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Re[2]: Non Professionals doing Engineering

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No one is telling anyone to put the reins in running a *thorough* computer analysis without initially *predicting* the outcome here. Yes, you're right that inputs should be checked for "garbage", but where did that ability come from? It's not from a computer but from the individual doing the analysis whose *vast* experience in the Principles of structural engineering, theory of mechanics, etcetera, etc and their practical applications will guide that person in coming out with gut feel (if its theory, a hypothesis or an intelligent guess) results. I am not claiming that the engineers "feel" is always right, the computer or hand claculations may prove the engineer if the gut answer is right or wrong. A "feel" for the answer and "knowing" the answer, in every respect, are different but not completely miles apart I believe. A feel for the answer might give you a W14 section, knowing the answer might give you a W14 x 87, but the computer might just give you a W14 x 84. That's my drift. (Pun intended.)

I trust the computer just as I would trust a stranger...with caution. But that's the way I should approach every project. Give an allowance to the answers, not too small nor too much but enough to be in good professional stead.


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Non Professionals doing Engineering
Author:  MIME:lhoward(--nospam--at) at INTERNET
Date:    01/25/99 4:23 PM

CALCULATOR!!!  You trust those dumb things!  Where is my old slide rule?

KNOWING the answer and having a "FEEL" for the answer are two different things.  But I still think those preaching the concept of don't use a computer unless you already know the answer are being disingenuous.

There is always a first time for each of us to design anything.  Those who have designed a particular structure many times in the past may have the ability to predict the outcome of the structural design. However, the first few times are new to each of us.

The input and results of a computer analysis should be checked for "garbage" and to make sure the results conform to basic engineering principals.  However, putting the restriction of not being able to use a computer until you are able to predict the outcome ahead of time is not in my opinion a realistic approach.


jerome.tan(--nospam--at)PAREURO.COM wrote:
> Upon looking at a project, we rack up numbers in our brains and come out with ballpark figures. This especially applies for projects you are invited to bid on and prepare for it in a very limited time. You may not have the luxury to run  a detailed analysis and tapping that so-called stock knowledge would be your most immediate resource.
> > Running a detailed analysis through the computer would somehow justify your thought calculations and give you *exact* answers so that it would give you your *exact* sections, reinforcements and the likes.
> > But a computer is only as good as the user. Garbage in, garbage out. > > Jerome