Mr Richard Harris
RE: Engineer status in UK
Did anyone else see how our profession was gratuitously trashed by David Dimbleby on T V recently?
I quote verbatim from “How We Built Britain” by David Dimbleby on BBC1.
“If you were making a cathedral like this today, you’d have architectural plans, engineering drawings, structural engineers pouring over all the stresses in the load-bearing walls and the rest of it. And after a long time they’d probably conclude it couldn’t be built anyway because it would fall down. Now this building was built entirely by the knowledge, the experience, of the master masons who made it”.
Ah, so the brickies know better!, apparently.
Anyway, is he correct about structural analysis being unable to assess the stresses in masonry? Does finite element analysis give reasonably correct answers for something like this? Are there any F E experts reading this who can answer that?
Whether or not he was correct, I don’t think his remarks are acceptable. Even if he was correct, some sort of explanation should have been given, perhaps along the lines of factors of safety, variable mechanical properties of the stone, and the failure rate of these buildings and resulting death and injury caused by the master masons.
Apparently there's a book of the same title as the T V program. I wonder if we've been traduced there, too?