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Seve A Structural Engineering Visual Encyclopedia

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.356.1 - 2.356.8



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Paper Authors

author page

Robert M. Henry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3215

SEVE - A Structural Engineering Visual Encyclopedia by Robert M. Henry ASEE/University of New Hampshire

Introduction - The Problem

Civil engineers use construction (or engineering) drawings to convey to other engineers and lay people their designs for bridges, highways, buildings, etc. These drawings are often labeled "contract drawings", because they define a contract between the architect, the engineer, and the contractor as to how the finished project is to look, what materials are to be used, and how it is to be built. Therefore, it is quite important that all civil engineers be able to:

• read and interpret engineering construction drawings • communicate their ideas by means of sketches and drawings • visualize 3-dimensional structures from a set of 2-dimensional drawings and • understand and properly use the terminology.

Unfortunately few graduating civil engineering seniors have had any exposure to the first three topics listed above and are, at best, weak with the last. The number of students entering civil engineering programs who have had mechanical drawing (or the equivalent) prior to entering college is decreasing and many departments have eliminated the traditional engineering graphics course from their curriculum. Instead, computer related technologies (equation solvers, geographical information systems, computer aided drawing, multi-media, internet navigation, etc.) and additional subject matter (systems analysis, engineering economics, general education depth and breath, etc.) are being added to the curriculum. At the same time, most programs are trying to incorporate these new topics and technologies without increasing the number of required credit hours or the length of stay.


The objective is to develop an interactive multi-media software package (Civil SEVE -Structural Engineering Visual Encyclopedia) that will address the educational “hole” that has been created by the elimination of reading and interpretation of engineering construction drawings from most civil engineering curricula. Civil SEVE is designed to enable a student to read and interpret engineering construction drawings, to promote the understanding of structural engineering terminology and to increase a student’s three dimensional visualization of structural systems. The student will have at their fingertips a visual database of structural engineering information brought to life using 2-D and 3-D sketches, CAD drawings of typical sections and details, photographs of actual structural components and animation (video and computer generated). The format of the Civil SEVE package will make it useful to the faculty member as an instructional aid in the classroom and to the student as a multi-media study aid. In essence, what is being


Henry, R. M. (1997, June), Seve A Structural Engineering Visual Encyclopedia Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6777

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