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Excellent New Article on the World Trade Center

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The best article to-date on the design, construction, and collapse of the
World Trade Center has just been published in the 11/19/01 edition of New
Yorker Magazine.  For those of you who have wished for a more deliberate,
careful, and specific analysis of what happened at the WTC, from a
structural engineer's perspective, it has finally been written.  Leslie
Robertson, Charles Thornton, Gene Corley, Ron Hamburger and many other
leading engineers are interviewed and quoted at length.

It is a long piece, but reading it is well worth the effort.  Here as a
blatant tickler, is the opening paragraph:

"Structural engineers make buildings stand up, but the public doesn't pay
much attention to what they do until a building falls down.  Although the
safety of a building's occupants depends on its structure, most people
notice only the aesthetics, the furnishings, and the view, and give the
architects, not the engineers, all the credit (or blame) for the results.
Very few inhabitants of modern high-rises know where the load-bearing
columns are placed, and how they are supported, or whether the building is a
frame structure or a tube structure, and almost no one checks above the
ceiling tiles to see how the floor overhead is attached to the vertical
supports - all decisions that are worked out by the building's structural
engineers.  The anonymity of the high-rise structural engineer is the reward
for his genius.  Part of the awe that skyscrapers command lies in their
apparent freedom from gravity: they're not just tall; they're effortlessly
tall.  Since the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, on September
11th, structural engineers and their profession have received a great deal
of public attention ..."

As a reader of this Listserv, you don't need to go buy the magazine.  Just
click on the link below: 

Best regards,

Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Latitude:   32.867320
Longitude: -96.787534
"Give war a chance!"

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