Structural Engineering Practice - A New Journal

by Milo S. Ketchum, Editor
Volume 1, Number 1, 1982

In 1958 I wrote and presented a paper at the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Institution of Structural Engineers in London on "The Status of Structural Engineering in the United States of America". In the introduction to the paper I made the following statement: "In the United States it cannot be said that there is a real profession of structural engineering. There is no national society which represents the interests of the structural engineer exclusively, there is no course of instruction in structural engineering in an accredited engineering college, there is no magazine for the structural engineer. It is actually a subprofession with interests in civil engineering, contracting, architecture, aeronautical engineering, mechanical engineering, and many other fields. In each of these design fields, his interests are secondary and he is seldom in a position of leadership. Only in the field of bridge engineering does the structural engineer design a complete unit of construction and hold the dominant position."

This condition is still true in 1982. This journal in, a modest way, will attempt to improve the professional attitude of the structural engineer. The present society publications, including the ACI and the ASCE, are primarily devoted to research papers, a very necessary function for the profession, but they do not address the needs of the average practicing structural engineer and his employees. For the most part, they are written by academics to gain points for promotion?and tenure. Some of these papers have a computer program written by a graduate assistant who will not understand the program two years after it is written. But this is another subject that needs exploration.

What you see in this first issue is just a start. It takes time to solicit papers and to get practicing engineers to write them. So I hope you will take this journal on faith and will subscribe for at least a year to give it a good try.

In assembling these papers, I have had to call on all my good friends and professional associates, and they have been most cooperative. However, this resource is not inexhaustible, so I hope that many, or at least some of you, will contribute to the journal.

Here are some possible topics for papers or letters:

Preliminary analysis and design Frame analysis
Framing plan problems Computer methods
Structural steel design Concrete design
Philosophy of design Programmable calculators
Estimating Innovative structures
Management problems Care and feeding of architects

Hal Birkeland has suggested additional subjects as follows:

Contributions of quarter to one page are OK Anecdotes Methods of rough?and?ready checking Non?code doings Challenges for others to develop Alternative concepts

Unfortunately there is no budget to pay for any of these papers but we have made it easy for you to prepare articles. There will be a number of special columns or departments, and examples are included in this first issue. There should be others, and we will need contributing editors to assemble and to prepare them. There will be "letters to the editor" where I hope we can stimulate controversies. They make things interesting. I will do my best to write stimulating editorials, so please write letters to the editor if you have ideas.

This initial description of STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING PRACTICE would not be complete without reference to the publisher, Marcel Dekker, Inc. They publish as many as 75 of these journals which have been very successful, making it possible to put special technical information into the hands of special readers at a reasonable cost. They have been most cooperative with me and have responded to my enthusiasm with enthusiasm of their own. There will be advertising in this publication to make it possible to have a better journal and, of course, make it profitable to the publisher. If you have any contacts in this area, please write to me or to the publisher.

Well, here is the first issue. I hope that you are enough interested in the potential to subscribe, at least for the first year. If you have any suggestions, please write to me.

This page has taken   no  hits.