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Your vent is understood and shared.  It's a brave new world out there.


Bob Garner, S.E.


From: SGE Structural [mailto:sgordin(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 11:05 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)


What bothers me a lot is that structural engineering more and more turns into something entirely based on your own spreadsheets (at best) or somebody's software (at worst).  There is simply no way to design by hand anymore, and the codes are written this way.  It seems we are losing touch with real structures.


One does not have to watch stresses anymore - they are simply not in the code.  Who cares, just make the damn formula work.   To determine the seismic load, one does not have to look at the proximity to the faults, just punch in address, get coordinates, then punch the accelerations into your spreadsheet, and voila...  


Not that I miss my slide rule, but there should be some kind of rational balance in our profession, and academics (whom I generally greatly respect) should not be allowed to run amok.   


I work a lot with manufacturers, in most cases, they DO NOT care if you save them, say 10% of steel, they care about simplicity and effectiveness, they use the steel they already have, never mind stresses at 60% of demand. 


Codes-shmodes... Just venting.  Thanks, Chris.


V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 09:48



On Nov 13, 2008, at 11:30 AM, SGE Structural wrote:

> Struggling through the 2007 AASHTO BDS, I fail to understand one 
> very basic thing.  There was a good thing invented once, called 
> stress, why the new codes use forces instead?
It's the result of emphasis on limit load analysis. Lots of 
discussion on this over the years, some of it mine, since limit load 
analysis doesn't have much applicability for the types of equipment I 
do. Mechanical systems are much more concerned with performance under 
service loading.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 

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