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The Hunt for the Elusive Concept

The Hunt for the Elusive Concept Structural engineers, whether they are designers, contractors or academics, are frequently faced with the problem of introducing innovation into practice through research, such as for the development of new structures or the use of new materials such as fibre reinforced polymer. Hence, research is pivotal to the introduction of innovation. How research is applied is invariably a very complex and often costly problem and consequently needs careful examination to be effective. All engineers do research but by the very nature of research we all do research in different ways. This paper is the author's reflections on research procedures and approaches often used in structural engineering. These approaches are then illustrated using the author's research particularly on developing a generic failure model for reinforced concrete which can be applied to the seemingly disparate reinforced concrete problems of moment-rotation, shear capacity and the effect of confinement. Numerous concepts are introduced in this paper such as: the use of empirical modelling in plugging the gaps in the structural mechanics models; the elusive concept that is pivotal to understanding and should not be confused with the illusive concept; and categorisation of researchers to help sort out the mass of information available. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Advances in Structural Engineering SAGE

The Hunt for the Elusive Concept

Advances in Structural Engineering , Volume 13 (5): 18 – Oct 1, 2010

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2010 SAGE Publications
ISSN
1369-4332
eISSN
2048-4011
DOI
10.1260/1369-4332.13.5.755
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Structural engineers, whether they are designers, contractors or academics, are frequently faced with the problem of introducing innovation into practice through research, such as for the development of new structures or the use of new materials such as fibre reinforced polymer. Hence, research is pivotal to the introduction of innovation. How research is applied is invariably a very complex and often costly problem and consequently needs careful examination to be effective. All engineers do research but by the very nature of research we all do research in different ways. This paper is the author's reflections on research procedures and approaches often used in structural engineering. These approaches are then illustrated using the author's research particularly on developing a generic failure model for reinforced concrete which can be applied to the seemingly disparate reinforced concrete problems of moment-rotation, shear capacity and the effect of confinement. Numerous concepts are introduced in this paper such as: the use of empirical modelling in plugging the gaps in the structural mechanics models; the elusive concept that is pivotal to understanding and should not be confused with the illusive concept; and categorisation of researchers to help sort out the mass of information available.

Journal

Advances in Structural EngineeringSAGE

Published: Oct 1, 2010

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