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The Structural Engineer

The Government has set a challenging agenda for the construction industry, with a plethora of initiatives, which even Construction Minister Nick Raynsford has described as ‘almost too many - some might say an overload of initiatives’. However, they have, in his view been necessary to begin the long process of modernising the construction industry following the Latham and Egan reports. Kathy Stansfield

The Structural Engineer

Mr P. M. Debney (M) (CSC (UK) Ltd) Why is Laing producing 3-dimensional models from 2-dimensional drawings, rather than the other way round?

The Structural Engineer

Bernard Johnston grew up in the industrial landscape of the north east of England, outside Newcastle-upon-Tyne, amongst the shipyards and bridges of Tyneside. As a small boy he was deeply impressed by these surroundings and remembers ‘building reinforced earth structures and long spans of twigs and grass and earth’ in the garden of his home. He also spent hours wandering round the Museum of Science & Engineering where he was most attracted to the models of ships and planes. His father was a commercial artist running a silk-screen business, and his brother became a mechanical engineer.

The Structural Engineer

Traditionally, structural engineers have used their skills and expertise to ensure that structures or structural components are serviceable and durable, in addition to possessing adequate strength and stability. However, there is now a need for this traditional role to he broadened and expanded if structural engineers are to contribute towards meeting current socio-economic needs. Definite relationships exist between employment opportunities, available skills, entrepreneurship, and the use of small-scale enterprises in the creation and maintenance of assets. The construction strategies adopted can he used to address social and economic needs and concerns and, depending upon how they are structured, to facilitate the economic empowerment of marginalised sectors of society in a focused manner.Thus, the process of constructing assets can be just as important as the provision of the assets themselves. K.B. Watermeyer

The Structural Engineer

Computers are becoming an integral part of most facets of the construction industry from conceptual design to maintenance planning. Their influence on structural design has been particularly dramatic, where software is available to assist analysis and design, and drawings are routinely produced on computer aided draughting (CAD) systems. Peter Gardner

The Structural Engineer

Movement in clay Rodney Higgins has usedpart of his holiday, he tells us, to catch up on back numbers of The Structural Engineer: most commendable! Evidently, his reading extended more widely, and he writes: Having recently read the new BRE Digest concerning the influence of trees in clay soils on low-rise buildings, I was reminded of an experiment I undertook on a subsidence claim following the 1989-90 drought.