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Structural Analysis For Architectural Engineers

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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

2.373.1 - 2.373.7



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Paper Authors

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Lisa A. Wipplinger

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Charles R. Bissey

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

Session 2606

Structural Analysis for Architectural Engineers

Charles R. Bissey; Lisa A. Wipplinger Kansas State University Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science

“Hi Ron, we appreciate your finding time to visit us on the campus and your interest in interviewing our graduates for your firm.” “Professor, that reminds me. You know I'm a graduate of this department and I have been hiring about one new graduate each year. The problem we have is the lengthy training period the new graduates need to become productive. They lack preparation in knowing how the computer and the software are used to do structural analysis. We need to teach them more about loads, how to prepare the information for the computer and how to interpret the output. Why don't you visit our firm and we will discuss this with you and share our ideas?”


The introduction of the computer and the development of software for analysis and design has revolutionized every aspect of the structural analysis of buildings. Never before has there been a tool for engineers that has been able to visibly demonstrate how building structures react under various loading conditions with varying geometries. Now, structural analysis using the computer makes it possible to see the effects of various load combinations and framing configurations.

Along with this revolution, practitioners have developed their professional practice beyond the usual content of the required undergraduate course work in structural analysis. In general, the course work content and application methods taught in the classroom for structural analysis lag behind the techniques used in professional practice.

The structural analysis referred to in this paper is concerned with the analytical techniques used during the design process to determine how a building and its individual members resist loads due to the forces of nature (wind, earthquake and snow), the weight of the materials used to build the structure, and the material and people loads it must support. Emphasis is focused on the undergraduate course work.

The objective of this paper is to provide a broad review of the historical development of structural analysis techniques and compare where courses stand today in relation to actual structural engineering practice. The content of textbooks from the late 1800s through today were reviewed to determine how the information was organized and presented.

The content of current structural analysis courses was reviewed in the catalogs of representative engineering programs from all types of institutions in the United States. A review of the curriculum for these same representative programs was also made. As one would suspect, the dominant academic program where these courses are taught is Civil Engineering.

To determine how structural analysis becomes a part of the design process in the practice of

Wipplinger, L. A., & Bissey, C. R. (1997, June), Structural Analysis For Architectural Engineers Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6798

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