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RE: Need Practical Mechanics of Matl's/Structural Analysis Book

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Bill and Jake
I don't believe that we forget the basics of statics and strength of
materials when we rely upon computer programs. In the first several years of
practice, we transform the mathematical concept into an intuitive feel for
the materials. For example, if we look at a cantilevered beam with a uniform
load applied, we know by instinct that there will be a moment within the
member at the support closest to the cantilever.

When I started teaching and presented some of the basic principles to my
students, there were times in which I shocked the class by taking a step
back and questioning what I had done. I knew the math was correct, but I had
become rusty on applying the rules of application to what my intuition was
telling me. Ultimately, my intuition was correct, and I had not carried the
calculations for shear / moment and deflection along the entire length of
the member to catch a very basic point that I simply forgot. Teaching helps
to reinforce the basics in my own mind - like a refresher, but by the time
we are practicing and licensed we need to put faith in our professional
intuition more than simply relying on the numbers.

This is a good rule of thumb to use in computer analysis. If it doesn't look
right, it probably isn't. Trust your instincts.

Dennis S. Wish, PE

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott, William N. [mailto:William.Scott(--nospam--at)veco.com]
> Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 12:00 PM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> Subject: RE: Need Practical Mechanics of Matl's/Structural Analysis Book
>
>
> Jake,
>
> You response backs up my statement. I know many PE's that have
> forgotten (or
> never knew) how to calculate the moment of inertia of a bolt
> group, the load
> on a beam, (you get the idea) and still contend that they are competent
> because they have a PE License.
>
> As for studying, any information that you can learn and
> understand helps you
> skill base - even if you believe that you will never use it.
>
> "Never say never"
>
> Bill
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jake Watson [mailto:jwatson(--nospam--at)inconnect.com]
> Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 10:44 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: Need Practical Mechanics of Matl's/Structural Analysis Book
>
>
> I took the PPE exam, not the SE-1.  As for more depth, lets start by
> writing clear questions.  Whoever wrote the exam is not a practicing
> engineer.  Questions were outright deceptive and required a numerous
> assumptions.  Assumptions may be fine for a written exam were they
> could be stated.  When two different assumptions (both possibly
> correct) give you two different answers, how are you supposed to list
> them?  Furthermore, in Utah I am required to take the PPE.  I can't
> take the SE-1.  This means I spent a good deal of time studying things
> I have never used and likely never will.  Before you ask more of
> unlicensed people, make sure practicing engineers could pass the exam.
>  I'll wager that most engineers would not pass the exam I took if they
> were forced to take today.  Several senior engineers in my office have
> already volunteer they could not.
>
> Thanks for letting me vent....I feel better now.
>
> Jake Watson, E.I.T.
> Salt Lake City, UT
>
> P.S. How can you test on a topic like the UBC when even the authors
> don't understand it?
>
> -------------------
> > Maybe the test should have more depth?
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Paul Crocker [mailto:paulc(--nospam--at)ckcps.com]
> > Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 8:24 AM
> > To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> > Subject: RE: Need Practical Mechanics of Matl's/Structural Analysis
> Book
> >
> >
> > I wholeheartedly second the statement quoted below.  I took it in
> Oct (first
> > time the new format was used) and it didn't get much worse than
> wL^2/8 or
> > PL/4 as far as structural analysis was concerned.  Look in the
> neighborhood
> > of 4-190 in the silver LRFD or 2-296 in the green ASD for 90% of
> everything
> > you will need.  The AISC manual is great that way.  I found the
> Civil
> > Engineering Review Manual to be pretty handy, too, as far as overall
> > coverage goes (even if it is filled with small errors - a very long
> and
> > incomplete errata is provided on the web at www.ppi2pass.com).  Good
> luck.
> >
> > Paul Crocker, P.E.
> >
> >
> > "All deflections, moments, and shears you are likely to see you will
> be able
> > to solve with standard beam tables.  My
> > favorite reference are the solutions in the beam section of my LRFD
> > book.  If you spend more than a couple of hours on this, you are
> going
> > way overboard."
> >
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