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Re: ASCE 7-05

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I will take back part of what I said. The quality of engineering drawings, particularly structural drawings from the US, are very good. However when you read computer instructions, technical manuals, and codes where they have been prepared by engineering organizations, they usually leave something to be desired. The trouble is that they know all about their subject but don't realize outsiders are starting from scratch; they just assume everyone will know what they mean.. An example is 1995 ASCE-I bought their Minimum Design Loads for Buildings -- and after reading the seismic requirements three times I was totally lost and thought the problem was me. So I called a friend at a large engineering company who was assistant head of the industrial department and he said the ASCE seismic parts seem to go in circles. We agreed to ignore it and use the UBC, I believe. I wrote a letter of complaint to ASCE and heard nothing back. If I am not mistaken, there have been a lot of complaints recently about the ASCE wind load requirements.

Christopher Wright wrote:

On Oct 20, 2007, at 8:21 AM, Gary L. Hodgson and Assoc. wrote:

Actually makes sense, as engineers are not known for their communication ability
Gary
Not the good ones. Engineering is discipline of communications--we don't (routinely) make things; we tell people who do how to makes things properly. That's what drawings and reports are all about--communicating instructions unambiguously to artisans (for lack of a better word) can give materials a specific usefulness. We don't do science or math; we use science and math to make sure the instructions we communicate are soundly based in physical principles.

My own experience is that academics who teach engineering tend to lose sight of the need for communications and organization--maybe out of desire for greater rigor in presentation or just a tendency to impress the onlooker with technicalities. I know that's happened with the Pressure Vessel Codes. With the ASME Codes, I think the problem is that industry isn't supporting Code writng efforts like they once did, and academia has necessarily moved in. I've always suspected (without an ounce of actual proof) that it's what happened when LRFD was introduced.


Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw/



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