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Dr. Shustov,

My comment has to do with not applying the "scientific method" more than with
the scenario that you describe.

It seems that "great strides" in engineering and material knowledge are being
made without proper investigation.  The scientific method requires that all
theories be confirmed by independent testing by *others* and that if the
results cannot be reproduced, then the theory is not substantiated.

Limited physical tests are now being performed, followed by computer
simulation that is "substantiated" by other computer simulation.  Since
computer simulation will produce only that which the programmer indicated
would be produced, it does not substantiate what additional independent
testing would produce.

Unless we are prepared to endure catastrophic engineering failures, we must
bring the scientific method back into engineering development.  Researchers
must also be independent and not connected in any way with the results that
the research produces.  The researchers *must not* hold patents on the
process, nor be affiliated with companies that would profit from the research.

For the structural engineering community, the most important research is that
which shows what *WILL NOT* work, rather than that which will work under
laboratory conditions.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Dr. Valentin Shustov wrote:

. > A thrilling video footage is available at
. > http://peer.berkeley.edu/testing/kron_broadcast.mpg. The project primary
. > goal is to investigate the progressive collapse of a 6-7-story
. > reinforced concrete frame building columns of "new" and "old" design
. > during a shake table earthquake simulation. As a result of the reported
. > testing, the new design of reinforced concrete columns "proved" to be
. > much better than the old one.

. > Unfortunately, the "old technology" square column in the middle of
. > tested bent is loaded with the axial load (weight of the tributary
. > surcharge) twice as much in comparison with the loads supported by any
. > of the "new technology" circular columns on each side, which condemns
. > the "old technology" to a premature failure and makes the conclusion
. > about superiority of the "new technology" questionable.

. > What do you think about it?

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