The 1970 box girder collapses that led to a revolution
Date & Time

10 March 2020
17:30 - for 18:00 start

Location

The Institution of Structural Engineers
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Price

Free

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The 1970 box girder collapses that led to a revolution

Date & Time

10 March 2020
17:30 - for 18:00 start

Location

The Institution of Structural Engineers
View on Google Maps

Price

Free

Availability No registration required

Discover why and how modern safety codes were developed after two fatal bridge collapses in 1970.

In the 1960s, UK innovations were replacing traditional steel girder construction designed to simple BS codes using slide rules. The change was to innovative all welded construction of stiffened box girders, some as cable stayed (Erskine) or suspension bridges (Severn). Often old codes were used without reviewing or updating them for the very different scale and proportions of these complex slender structures.

The UK Merrison Committee was set up after the fatal 1970 collapses of Milford Haven and West Gate Bridges. It developed Interim Design and Workmanship Rules (IDWR) for the design of steel box girder bridges and the assessment and strengthening of the dozens of deficient UK bridges. It developed Pugsley’s approach to rational factors of safety based on the real variability of loads and construction. Later these comprehensive rules were oversimplified into BS5400 and then further watered down into EN1993.

Today’s engineers designing bridges or innovative steel structures should understand the fundamental of buckling and plasticity and revisit the source research which these Codes have debased.

Speaker

Jonathan Wood founded Structural Studies and Design Ltd, a specialist consulting engineering practice in 1992.  Projects have included forensic investigations and expert witness work on bridge demolition, car parks, concrete quality and testing, tunnel construction damage, office block facades, a sagging hospital records building and the investigation of Pipers Row Car Park collapse for HSE.

In the 1980s he worked for Mott MacDonald Special Services on worldwide investigations and remedial work on deteriorating bridges, tunnels, offices, hospital buildings, etc and the development of concrete specifications for more durable structures, including the Channel Tunnel.

In the 1970s he worked for Flint & Neill on Merrison research and the development of bridge design rules for steel box girders. He undertook design and remedial work on major bridges, including Humber and Severn and post collapse reconstruction of the West Gate and Milford Haven bridges.

Contact

Email - [email protected]

Name - Rob Thomas

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