Approximate Methods of Structural Analysis: Principles and Pitfallsby John Roorda, Univ of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada,
Abstract: In this modern age when the trend in structural engineering and structural engineering education is to make more and more use of computers and standard structural analysis programs, there is a distinct danger that engineers will lose touch with reality and come to see the computer with its standardised approaches to problems as an end in itself. A number of very useful approximate techniques that served the slide rule engineer of past years exceedingly well, are slowly being forgotten or pushed out of curricula to make room for standardised, computer adaptable methods. This paper discusses such methods and presents application examples. Subjects covered include load paths, Rayleigh's principle, estimation of second order effects, and others.
Subject Headings: Structural analysis | Engineering education | Computer analysis | Computer software | Load factors | Numerical methods | Aging (material)
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