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The genetic algorithm is a comparatively recent addition to methods of optimisation suitable for use in structural design. Its simplicity of approach and directness in discrete variable combinatorics makes it attractive in comparison with more mathematically complex methods. Stochastic processes are used to generate an initial population of individual designs, and the process then applies principles of natural selection/survival of the fittest to find improved designs.
Professor W.M. Jenkins
A number of authors describe one or both of the two possible approaches which may be used to derive the Saint-Venant torsional stiffness of a general structural section. For the purposes of this discussion, the stress function approach is used, but the principles may be applied just as easily to the alternative displacement formulation.
Coping with high shear forces in concrete flat slabs
In our issue for 15 October last, Bryan Bates commented on his experience in the use of rolled steel sections in the shearheads of a reinforced concrete slab required to have a completely flat soffit. Mr Bates described the proof testing that was considered necessary to ensure that the design would perform satisfactorily. Richard Baynes, of Peterborough, describes his experience of a similar situation:
I noted with interest Mr Bates’ letter, as many years ago I was associated with a similar scheme, albeit in a junior capacity.