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Re: We're Not Getting Older, We're Getting DUMBER [WAS: Any Young Engineers Out There?]

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On Jan 30, 2006, at 5:17 PM, S. Gordin wrote:

But weren't the structures affected/damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake mostly designed to much earlier codes?  By the same token, many similar structures - again, designed by earlier codes, had successfully survived.
I've heard that the problem wasn't the structures so much as with the connections and the porblmes with the connections seemed to be weld ductility or weld quality issues. And before you start talking successful survival you need to know how different the design loading was from the actual loading. Mother nature does what she does and doesn't give a damn what we engineers assume for loading or probability or confidence level. All the whining we hear from people who have 'done it that way and never had a problem,' ignores the issue of whether the detail that gave no problem ever saw the design load. I'm sure there are engineers poking through the ruins of that Polish convention hall who are thinking to themselves, 'Boy, we always did it that way and never had a problem,' along with some colleagues thinking to themselves, 'God dammit, I've been nagging about design snow loads for 20 years, and no one believed me.'
Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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