Article by Craig E. Barnes, P.E., SECB from STRUCTURE Magazine’s May 2012 issue.

Raising the Bar

Long before structural engineering became a profession, even looking back to the master builder, structural engineers were covered under an umbrella over all trades.  Uniqueness was not demonstrated.  Somewhere in the planning of the great pyramids of Giza, there were individuals that more than likely did not understand they were structural engineers.  Quite possibly, it was the masons of that period who were the structural engineers.  Such individuals did not need sophisticated computer programs or an in-depth knowledge of engineering principles.  Structures were massive and there was little opportunity for things to go wrong.  The pyramids, for example, will deteriorate to a point where they are a pile of sand, while still resembling the original pyramid.  They will not “fail” as we use the term today.  Their massiveness will simply allow them to deteriorate.  However, if we take the concept of the pyramid and move forward in time to structures that have the same image, such as the LUXOR in Las Vegas, we know that project could not have been realized without the application of sophisticated engineering techniques and an in-depth knowledge of engineering principles.

Read the full article here:  Raising the Bar