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The influence of the digital world is increasing its impact on those involved with the built environment, whilst our capability to exploit data to inform designs and push the boundaries of what is possible is at the heart of structural engineering.
As our ability to monitor, record, extract and extrapolate information on the performance of our structures continues to improve there is a growing need to better understand how best to use the information.
The use of big data and AI tools are emerging challenges for the industry. It is the ability to understand and manipulate information with computational tools which may transform the role of structural engineers.
An increasingly online world requires robust digital security to mitigate potential infiltration of digital systems and the harm that could be caused to our infrastructure, whether it be financial damage, intellectual property infringement, criminal activity or terrorism.
Tristan Simmonds explores his engineering work on sculptural projects including the 2015 Milan Expo UK Pavilion ‘Hive’.
A brief overview of the various tools and techniques available for scripting within structural design.
How to integrate design, structural engineering and fabrication via digital workflows.
How digital fabrication is transforming the way we construct the built environment.
A technical meeting on the subject of BIM.
Tim Lucas discusses the importance of research taking place at UCL’s new “Here East” facility and how it relates to the Institution’s Digital Workflows Panel.
Peter Debney explores classic mistakes made in FEA models and how to avoid them.
This text presents the 'reflective approach' to the computer analysis of structures, to ensure that the analysis model is a valid representation of the real structure and that the structural analysis has been carried out correctly.
Tristram's lecture, "Designing with computers", compares the benefits of computer analysis programmes with sketches and hand calculations.
Arthur Coates, a structural engineer at Price & Myers, gives the contractor’s view of the future of virtual reality.
Jon Shanks, of the Institution's Structural Futures Committee, discusses the skills structural engineers will need in the face of greater automation.
2018 President, Faith Wainwright, discusses the Kenneth Severn Award, the future of the profession, and three factors that could change the way structural engineers work.
Explore Tristan Simmonds’ engineering work on sculptural projects including the 2015 Milan Expo UK Pavilion ‘Hive’.
Pai Lin Li Travel Award Lecture by Victoria Richardson.
Some engineering problems are simple, like linear analysis; others are difficult, like non-linear analysis; but there is a third group: those that are complex. Complex problems are those where there are many possible answers that have to be explored and assessed before a decision is made as to which is the best one.
This article will discuss the principal concepts of design optimisation, then look at the various suitable techniques and make suggestions as to where they might be used by structural engineers. These methods include quasi-Newton, gradient, simulated annealing, Monte Carlo, genetic algorithms, particle swarms, neural networks, form-finding, and evolutionary topology optimisation.
While the article will not be exhaustive (which would take several books), it will provide sufficient examples and typical formulas so that those interested can start to explore this fascinating subject.