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MISC - Engineering Educational Software

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The January 1998 edition of ASCE News announced a bridge design program
devloped by a West Point professor. The program was designed for use in
educational settings(specifically, middle or high school students) for the
purpose of promoting interest in structural engineering as a possible future
career.

The program addresses the design of a truss type(the student can specify a
Warren, Pratt, Howe, etc. type of truss) bridge subjected to a truck loading.
It also includes animation. That is, if the truck passes safely over the
bridge then it passes. If the design fails, then the bridge collaspes and
plunges into the river below. Theoritical prices are also included so even if
the design is sufficient then the student is challenged to tweak the truss
members to determine the most economical design  Truss members are either
solid round shapes or HSS members and can conform to either ASTM A36, ASTM
A572 or aluminum alloy. Member sizes are in metric.

The program(Bridge Designer) can be downloaded from the following address:

      http://www.dean.usma.edu/cme/civilsoft.htm

It's a compressed self extracting file and requires approximately 2 MEG of
hard disk space. When I visited the site, I noticed other programs available
for downloading but have not had the time to download and review.


Charlie Canitz, PE
Bel Air, MD