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Observed behaviour of viaducts and other multispan arch forms is combined with experimental results from historical sources to yield a view of how load is transmitted through such structures. An analytical scheme is proposed and an example considered.
W.J. Harvey and F.W. Smith
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
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.