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----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Wright [mailto:chrisw(--nospam--at)]

> typically codes summarize what the profession considers
> good or prudent practice in response to some stated need.

And this has NO PLACE in academia?

> 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.

And there was NO INPUT from "academicians" into this, at the outset or

> 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.

Of which academia forms NO part?

> 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. 

ASME Section VIII notwithstanding, you see a concerted effort to teach
steel, concrete, masonry, bridge, timber, etc., code-based design in
"academia", do you not?

FWIW, my initial UNDERSTANDING of what lay behind all the "rules and
regulations" embodied in the various material-specific design codes came
from the classroom, specifically gradual school "Advanced <blank> Design"

There, we had the luxury of delving into the mysteries of these design
codes, and gaining insights not (at least at that time) available to me on
my own (I allow that I needed a kick-start). Often, these insights came from
professors who were actually on the code-writing committees in some
capacity, and I gained thereby many interesting glimpses into the decision
making process that went into the code-writing effort.

"Academicians" typically have the time, interest, and proclivity needed to
participate in these efforts. If you'll consider it, many if not most of the
people we discuss here on SEAINT as "authorities" in one realm or another of
structural design tend to be from academia.

I just think it's ironic that suddenly, when we're talking about moving from
ASD to LRFD, the academicians are all "out of touch with 'real' structural
engineering practice".

I continue to maintain that the REAL reason we're not using LRFD more widely
is because we don't want to take the time and effort needed to learn it.
While that might be a valid position, at least in the short term, it is pure
obfuscation to blame "out of touch academicians," "unproven technology,"
"material behavior" or even "sunspots" for the lack of acceptance of LRFD.

I predict that as the state licensing boards continue phasing in compulsory
continuing education, we'll see a more rapid acceptance of LRFD. Engineers
(like me, for instance) who consider that we don't have the time for
constant retraining will, once we're compelled to do so to keep our
licenses, take the time to learn LRFD in a formal setting, and then we'll
begin using it.

I still maintain that relying on design procedures based on a state of the
art from 12 years ago (as of this writing) is not a smart thing to do, and
goes against the grain for most of us.