State of the Art of Structural Engineering

by Jose M. Roësset, (Hon.M.ASCE),
James T. P. Yao, (Hon.M.ASCE),



Abstract: The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the developments in structural engineering that took place during the past century. This overview includes: (1) some of the major structural accomplishments as selected by the writers; (2) the advances in mechanics as the basis of structural analysis; (3) the development of new materials; (4) new fields of research and practice; and (5) the changes in the way design projects are performed. In addition, the writers' personal predictions for future developments during the 21st century are also presented. One of the main features affecting the evolution of structural engineering over the last part of the 20th century has been the advent and rapid development of digital computers as engineering tools. Computers can be used to perform complex and cumbersome computations and to enhance worldwide communications, both with great speed and reliability. This has already had an important effect on the way we design structures and educate civil engineers, but the impact on structural analysis and design as well as on construction planning and management is still in progress. We believe that this impact will be fully felt in the 21st century. Computers will liberate engineers from tedious and routine computations, allowing them to concentrate on more creative and important endeavors. They will facilitate the design of constructed facilities as complete systems rather than by considering each subsystem (such as structure and cumbersome computations and to enhance worldwide communications, both with great speed and reliability. This has already had an important effect on the way we design structures and educate civil engineers, but the impact on structural analysis and design as well as on construction planning and management is still in progress. We believe that this impact will be fully felt in the 21st century. Computers will liberate engineers from tedious and routine computations, allowing them to concentrate on more creative and important endeavors. They will facilitate the design of constructed facilities as complete systems rather than by considering each subsystem (such as structure and foundation) separately. They will lead finally to the needed integration of the design and construction processes.

Subject Headings: Structural analysis | Construction management | Building design | Structural reliability | Foundation design

 

Return to search