Load bearing capacity of light gauge steel framed walls

Study level

Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Mahen Mahendran
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Cold-formed light gauge steel framed construction is widely used in low-rise and mid-rise buildings.

Its increased use in mid-rise buildings drives the need for a better understanding of the load bearing capacity and fire resistance of light gauge steel framed (LSF) wall systems.

Research activities

There are two projects available for you as a VRES Student.

The first project relates to the load bearing capacity of LSF walls subjected to eccentric or lateral loading. We will be conducting full scale experiments of LSF walls to investigate their behavior and determine the reductions in axial compression capacity due to the action of combined compression and bending,

In the second project, full scale tests of LSF walls that are subject to distortional buckling, a unique buckling mode, will be undertaken to understand this behavior and determine the load bearing capacities. The use of complex stud sections is likely to cause distortional buckling and thus this project is important for LSF wall designs.


Depending on which project you choose, we expect to determine:

  • what the effects of eccentric loading and lateral loading are on the load bearing capacity of LSF walls
  • the load bearing capacities of LSF walls subject to distortional buckling.

Skills and experience

We expect you to have some knowledge and Interest in structural engineering, steel buildings and laboratory testing.



Contact the supervisor for more information.