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>Could it be that this was the case with ASD lo, these many years ago?
Could be, but typically codes summarize what the profession considers 
good or prudent practice in response to some stated need. The ASME Boiler 
Code was developed by engineers working in the field in response to an 
increasing number of boiler explosions around the turn of the century. 
Certainly there were academics involved in the effort and much use was 
made of research results generated at universities, but the promulgation 
came from the profession. I've never run into an concerted effort to 
teach ASME Code design at a university, although the usual strength of 
materials coursework serves as introduction. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)