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 methods. 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
    • 10 - 21 Jun 2024
  • 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.




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 a Reader in Structural Integrity and Course Director of Advanced Lightweight and Composite Structures MSc at Cranfield University. He received his PhD degree from the University of Southampton. Yigeng has over 30 years of teaching and research experience with particular interest on durability and damage tolerance analysis of metallic and composite airframe structures. He has carried out a number of research projects funded by national (Innovate UK, ATI, EPSRC), Europe (EC FP7, Horizon Europe) and industries (Airbus, Rolls-Royce, GKN Aerospace, MBDA). He was a Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Design Engineer at Airbus and developed an in-house structural integrity method (SIM1014) on the calculation of critical crack length and crack propagation. He is the Fellow of Higher Education Academy, Chartered Engineer and Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College.

  • Dr Hessam Ghasemnejad is a Reader in Aerospace Structures at Cranfield University. He 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 the Senior Lecturer in Composite Materials in the School of Aerospace and Aircraft Engineering at Kingston University (2010 – 2015). He also acts as Member of Engineering Council (Chartered Engineer), IMechE Academic Review Panel, Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), the EPSRC Peer Review College, Editorial Board of Journals and Scientific Committees of International Conferences. He has secured research grants from Innovate UK, Horizon Europe, MoD, major aerospace companies and SME partners with a research focus on impact and crash analysis of advanced composite structures.

  • Dr Iman Dayyani is the Senior Lecturer in Composite Metamaterials and Morphing Structures at Cranfield University. He has extensive expertise in the development of novel structural characteristics for multidisciplinary problems in aerospace engineering such as lightweight structures with extreme anisotropic behaviour. This includes a broad range of work on Morphing Skins and Adaptive Structures capable of large-scale geometry changes. He uses a variety of analytical, numerical, and experimental techniques to develop problems from low fidelity analysis in concept level to high-fidelity investigation in modelling validation. Iman has published many high impact factor journal papers and carried out research projects funded by Innovate UK, ATI, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Horizon Europe.

  • Dr Xiaodong Xu is the Senior Lecturer in Lightweight Materials and Structures. His research interests lie in notched failure, strength scaling, sustainable composites, Machine Learning and Automated Manufacturing of Advanced Composites. Before joining Cranfield University, Dr Xiaodong Xu was a Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Structures at the University of West of England (UWE Bristol) since 2021, a Visiting Research Fellow at the Bristol Composites Institute and a Visiting Fellow of the University of Tokyo. Before 2021, he was a Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol where he was also awarded my PhD in Aerospace Engineering in 2015.

  • Mr Jack Stockford is the Course Director of Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc and the Lecturer in Aircraft Design at Cranfield University. Before returning to work at Cranfield, where he completed an MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design, Jack worked as a Stress-man at Airbus in Broughton. He currently teaches Aircraft Loading, Conceptual Design, Landing Gear Design and Reliability and Safety. His research interests include the conceptual design of advanced rotorcraft and human powered aircraft. Jack is the Fellow of Higher Education Academy, Chartered Engineer and Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

  • Mr Jason Brown is the Senior Research Fellow at Cranfield University. He has extensive knowledge and experience in Automotive Structures and Crashworthiness, Aerospace Structures and Crashworthiness, Finite Element Analysis and FE software development.

  • Prof Joseph Loughlan is the Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Chartered Engineer with 40 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. He had been the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Thin-Walled Structures from 1998 to 2017 and now holds the title of Honorary Emeritus Editor of the journal. 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 the 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 Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc programme.

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 £1,425.

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.