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The Structural Engineer

Within the preceding pages we have traced the history of the Institution from its beginning as the Concrete Institute to the present day. We have shown how the membership of the Institution has grown from a small body of men to one of over eight thousand engineers drawn from all quarters of the globe, how its activities have expanded from the relatively restricted field of concrete to cover all types of structures in all the materials of construction and how, step by step, national and international recognition has been given to the exclusive title of “ Chartered Structural Engineer ” which our Members and Associate-Members are proud to bear.

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The Structural Engineer

ALUMINIUM owes its early development as a structural material to the aircraft industry, a field in which the low density of the material is a factor of paramount importance, outweighing its high initial cost. Its applications in other branches of structural engineering (specialist or experimental at first) began only about twenty five years ago, and progress was slow until the end of the last war when appreciation of the results of wartime research and development and the influence of the post-war shortage of steel led to a new interest in aluminium. During the last ten years an increasing number of light alloy structures have been built and while aluminium has been found to be a true economic solution in several specialist cases, it has been used as an interesting and novel solution in others. Research andevelopment have continued, and today aluminium alloys are available with properties appropriate to structural uses and are obtained in a wide range of sections, plates, sheets, etc. Gilbert Roberts

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The Structural Engineer

FIFTY YEARS takes us back to 1908. During those fifty years very notable progress has been made in all civilized countries in the science and art of bridge construction. All bridge structures belong to one or other of the three fundamental types, the suspension bridge, arch and the supported girder. Although at the present time these three primary types have become sub-divided into a large number of variations conforming to special requirements dictated by topography of site, character and exigencies of traffic, properties of materials and possible methods of erection, yet such variants are the outcome of a gradual evolution dating back to prehistoric times. Professor Emeritus Joseph Husband

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The Structural Engineer

IN BRITAIN, clay products and brickwork are among the last materials that the structural engineer would expect to provide exciting news of technical innovations in his field. Brickwork has been the builder’s tried friend for many centuries, on the basis of all-round merits that are not combined to the same degree in any other material, and we tend to assume that our close friends could never surprise us. The structural possibilities of brickwork have been accurately defined in the present century by research into the relation between the strength of brick piers and walls and that of the bricks and mortar used in their construction. The Building Research Station’s work in this field has dealt almost exclusively with the properties of brickwork built with solid bricks of standard size because few bricks of any other type are made in Britain. B. Butterworth

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The Structural Engineer

IT is a curious point that the study of composite action in structures should appear to be one of the most modern of research subjects, for the best of designers have from ancient times been accustomed to look upon the structure as a whole. Bridge builders in particular, and medieval craftsmen in masonry structures, made good use of structural continuity. The advent of cast iron, and later of steel, has led to a specialization and a degree of precision in the analysis of frames that has become by now somewhat fictitious, unless of course the frame really is a bare frame. This over-concentration on frame analysis has led to a neglect of the study of the whole structure. R.H. Wood

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The Structural Engineer

IT WAS NO ACCIDENT that the Institution of Structural Engineers was founded in 1908 and with the original title of the Concrete Institute. The first decade of the twentieth century was a period of great progress in the construction industry when the full impact of the development of reinforced concrete was first being appreciated in Britain. The inauguration of the Institution was therefore both timely and fortunate for, in company with similarly specialized bodies in other countries, it was able to play an important part in the growth of what is now a major industry. A.R. Collins

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The Structural Engineer

PRESIDENT Professor Sir Alfred Pugsley, o.B.E., D.SC.(ENG.), F.R.s., M.I.c.E., F.R.AE.S.

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The Structural Engineer

THE DEVELOPMENT of structural design from the early employment of cast iron, through combinations of cast and wrought iron to the modern use of steel, has taken nearly a century. Its history makes absorbing reading, but only a few of the salient points can be mentioned in this paper. Lewis E. Kent and Lt.-Col.G.W. Kirkland

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The Structural Engineer

STRUCTURAL STEELWORK was little used in this before the year 1900. At that time the general country practice was to construct a load-bearing shell of self supporting brickwork with some steelwork used internally and also externally at first floor level where large shop window openings were required. Floors were mainly of timber, or of filler joist construction for fire resistance. Stanchions were almost invariably made in single storey lengths, with caps and bases, either of steel I-section or of cast iron in which case the section was usually circular. These columns were simply placed one on top of the other with perhaps a few bolts joining them together. Frequently the beams were continuous over the stanchion caps and thus the load from the pillar above had to be transmitted by the web of the beam to the pillar below. Holding down bolts and stanchion splice plates were practically unknown. The resulting structure approximated very closely to what is assumed in the orthodox method of design in general use today. That is, in effect, that the beams rested on simple supports and the stanchions were made up of individual single storey lengths without any attempt at continuity. The stanchions could hardly be described as pin-ended but they were very much nearer to that ideal than those found in a modern structure. Professor J.F. Baker

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The Structural Engineer

THIS PAPER deals with three branches of engineering which have engaged the attention of engineers in most parts of the world for hundreds of years and which are likely to continue to do so in the foreseeable future. J. Guthrie Brown

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The Structural Engineer

AT THE TIME of a Jubilee celebration, whether of a personal birthday, or of the birth of an industry or profession, it is usual and natural for those most concerned to stand aside for a moment from their daily work and look back to compare the conditions of fifty years ago with those of today. Professor Sir Alfred Pugsley

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The Structural Engineer

FOUNDATION engineering, which is as old as the art of building, developed through the ages largely on the basis of accumulated experience utilised in conjunction with empirical procedures until, by the early part of the present century, it had nearly reached the ultimate limit possible without a new, more scientific, approach to the problems associated with the behaviour of the sub-surface materials of the earth. The pursuit of that approach is, in the authors’ opinion, the outstanding feature of the progress made during the last fifty years in this very important branch of structural engineering. F.M. Bowen and E.O. Measor

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Photograph

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Honorary Members

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The Structural Engineer

FIFTY YEARS is a brief interval of time in architectural history, yet in this period the extravagant taste which produced ornate Victorian building has suffered complete re-action, and architects almost everywhere now design primarily for functional requirements and try to produce structures of simple elegance, some examples of which are shown in figures 1-7. There are still a few critics who scornfully refer to most new buildings as “ towers of concrete and glass,” and sometimes with justification, for it requires the highest skill to produce refinement, elegance and simplicity on a large scale. But in spite of the failures, the revolution on the whole has succeeded and the credit must go to men like Gropius, Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Nervi, who have been perceptive, skilled, and courageous enough to defy tradition, and to use new materials, particularly reinforced concrete, in a rational and enterprising manner. The architects of many of the post-war British school buildings have also, more recently, made a notable contribution. In the wider field of engineering structures, designers have determined mathematically the shape which provides strength most economically and function most efficiently, and the uniformity and ease of casting concrete in almost any required shape has thereby endowed with beauty even the most utilitarian structures, which hitherto had been accepted as incurably ugly. Even architects have, at times, credited engineers with producing attractive “ functional ” structures because of their clean, honest lines.” More often, they have probably had in mind prestressed concrete bridges rather than coal bunkers or, perhaps, photographs of concrete structures rather than the structures themselves. For the photographs showing attractive silhouettes and patterns in black and white have often been deceptive, the structure itself being of elegant form, but drab and shabby on the surface. This, however, is a quite inexcusable constructional fault, as the weathering samples at the Cement and Concrete Association laboratory clearly demonstrate, or more emphatically still, those exposed in the smoky atmosphere of London, on the roof of the City and Guilds College. Professor A.L.L. Baker

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The Structural Engineer

PROFESSOR SIR ALFRED PUGSLEY , in his Presidential Address to the Institution, chose research as his theme. The present paper may serve to comment on some aspects of research that could not be included in the compass of Sir Alfred’s Address. Indeed, the contributions made to structural engineering by research workers over- the past fifty years are so many and so varied that many important developments are necessarily omitted from this brief article. F.G. Thomas

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The Structural Engineer

THE INSTITUTON has been specially fortunate in its Assistant Secretary. Herbert Gray joined the staff in 1922 and for 36 years has served the Institution with a loyalty and devotion to his duties which have been an outstanding example to all at Headquarters who have been associated with, and under him. J. Guthrie Brown

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The Structural Engineer

The Lancashire and Cheshire Branch ON THE 25 November 1922, some forty local members of the Institution of Structural Engineers gathered in the Lecture Hall of the Victoria University, Manchester, to meet the President, the late Mr. E. Fiander Etchells, and to consider the formation of a Branch. A petition to this effect was drawn up and signed by sixteen members and on the 14 December the petition was granted by the Council.

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The Structural Engineer

THE INSTITUTION of Structural Engineers began as the Concrete Institute, a body founded in 1908 to bring together for discussion and common action persons interested in the study and dcvelopment of concrete, particularly reinforced concrete, at a time when that material was receiving scant attention from the older professional institutions. S.B. Hamilton

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The Structural Engineer

THERE IS A sense in which it may be said that the virility of a scientific society can be measured by the extent and number of the awards and prizes which it offers. Competition is the very essence of progress and competition is measured satisfactorily by the award of prizes of varying kinds. F.R. Bullen

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The Structural Engineer

THE APPOINTMENT of overseas representatives came about as a result of the increasing interest shown in the Institution and the rapidly growing number of applications for membership from various parts of the world. Local representatives were first appointed in India in 1932 ; other appointments followed as the need arose and within twenty-five years the Institution had representatives in Australia, British West Indies, Canada, Ceylon, East Africa, Hong Kong, India, Israel, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rhodesia and Nyasaland and Singapore.

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The Structural Engineer

DURING THE fifty years since the founding of the Institution great developments have occurred in the scope of its work in furtherance of its Charter and in its influence and importance in the field of Structural Engineering. It is beyond the scope of this article to trace these developments in detail and the following is a brief description of how the Institution works today. Walter C. Andrews

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The Structural Engineer

Contents Page

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The Structural Engineer

Photograph of Professor Sir Alfred Pugsley

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Copy of Address

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The Singapore and Federation of Malaya Section THE SINGAPORE and Federation of Malaya Section of the Institution of Structural Engineers was formed in 1956. This is the first Section of the Institution to come into being in the Far East although, as older members may recollect, the Institution was represented in Malaya before the last war by the Engineering Association of Malaya, whose application to become an Allied Society of the Institution of Structural Engineers was granted by the Council in 1937. The alliance did much to further the aims and objects of the Institution in Malaya and various facilities became available to members resident in that area. This arrangement continued until the occupation of the Peninsula by the Japanese forces in 1942, when all communication ceased for the duration of the war. In October 1945, the Institution received a welcome cablegram from Mr. T. A. Clark (Associate-Member) giving the news that he was “ free, fit and back at work ” and offering to provide information of other members in the area. It was learnt with regret that Mr. J. W. Russell (Associate-Member) had died in Borneo in 1944 during a forced march from Kuching to Labuan and that Mr. F. G. Coales (Member) had lost his life in escaping from Singapore by sea.

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Photograph of Mr. G. S. McDonald

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Sir, I have had the honour to lay before the Queen the Loyal Address of the Council of the Institution of Structural Engineers on the occasion of the firtieth anniversary of the founding of their Institution.

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The Structural Engineer

JUST AS Louis XIV of France is reputed to have said to the Paris Parliament in 1655, “L’état c’est moi,” so Major Reginald Ferdinand Maitland might well say on this Jubilee Year that in him is represented the Institution of Structural Engineers. During the twenty-eight years of his devoted service as Secretary of the Institution he has provided the continuity of purpose, the wealth of experience and the driving force which has made the Institution the outstanding and world famed technical body that it is today. His influence to this end on the long list of eminent engineers who have yearly filled the Presidential Chair has had to be felt personally to be appreciated. Added to this, are the dignity, charm and friendly manner which have induced the greatest respect and loyalty from his staff, and have made successive Presidents and Councils look on him as a personal friend. J. Guthrie Brown

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The Structural Engineer

Photographs of Mr. L. E. Kent, Mr. J. Singleton-Green, Lt.-Col. G. W. Kirkland, Mr. E. N. Underwood and Mr. T. Bredin

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The Structural Engineer

THE THEORETICAL analysis of the behaviour of engineering structures, as we know the subject today, can be said to date effectively from the end of the 18th century. Monumental structures had of course been built long before that and their impressive remains can still be seen in Egypt and Mesopotamia and especially in countries which were formerly part of the Roman Empire. But, so far as is known, the engineer- architects who built these great works had no theoretical principles to guide them and relied only upon trial and experiment and their own genius. Much the same can be said of the builders of the great cathedrals of Europe who carried the art of constructing masonry arches, vaults and buttresses to a level that has never been surpassed. It was not until the Renaissance that men began to enquire in a systematic way into the laws that govern structural behaviour but even then progress was slow for many years. The pace quickened in the 18th century especially in France where the "ingénieurs des ponts et chausstes" were attempting to apply the methods of mathematics systematically to the design and construction of the structures for which they were responsible. The foundation of the "Ecole des Ponts et Chaussdes" in 1747 marks the beginning of the practice of training engineers to use this scientific approach to their work, and the interchange of men and ideas between this school and the military corps of engineers was extraordinarily productive. The most important figure of this period is Coulomb whose work on the bending of beams, on torsion, on friction and on the stability of retaining walls was an immense step forward. In his efforts to deal with the problems of structural statics by scientific methods, but without losing sight of practical requirements, Coulomb was the first to deal with structural analysis in a recognisably modern manner. Professor J.A.L. Matheson

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The Structural Engineer

FIFTY YEARS AGO the structural use of timber was entirely governed by the known properties of the raw material in its natural state. These properties had become known by trial and error and in consequence were defined by limitations rather than potentialities. The natural limitations on available dimensions, weakness in shear, inability to make a good tension joint or to maintain continuity around bends or at the ends of pieces, no effective control over moisture movement, no systematic evaluation of strength, no constructive knowledge of pathology and treatment, no apparent escape from unidirectional stress distribution : all factors which operated in the development of empirical techniques and the establishment of a fairly rigid code of traditional practice. P.O. Reece

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