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Structural engineers were one of the first construction industry professionals to make use of the computer. It was in the late 1950s they first attempted equation solution. It took until the early ‘60s to build up demand to a level that prompted purchase of inhouse facilities. At first there were terminals to bureaus. Then, small stand-alone computers with paper tape input and output. The output tape was fed through a teletype to produce a hard copy. Minicomputers came into existence in the late ’60s. These machines were capable of expansion to accommodate extra ports for the connection of dumb terminals. After the large engineering timesharing computers came the era of the engineering Workstation - self-contained, powerful systems with good graphics capabilities. D.H. Taffs
Wednesday 4 May 1994 is the 60th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter. On the day, the anniversary is being commemorated by holding a l-day seminar on the history and development of structural design at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SD. Nine Institution Gold Medallists are participating in the seminar, and summaries of their papers are given below. The proceedings of the seminar are scheduled for publication in book form in December 1994.
In 1926, when the Institution first applied for a Royal Charter, there were criticisms of the conditions and requirements for membership. As a result, from 1933, all candidates were required to take a paper in drawing and design (even if exempted from theoretical papers by possessing an engineering degree or equivalent). In the following year the Institution received its Royal Charter and since that time has maintained its requirement that all candidates for corporate membership must demonstrate their competence in structural design in the Part 3 examination. Professor A.R. Cusens and Professor A.W. Beeby