This course presents the fundamentals of stress analysis, as well as detail stressing methods to meet the needs of aircraft stress analysis.  It is designed to introduce delegates to practical stress analysis, using real structural problems to illustrate the fundamental principles and practical techniques. The course will be delivered via a mixture of lectures, tutorials, and hands-on sessions in the computer lab for finite element method. A stressing exercise of a representative aircraft structure will be introduced as a case study in the second week of the course to apply and test the knowledge learnt.  Delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 05 - 16 Jun 2023
  • Duration10 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost

    £2900.  The course fee includes all of the materials provided plus lunches and a dinner for all participants as part of the social programme.

What you will learn


  • Understand the principles and techniques in stress analysis
  • Have a hands-on experience of solution methods and procedures in real structural design problems
  • Be aware of problem areas and appreciate good design practice in aircraft stress analysis



Core content


  • Aircraft design load and safety factors
  • Loads due to manoeuvre and gusts
  • Airworthiness requirements

Basics of stress analysis

  • The place of stress calculations in aircraft design and production
  • Strength and stiffness requirements
  • Material properties
  • Stressing data sheets and generalised stress-strain curves
  • In-plane and bending stresses
  • Section properties
  • Complex stress and design criteria
  • Structural principles and structural analysis
  • Micro-mechanics and macro-mechanics of composites
  • Failure analysis of composite structures
  • Finite element method theory


  • Formulae for struts, effects of yielding
  • Torsional and local instability
  • Buckling of stiffened panels in compression and shear, post buckling behaviour
  • Imperfection sensitivity.

Aircraft Structures

  • Thin-walled aircraft structures under torsion, bending and shear
  • Fatigue and damage tolerance design of metallic structures
  • Fatigue and damage tolerance design of composite structures

Detail Stressing Methods   

  • Yielding and form factors
  • Analysis of lug strength
  • Analysis of rivet/bolt groups
  • Analysis of cut-out in stiffened panels
  • Stressing exercise of a representative aircraft structure


  • Tutorial sessions for major topics
  • Hands-on session at the computer lab for finite element method
  • Lab tour of mechanical test facilities




A typical timetable for this course is available to give you an idea of how this course is structured. Please note that this is not the actual timetable for the upcoming course and is subject to change.

Who should attend

The course is intended for new members of aircraft stress offices who may have been recruited from other departments, or from other branches of engineering. Previous delegates have come from various roles including:

  • Stress engineers
  • Aerospace designers
  • Accident investigation staff
  • Structural engineers
  • Aircraft / aerospace maintenance engineers
  • Automotive / motorsport engineers
  • Aerospace test engineers
  • Airforce, military and naval engineering staff
  • Airworthiness engineers
  • Certification engineers
  • Composite materials engineers.

Whilst there are no precise academic requirements, delegates are likely to hold a minimum qualification of HND or Degree in mechanical or aeronautical engineering or related subject.


  • Dr Yigeng Xu is Senior Lecturer in Advanced Lightweight Structures Group of Cranfield University. He received his PhD degree from the University of Southampton working on damage tolerance characterisation of high strength airframe aluminium alloys.  Dr Xu has over 30 years of teaching and research experience with particular interest on fatigue and damage tolerance analysis of metallic and composite airframe structures. He has carried out projects funded by Airbus, Rolls-Royce, MBDA UK Ltd/EPSRC, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland Memorial Fund, and EC (FP7) and developed an in-house structural integrity method on the calculation of critical crack length and crack propagation for Airbus. Dr Xu is the Fellow of Higher Education Academy and the member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Conference of Fracture and Damage Mechanics.

  • Dr Hessam Ghasmnejad was awarded a PhD on effect of delamination failure on crashworthiness of laminated composite structures from Kingston University London in 2009. Prior to joining Cranfield in 2016 he was Senior Lecturer in Composite Materials in the School of Aerospace and Aircraft Engineering at Kingston University (2010 – 2015). He is Course Director of MSc and short courses on Advanced Lightweight Structures & Impact and Director of Studies of PhD programmes. He also acts as Member of Engineering Council (Chartered Engineer), IMechE Academic Review Panel, Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), the EPSRC Associate Peer Review College, Editorial Board of Journals and Scientific Committees of International Conferences. He has secured industrial research grants from Innovate UK, MoD and SME partners on impact and crash analysis of advanced composite structures.

  • Dr Iman Dyani joined Cranfield University (CU) as a lecturer in structures in March 2016. His has extensive expertise in the development of novel structural characteristics for multidisciplinary problems in aerospace engineering. This includes a broad range of work on morphing skins and adaptive structures capable of large scale geometry changes. Since 2013, he has published 17 high impact factor journal papers (citations 295+, h-index = 10). He is currently supporting delivery of a £1.75M project on Highly Integrated Power-plant and Aircraft Structures at the Aircraft Integration Research Centre (AIRC) in CU. He investigates the use of alternative configurations, disruptive technologies or alternative interface definitions to optimize wing structures with the objectives of weight reduction and increasing the integration between wing and power-plant systems and structures. This is in light of Powerplant Integration with Platform Systems (PIPS), a £8.9M project funded by Rolls-Royce (R-R) and Innovate UK.

  •  Dr Mehdi Yasaee is Lecturer in Lightweight Structures in the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing of Cranfield University. He has extensive expertise in developing novel analysis techniques to characterise fracture and failure of composite materials.  His current research interests include developing lightweight energy absorbing metal composite hybrid materials by using latest optimisation routines and novel reinforcement technologies to design efficient and damage resistant structures for dynamic impact conditions.

  • Mr Jason Brown 

  • Prof Joseph Loughlan is Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Chartered Engineer with 35 years’ experience in teaching and researching in the field of structural mechanics and failure. His work has a particular emphasis on providing an understanding of the behaviour of aircraft metallic and composite structural systems when they are subjected to loads determined from the different flight cases. Prof. Loughlan has gained an international reputation for his research contributions in the field of thin-walled structures and has given keynote presentations in a number of countries around the world. He has published his work widely and for 19 years, from 1998-2017, he has been the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Thin-Walled Structures. He now holds the title of Honorary Emeritus Editor of Thin-Walled Structures. Professor Loughlan has been the organiser and chairman of several international conferences and workshop events relating to thin-walled structures technology including, design and manufacturing technology, smart structures technology, impact and crashworthiness, and coupled instability technology. Currently, he is Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Structures at Loughborough University and Visiting Professor at Cranfield University where he gives teaching and research support and provides assistance to students on the Masters Aerospace Vehicle Design programme.

  • Prof. Howard Smith has particular interest in advanced aircraft configuration design, the design of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and aircraft static loads analysis. He is Head of the Aircraft Design Group at Cranfield University, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Senior Member of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Prof. Smith currently teaches aircraft conceptual design and aircraft loads analysis to graduate students from all over the world. He has been responsible for the creation of a wide range of innovative aircraft concept studies. He was recently awarded a Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellowship, a position previously given to only one non-US citizen since 1995.

Accommodation options and prices

We are pleased to offer an exclusive accommodation package at our Mitchell Hall hotel. Located on campus, all rooms are en-suite and available on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. The cost of this package is £1,272.

If you would like to book our accommodation package for this short course*, please indicate this on your registration form.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

*Subject to availability.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.