THE CONCRETE BRIDGE MAGAZINE

WINTER 2015

ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.

Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/439391

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A PROFESSOR'S PERSPECTIVE Structural Engineering Education From Hardy Cross’ teachings to Dean Van Landuyt’s arch bridge and a few additional thoughts by Dr. Oguzhan Bayrak When I was first approached by the editor-in-chief of ASPIRE,™ William Nickas, I was presented with an important opportunity and a challenge to share my thoughts on educating bridge engineers for the twenty-first century. I accepted this responsibility because I view teaching as the most important part of my job at the University of Texas. In this context, teaching ranges from teaching formal classes on our main campus, to the teaching that takes place in the Phil M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory where I conduct research and teach graduate students. With this new series, I will share my perspectives on educating structural engineers, drawing from lessons learned in research projects I have supervised. I will also provide an opportunity for students and bridge design professionals to voice their opinions with the goal of making bridge engineering an even more exciting profession for many. As a starting point, in this issue, I would like to share some thoughts that served me as guiding teaching principles over the years. Educating Structural Engineers Is Not Simple Examples of best structural engineering products exist at the intersection of structural form and function. The most daring structural forms are often not functional or at least not ideally functional. The most functional designs appear to be ordinary. In my view, striking a balance between structural form and function can only be achieved through a successful combination of applied science principles that form the very foundation of structural engineering and the art of hiding complex structural behavior in simple structural forms that make up a structure. Hence, by definition, “good” structural engineering exists between competing interests: structural form and function.

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