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Re: Unofficial Definition of Structural Engineering

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While I can't give a published source, what I have heard is the following:

Classic Definition:   Structural Engineering is the art of molding materials into shapes so as to withstand forces to which they may be subjected.

The following adaptation has been attributed to James Amrhein, although I've also seen it attributed to a few others:

Structural Engineering is the art of molding materials we do not entirely understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyze, so as to withstand forces we cannot really assess, to which they may be subjected in such a way that the community at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.

Sorry I can't point you toward a published reference.

--Kipp Martin, P. E., S. E.
  Portland, Oregon

>>> Daniel Popp <drp181(--nospam--at)> 2/9/2007 9:29 AM >>>

I'm looking for a reference to the classic definition of structural engineering, roughly paraphrased as:

"The art of taking materials whose properties we can only estimate to design structures to resist loads we cannot accurately predict in such a manner that no one knows the difference."

I've seen this in print somewhere, but cannot find it.  Any ideas?

Daniel Popp

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