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The Structural Engineer

Conceptual design is perhaps one of the most innovative stages of the design process in which about 70% to 80% of the project resources are committed. Decisions taken at the conceptual stage are normally the duty of senior engineers with experience in the area. It is therefore essential to ensure that the decisions made at this stage are the right ones, otherwise mistakes made can be extremely costly to rectify later on in the design process. This paper reports results of research carried by the authors in the University of Plymouth. A decision support tool is described which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and visualisation techniques to allow designers from different disciplines involved in the design (the design team) to explore the search and solution spaces widely in order to shortlist candidate compromised designs meeting some of the requirements of multi-disciplinary design. This exploration can result in an agreed framework for further stages of the design. A major benefit of the research reported in this paper is the interactive use of the visualisation tool in exploring solutions generated by the computer. This assists designers in their decision making process. Yaqub Rafiq, BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MIStructE Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering, University of Plymouth Martin Beck, BA, BSc, MSc Lecturer School of Computing Communications and Electronics, University of Plymouth

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

This paper examines some of the reasons for the low participation of females in engineering education and careers, drawing upon empirical research from a study of sixth formers’ A-level and career choices and their images of engineering as a career. The paper then structuralengineer THE describes and evaluates two initiatives at the University of Plymouth which aim to increase female participation and facilitate the transition from study to careers in the industry. It concludes by considering what more can be done to attract and retain women in engineering education and careers. E. A. Hodgkinson, PhD School of Engineering, Reynolds Building, University of Plymouth, Plymouth

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

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The Structural Engineer

Taw Bridge is a five-span crossing of the Taw estuary in Devon. It forms part of the Barnstaple Western Bypass, a 2.7km relief road scheme, for which a design and build contract was awarded by Devon County Council to Edmund Nuttall Ltd in 2004. The bridge was opened in May 2007. The bridge is a cast in situ post-tensioned concrete box girder with a total length of 409m. The majority of the structure is built by the balanced cantilever method over the estuary, which is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The substructure comprises two abutments and four piers, the latter being constructed within the estuary using cofferdams. At tender design phase it was recognised that building a temporary causeway connecting the cofferdams to the shore would offer substantial benefits to the contractor and to residents by reducing vehicle movements through the town. The paper presents some of the unusual aspects of the design and construction of the bridge, its materials and the construction techniques assumed in the design and used in the execution. Malcolm Fletcher, MBE, MSc, FREng, FICE Halcrow, Consultant Raj Janmejay, MSc(Bridges), MIE(I) Senior Bridge Engineer, Halcrow Paul Wright, BSc(Hons), MICE Engineer, Halcrow

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The Structural Engineer

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