Editorial: Digital design

Author: P. Ayres (AECOM)

Date published

1 March 2016

Price
Free

Online purchases unavailable

Unfortunately we are unable to process online purchases at this time.

Find out more

Access Resource
Back to Previous

Editorial: Digital design

The Structural Engineer
Editorial: Digital design
Date published

1 March 2016

Author

P. Ayres (AECOM)

Price

Free

Online purchases unavailable

Unfortunately we are unable to process online purchases at this time.

Find out more

Access Resource
Author

P. Ayres (AECOM)

Not so long ago, a journalist asked me an interesting question: “Do you believe the work of the structural engineer can ever be replaced by artificial intelligence”. I think she was somewhat taken aback when I answered “Yes”.


But before the esteemed readership of this magazine floods Verulam with missives of indignation, let me explain that I qualified my answer; I postulated that while almost all the technical work undertaken by structural engineers at every level could, in theory, be overtaken by artificial intelligence (and that it would be highly complacent of us as a profession to assume our more “left brained” tendencies were irreplaceable) the art of the structural engineer would always remain.


Which begs the question, as structural engineers, what do we really mean by design? When I was at university over 30 years ago, much of our course work was taken up learning the hard, number-crunching ways of analysing structures, while “design” lessons generally involved practising the use of codes and standards to select and detail structural elements. For the 21st-century structural engineer, these are processes which can now be almost entirely automated. Our real value comes in understanding when and how to apply the increasingly complex tools at our disposal to deliver value and creativity to our clients and stakeholders.


So in this special issue of The Structural Engineer, we set out to describe how far our profession has come, and where it might be going, in the development of digital design tools, and what this might mean for structural engineers of the future.

Additional information

Format:
PDF
Pages:
1
Publisher:
The Institution of Structural Engineers

Tags

Issue 3

Related Resources & Events

The Structural Engineer
<h4>Complete issue (March 2016)</h4>

Complete issue (March 2016)

All the articles published in the March 2016 issue.

Date ‐ 1 March 2016
Author ‐ Various
Price ‐ £25
The Structural Engineer
<h4>What is your structural model not telling you?</h4>

What is your structural model not telling you?

Finite-element analysis involves inherent approximations and numerical errors. In addition to these, the increasing size of structural models and the use of automated workfl ows for creating them can lead to hidden user errors in these models. In order for an engineer to have confidence in the analysis results, it is necessary to be aware of how these errors manifest themselves in models, what impact they have on analysis results and, most importantly, how they can be detected. We present novel numerical techniques that the analyst can use to “debug” their models and verify the accuracy of their analysis results. These techniques have been implemented in software and have been successfully used by practising engineers working on real life projects.

Date ‐ 1 March 2016
Author ‐ R. Kannan, S. Hendry and C. Kaethner (all Arup)
Price ‐ £9
The Structural Engineer
<h4>And finally... (March 2016)</h4>

And finally... (March 2016)

We continue this section with another steel quiz brought to you by the SCI. This month’s topic is bolts. Answers will be published in the April issue.

Date ‐ 1 March 2016
Author ‐ SCI
Price ‐ £9