Global Summer/Winter School
W021 - The Structural Ingenuity of Ancient Chinese Architectures

W022 The Structural Ingenuity of Ancient Chinese Architectures


Duration: 2018.1.22-2018.02.09


Campus: Xuhui


Course Description

The course gives an introduction to some key concepts of statics and dynamics towards applying them to analyze and appreciate ancient Chinese architectures, such as Zhaozhou Bridge, Baoguo Temple, Tiger Hill Pagoda, City Walls of ancient capitals, etc. We will see how to analyze the forces and moments between structural elements such as wooden beams connected with mortise and tenon. We will also examine the earthquake resistance of some wooden structures directly laid on the cornerstone without any connection. Formats of instruction include lectures and guided problem sessions.



Allow foreign students to learn engineering knowledge from an interesting angle: Chinese traditional architectures;


Help students to learn Chinese culture and appreciate the wisdom of a splendid Chinese history;


Three fieldtrips will be arranged to visit the ancient architectures in Nanjing, Ningbo and Suzhou, helping students to better understand the course.




Dr. Yongxing Shen

Dr. Yongxing Shen earned his Bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University in 2003 and PhD degree from Stanford University in 2008, both in Materials Science and Engineering. He was a lecturer at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona) before joining the UM-SJTU Joint Institute in 2014. Since 2015 he is also Associate Professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, SJTU.

Prof. Shen has broad interests in the field of computational mechanics, especially computational fracture mechanics. His interests range from designing numerical methods and analyzing their convergence properties, to discovering materials’ fracture behaviors with numerical simulations, and to applying numerical methods to make an impact to practical engineering problems.



Statics and Dynamics in Ancient Chinese Architecture consists of 45 contact hours (3 credits). The course grade is composed of the following components:

  • Attendance (10%)
  • Lab (5%)
  • Problem sessions (55%)
  • Final presentations (30%)



Program Coordinator: Viva Du (     


  Download the syllabus



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