engineers, with strong demand due to the global expansion of transport infrastructure. The aim of this unit is to introduce students to bridge design and equip them with the basic knowledge and skills to embark upon a career as a bridge design engineer. The unit aims to build upon the knowledge of structural engineering acquired through fundamental structural engineering units taken at undergraduate level, and overlay that with knowledge and skills specific to the practice of bridge engineering.


CVE80020 Bridge Design

CVE20003 Design of Concrete Structures
CVE30002 Design of Steel Structures

Assumed Knowledge
Basic concepts of prestressed concrete structure

Teaching Periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 1
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Describe and discuss the common structural forms for bridges (K1, K3, K4, K5, K6, S3)
  • Select an appropriate structural form and construction method for a specific bridging task (K1, K3, K4, K5, K6, S1, S2, S3)
  • Develop a structural analysis model for a beam and slab bridge and apply loading representative of a moving vehicle (K1, K2, K3, K4, K6, S3)
  • Design selected bridge members in prestressed concrete and steel materials (K1, K2, K3, K4, K6, S3)
  • Specify appropriate components for bridge joints, bearings and parapets (K1, K3, K4, K5, K6, S1, S2, S3)
  • Undertake preliminary analysis and design of bridge substructure components (K1, K3, K4, K5, K6, S1, S2, S3)
  • Describe the processes for assessment, rating and strengthening of bridges (K1, K3, K4, K5, K6, S2, S3)

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
2.00 12 weeks 24
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
2.00 12 weeks 24
Online Contact (Phasing out)
Online Learning Activities
1.00 12 weeks 12
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
7.50 12 weeks 90


Type Task Weighting ULO's
AssignmentIndividual/Group 40 - 60% 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 
ExaminationIndividual 40 - 60% 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 


As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all ULOs to a minimum standard, an undergraduate student must have achieved:

(i) an aggregate mark of 50% or more, and(ii) at least 40% in the final exam.Students who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirement (ii) will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


  • Choice of bridge systems and construction methods
  • Conceptual design
  • Loading
  • Analysis models
  • Design for prestressed concrete construction
  • Design for steel-concrete composite construction
  • Substructure
  • Joints, bearings and parapets
  • Assessment, rating and strengthening

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.