All the articles published in the June 2016 issue.
Publish Date ‐ 1 June 2016
We received a terrific response to The Structural Engineer 2016 reader survey, with 1614 of you
taking the time to complete the questionnaire. Respondents reflected the diverse membership of the
Institution: 68% were based in the UK and 32% outside the UK; the largest categories were Chartered
Members (34%), Graduate Members (29%) and Student Members (12%). Here’s what you told us…
With the Institution’s annual People and Papers Awards Luncheon taking place on 8 June, we
offer a brief guide to the Papers Awards – and the presidents they are named after. Awards are
made annually at the discretion of the Papers Awards Judging Panel.
Matt Collins, Sales Director at Metsä Wood, explains why the engineered timber specialist's "reimagining" of some iconic buildings from the past – its Plan B programme – has resonated so strongly with the contemporary design community, as well as the reasons high-performance, sustainable, engineered timber systems are increasing their share of the construction market.
The Vegas High Roller is the latest and most progressive of the modern giant observation wheel concepts first developed by Marks Barfield Architects with Arup for the London Eye in the late 1990s. Unlike other cable-tensioned wheels, the structural design of the rim has been reduced to a single tubular chord carrying 28 actively stabilised, large spherical cabins (each accommodating up to 40 passengers). The benefit of improved structural stability is exploited by using a 35m long hub-and-spindle assembly connecting the cable spokes to the rim. The result is an elegant and distinctive structural solution. It is also the first giant observation wheel to operate in a desert environment. This article describes the project’s development and some of the challenges that this unique structure created.
The project won the Institution’s 2015 Structural Award for Arts and Entertainment Structures.
Our series from Griffiths & Armour turns its attention from complete to partial defence arguments when
faced with a professional indemnity (PI) claim.
There have been several recent cases of houses being destroyed following gas leaks. The fact that such incidents fail to raise much alarm shows how common they are. Yet there should be no complacency, since one of the most infamous failures of recent history, Ronan Point, was initiated by a domestic leak and subsequent ignition that blew out one supporting panel in the system-built block of flats. Gas leaks and their consequences should therefore be one of the standard hazards considered in any risk assessment.
The latest CROSS newsletter from Structural-Safety includes news of an initiative to investigate weather-related
damage to buildings.
The authors recently conducted a study into the elastic behaviour of thin (Kirchhoff ) plates using commercial finite-element (FE) software. In attempting to verify the FE solution, it was compared to results presented in Timoshenko’s Theory of Plates and Shells and a significant difference was observed. This article presents the work conducted to uncover the reason for this difference and reveals an error (probably typographical) in the text. The source of the error is identified and it is demonstrated how such errors might propagate into other texts on the subject of plates. The significance of the error to the practising engineer is also discussed.
When existing buildings need to be inspected and assessed, the structural engineer is often presented with the challenge of needing X-ray eyes. Lacking such a gift, and despite what clients may assume, the engineer draws instead on knowledge and experience to make value judgements in many situations, with appropriate margins of safety and consideration of appropriate risk incorporated along the way. Codes of practice and British Standards are not to be ignored, but are a useful tool to assist with this process.
This article aims to discuss some of the issues, challenges, tools and techniques available to the practising structural engineer when assessing existing structures. While the article focuses principally on floor structures, the techniques can be used on a range of applications to provide an understanding of how existing structures are actually behaving, rather than how we might think they are working.
Anne Fuller has been an Institution chief examiner, has designed challenging buildings all over the UK, and is now director of Capita’s civil and structural engineering division in the North. She discusses her career with Jackie Whitelaw and wonders whether talking to girls at school is really all we have in our armoury in the battle to increase diversity in the profession.
What makes an engineering practice attractive to women, asks Margaret Cooke of Integral Engineering Design. Could it just be a happy, healthy, friendly and flexible workplace that appeals to everyone – regardless of gender?
James Miller brings this series to a close by looking back over ground covered and forward to a bright future in which conservation accreditation is increasingly valued and engineers are able to innovate through the application of emerging technologies.
In this article Philip Isaac, Dan Bergsagel and Sinead Conneely propose small, short, local design-and-build projects as an effective means of engaging students with engineering, and as a process which all members can get involved in.
This month's letters hark back to the advent of computer design and continue the debate over where responsibility lies when a fabricator designs the connections for a consulting engineer's steel frame.
Upcoming events at Institution HQ and around the regional groups.
In this section we shine a spotlight on papers recently published in Structures – the Research Journal of The Institution of Structural Engineers.
Structures is a collaboration between the Institution and Elsevier, publishing internationally-leading research across the full breadth of structural engineering which will benefi t from wide readership by academics and practitioners.
Access to Structures is free to Institution members (excluding Student members) as one of their membership benefits, with access provided via the “My account” section of the Institution website. The journal is available online at: www.structuresjournal.org
This month we bring you another question from the Institution’s Structural Behaviour Course. The topic is deflected shapes. Answers will be published in the July issue.