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The M-beam was introduced in the late 1960s as a replacement for prestressed I-beams in beam and slab construction. Originally conceived for voided slab construction, the M-beam was soon used in contiguous beam and slab and finally in spaced beam and slab construction. The current need for inspection of bridge structures and maintenance of bearings, along with design changes since 1970, has resulted in the M-beam not being a perfect solution for the design configurations in which it is currently used.
H.P.J. Taylor, L.A. Clark and C.C. Banks
The International Association for Bridge & Structural Engineering (IABSE) is launching a new quarterly journal entitled Structural Engineering International which replaces its Periodical publication. In many respects, it is representative of the results of a long, hard review of the organisation, its aims, and its byelaws. This is an appropriate moment to draw the attention of all structural engineers to the objectives and achievements of the Association.
The status in society of structural engineers is low compared to other professions. I will argue that, if we are to succeed in raising the status of our profession, we need to
(a) make entrance to chartered status much more demanding, with the minimum academic requirements being a new-style 5-year honours degree and hence reduce the numbers of chartered engineers, while at the same time significantly developing the numbers of incorporated engineers in our profession;
(b) create a clearer definition of what a structural engineer is by rationalising the bodies qualifying engineers involved in structural design.