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There is much concern in civil and structural engineering about the latent risks in using software for design. With some software, parts of the design process including analysis modelling, can be carried out with very little intervention by the designer who becomes a bystander to that part of the process. The solution to the dilemma of how to stay in control of the process and keep the risk levels down lies in the use of a 'reflective approach'. This involves persistently asking searching questions such as :
o Is the model capable of satisfying the requirements?
o Has the model been correctly implemented?
o Does that look right?
o Can I do a 'back of an envelope check on that?
Such questions represent the implemementation of a modelling process that is described in Chapter 3 of Modern Structural Analysis. The process there is appled to structural analysis but it can be applied to all contexts that seek to make predictions of the behaviour of systems. The use of the process via the associated questions represent a type of reflective thinking.
The book is essential reading and a reference source for all civil and structural engineers who need to do, or to learn about, structural analysis - people in practice, students, teachers.
Traditional textbooks on structural analysis cover mechanics and how solutions are achieved. This is only part of the story. Users of modern structural analysis software also need to know how to use it to best effect. The book tells you how to do that.
What information does the book provide?
The book was published is Thomas Telford Ltd. in November 2005