This combination leads to the ability to arrive at a numerical solution. Using a series of structural diagrams as a visual lanSuage ol structural behaviour that can be understood with the minimum oJ textual comments, the book aims to develop a qualitative understanding of the response of the structure to load. The book is in two parts. It is considered that the ability to arrive at the qualitative solution to framed structures is a significantly imlortant component of the overall understanding of structural behaviour. Part II deals with current methods of structural analysis using the diagrammatic format to which the student has become accustomed. The need lor the developrrent of qualitative skills increases with the increasing use of the computer in design offices.

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Understanding Structural Analysis. From that time powerful software for structural analysis and design was developed and the low cost of the hardware provided the software on every desk. This is perhaps the most significant change to affect the way in which the structural engineer works; a change over 15 years from hand calculations to analysis and design by computers.

This has moved the emphasis from skills in hand analysis and design to the stages of structural modelling from the real structure to the computer model. New Paradigm Solutions was set up by Dr David Brohn DMB to co-ordinate and encourage the development of training strategies to replace the informal development of procedures for analysis and design in the design office with a new approach that reflects the use of the computer and is aimed specifically at the development of structural modelling skills, the key to which is a sound understanding of structural behaviour.

The control group for the test was the graduate entry to the Arup Partnership. The test was conducted over 10 years and revealed a substantial deficiency in this skill, a skill that at the time was not clearly defined. In order to correct the deficiency, a training course was commissioned by Arup and literally hundreds of graduates passed through the course over a year period. Inevitably, this exercise was the subject of some discussion back in the design office and the course was run for more experienced staff, some of whom had been with the practice for many years.

This revealed that, despite considerable experience, even engineers of many years in the design office may be less than secure in applying an understanding of structural behaviour than they would have expected. The Institution of Structural Engineers set up a working party to investigate the issues raised by the published reports that endorsed the views put forward by DMB This text is now in its third edition and is used as the basis of teaching in a number of universities, both in the UK and abroad.

The use of the computer in structural engineering An analysis of the results of the test of an understanding of structural behaviour showed clearly that a visual schema 8, 9, 14 was crucial to obtaining a qualitative solution and DMB started to research the matching of an intuitive graphics user interface to computer software for structural analysis.

QSE Ltd was formed in to exploit this work. Since that time an extensive range of PC compatible software was developed by QSE for the professional structural engineer. However, the design of the interface has been so successful that the same software is now a virtual standard in Universities in the UK where the programs are used as the basis for Computer Assisted Learning. Research Engineers now publish the software. For further details go to www.

The future is now Experienced engineers are now recognising that they possess skills of understanding 12 that, because of the universal use of the computer in the design office, the young engineers who will replace them will not necessarily acquire. The post-graduate period in the design office where these skills were developed on the drawing board and calculation pad have all but disappeared and there is now a recognition that there is a need to identify a formal way of teaching such skills to replace that informal acquisition.

DMB believes that the feedback he has received from both the training courses for academics and structural engineers confirm that these courses are able to substantially change the direction and emphasis of those who attend the courses and the training for the development of an understanding of structural behaviour, structural modelling and the use of the computer in the design office. References Brohn, D. Brohn, D. Assessment in Higher Education, Bath University, 1, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic.

International Conference on computer applications in developing countries, Bangkok, August Symposium on computer assisted learning in Civil and Structural Engineering, Swansea, September Working party on the qualitative analysis of structural behaviour, Meeting 21 May The Structural Engineer, 60A, Proceedings of the annual conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, Delft, 25 June , The Structural Engineer, 61A, Brohn D.

Granada, London, 1st Edition. Blackwells, London, 2nd Edition. Institution of Structural Engineers.


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