Have you ever wondered how it's possible to build a skyscraper, a big bridge, a jumbo jet, or a cruise liner?
Everything has structure. Structure is the difference between a random pile of components and a fully functional object. Through structure the parts connect to make the whole. Natural structures vary from the very smallest part of an atom to the entire cosmology of the universe. Man-made structures include buildings, bridges, dams, ships, aeroplanes, rockets, trains, cars and fair-ground rides and all forms of artefacts, even large artistic sculptures. The wide range of different industries in which structural engineers work includes construction, transport, manufacturing, and aerospace.
In this Very Short Introduction, David Blockley explores, in non-technical language, what structural engineering is all about, including examples ranging from the Shard in London and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to jumbo jets like the A380 and the Queen Elizabeth cruise liner.
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About the Author
David Blockley is an engineer and an academic scientist, He is Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, and the Royal Society of Arts. He has written four other books including The Penguin Dictionary of Civil Engineering (2005) and Ridges: The Science and Art of the World's Most Inspiring Structures (2011).
Table of Contents
1. Form and function: two sides of the same coin
2. Does form follow function? Resilience, purpose and delight
3. From Stonehenge to Skyscrapers: Back for the future
4. Understanding structure: freedom by degrees
5. Movers and shakers: structural dynamics
6. Resilience: How safe is safe enough?