I would recommend this book to every structural engineer. Very easy, precise and concise. I have developed a flow chart and a short summary out of the chapters related to modelling process.
The process discussed here is advocated in IstructE (2002), MacLeod (1995), NAFEMS (1995, 1999) and ISO 9001 (2000). It tends to be used in a formal way by those who specialise in analysis modelling.
By formal is meant that a written record of the activities always be adopted in order to reduce risk in analysis modeling.
The degree of understanding gained from doing hand calculations is normally overestimated. Reflective consideration of results is a more fruitful source of understanding than arithmetical processing. Engineers were concerned that the introduction of computers would result in dumbing down of engineering. ‘Monekys’ could be trained to hit the right keys. While there is a significant danger that software can be used in the absence of competence, the reality of computer use for modelling is that it has made the work more intellectually challenging.
To operate successfully in environments of significant uncertainty requires intellectual power of the highest order. This is the realm of modern structural analysis – the realm of the professional engineer.
Risk is defined as the combination of the likelihood and the consequences of an event which can cause harm. The likelihood of occurrence of a disaster due to structural analysis modeling is low but the potential consequences from such an event are severe. The risk of a disaster causing serious harm due to inadequate modelling cannot be eliminated; it can only be minimised. But to be minimised, the modelling process needs to be formally adopted.
There are two basic processes in structural analysis;
1-Model development process
Traditionally, the model development process was a minor issue but today, the emphasis for the structural engineer has changed radically from analysis to model development. The paradigm shift has not been identified in education and hence it is not well understood in practice. Following tables gives the comparisons between the skills needed in practice and skill given in education.Modelling process (as explained in theory and in the given flow chart) can be interpreted as implying a linear implementation, the real process is likely to involve much looping back to previous stages.