Date of Award

Winter 2018

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Robert M Henry

Second Advisor

Erin S Bell

Third Advisor

Ricardo Medina


Cargo containers are utilized around the globe as structural components in the design of buildings. Kevin Giriuanas [1] wrote a thesis on the finite element analysis of a 20-foot cargo shipping container, which was comprised of mostly shell elements. This thesis aims to develop a simplified beam model which compares well with the displacement and stresses of a finite element shell model of a 20-foot cargo shipping container. The simplified beam model is comprised of columns with rectangular cross sections and four panels developed using the modified box frame model presented in a thesis by Deborah L. Calvin [2]. The displacements determined by the simplified beam model are with 10% difference of the displacements determined by the finite element shell models of the cargo container structural system. The stresses determined by the simplified beam model are within 15% of the finite element shell models.