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Re: Dynamic Analysis

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On Nov 21, 2006, at 5:23 PM, Will Haynes wrote:

How many of you have done a dynamic analysis due to earthquakes?  Did you pick up doing this on your own or did you take a dynamics class?
I had 3 different dynamics classes, but none of them dealt in any significant way with seismic analysis, other than a little bit about normal mode theory. I picked it up on my own via classic textbooks. My two favorites are Timoshenko's _Vibration Problems in Engineering_ and _Structural Dynamics for the Practicing Engineer_ by H. M. Irvine. _Nuclear Reactors and Earthquakes_ is also a very good reference. You need to know how the response spectrum method works which in turn requires you to understand normal mode theory. It's not the most intuitive topic I ever studied, but after a while you can get a feel for it, provided you try stuff and check your work. Finding and fixing mistakes is the best teacher of all.

Do you think that most engineers that doing earthquake dynamics really know what they are doing or are they just relying on the computer?
'Most' is a pretty strong word. I've seen a fair amount of crap from people who think they can do real world analysis on the strength of being able to run ANSYS or SAP or a dozen others. The trouble is that it's very difficult to extract and manipulate a bunch of eigenvectors and turn them into seismic response without a computer. Hence it's usually the less senior people fresh out of school with FEA courses under their belts who get saddled with that sort of work. Unfortunately this sort of person rarely has the experience to apply the results sensibly. If they stick to it more than 5 years they get pretty good, but most offices don't do enough real dynamic analysis to maintain skill levels.

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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