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The Science of Structural Engineering

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1860941894
ISBN-10: 1860941893
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jacques Heyman is the former Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge and the author of ten books including The Stone Skeleton, Elements of the Theory of Structures, Structural Analysis, a Historical Approach, Elements of Stress Analysis, and the two volume set Plastic Design of Frames: Volume 1 Fundamentals and Volume 2 Applications, with Lord Baker. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and the Royal Academy of Engineering. He acted as a consulting engineer for a number of English cathedrals, and as a member of the Architectural Advisory Panel for Westminster Abbey and of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, and has served on many British Standards committees. The Stone Skeleton won the Choice Outstanding Academic Books award in 1996.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Imperial College Press (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860941893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860941894
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,730,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is undoubtedly one of the most well-written and enjoyable books about engineering I've ever read. It's in-depth but understandable, approachable yet thorough, and comprehensive but never boring. It details the subject of the title in a historical approach; starting at the beginning and working up through each major development, detailing not only the technical aspects of each theory, but also where the preceding theories failed and where the new ones succeed, starting back in the days of B.C. and working up all the way to modern times (where, it should be noted, the author himself developed much of the state of the art).

Each evolution of the science almost always includes direct quotes and reproductions from the original works, but then is punched up by including a diagram by the author to more clearly demonstrate the issues; there were several times where I was confused reading a passage, but turned the page to see a figure or example that made it instantly clear. The last example, in particular, is 2 brief pages that summarize the entire book (indeed, the entire field) by describing a milkmaid sitting on a stool that is almost scary in it's ability to be both lucid and precise at the same time; ironically, I recommend you start the book with it.

The only downside of this book is that like all specialized technical books, it's too short and too expensive. It weighs in at less than 100 6x9 pages (lesser in all dimensions than your average magazine), and considering how good it is, I would love to keep reading it. But even if you have no prior knowledge and no interest in structural engineering, this book is simply a pleasure to read, and is well worth the money. If only all technical books could be this good.
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Format: Paperback
So, after I had a load-bearing structure(multiple-monitor stand) I built careen right into me at the moment of loading I thought I should give the action of forces,loads and moments a little more thought. My needs were trivial and this book is certainly overkill for my problem (which has any number of inelegant solutions)... but I digress.

A well written book, pithy and to the point, well informed historically to show the gradual and natural development of ideas in structural integrity and engineering. Illustrations give flesh to the ideas without being gaudy distraction.

Credit and time is given to early developments from before the Romans to the cathedrals of pre-renaissance Europe, audacious testimony to the possibilities allowed by some combination of rules from previous experience/history and ideas of symmetry and beauty. Then on to early intimations of a scientific approach, warts and all, as Galileo addresses cantilever loads and moments. We follow his successors as they develop elastic theory and as those ideas buckle to plastics theory in the 1940s.

No supportive mathematics or tensile strength tables here. Works as an intelligent introduction to the field for the lay-reader.
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