CE321 Structural Analysis I
THE COOPER UNION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE & ART
Department of Civil Engineering
Course: CE321: Structural Engineering I
Credits: 4.5 credits in 6 contact hours (3 lecture hours and 3 laboratory hours)
Instructor: Prof. Cosmas Tzavelis, Ph.D., P.E.
Room 506, firstname.lastname@example.org
Textbook: Hibbeler, R.C. Structural Analysis, 10th Ed. Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Discussion of materials, loads, and forms of structures. Analysis of determinate structures. Displacements of structures and their importance in applications. Experimental aspects of materials behavior in structural applications. Emphasis is placed on basic experimental techniques, design of experiments, selection and use of appropriate instrumentation, and interpretation of results.
Prerequisites: ESC201: Mechanics of Materials
Designation: Required Course
This course address the following Civil Engineering student outcomes: (a), (b), (c), (e), (g), (i), (j), (k), and (l) (see below for a definition).
Week 1: Types of Structures and Loads and Introduction to Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional
Week 2: Analysis of Statically Determinate Structures
Week 3: Analysis of Statically Determinate Trusses
Week 4: Internal Loadings Developed in Structural Members
Week 5: Internal Loadings Developed in Structural Members
Week 6: Cables and Arches
Week 7: Approximate Analysis of Statically Indeterminate Structures
Week 8: Midterm Exam
Week 9: Influence Lines for Statically Determinate Structures
Week 10: Influence Lines for Statically Determinate Structures
Week 11: Deflections
Week 12: Deflections with the Moment Area Method
Week 13: Deflections Using Energy Methods
Week 14: Deflections Using Energy Methods
Week 15: Final Exam
Week 1: Introduction to Materials and Structures and Laboratory
Week 2: Tensile Testing of Aluminum Rod
Week 3: Buckling Testing of Aluminum Column
Week 4: Mixing and Casting of Standard Concrete Cylinder
Week 5: Vibrational Testing of Aluminum Bar
Week 6: Strain Gage Installation
Week 7: Flexural Testing of Aluminum Beam
Week 8: Compressive Testing of Standard Concrete Cylinder
Week 9: Preliminary Design of Scale Model Bridge
Week 10: Final Design of Scale Model Bridge
Week 11: Begin Fabrication of Scale Model Bridge
Week 12: Continue Fabrication of Scale Model Bridge
Week 13: Finish Fabrication of Scale Model Bridge
Week 14: Load Testing of Scale Model Bridge
Week 15: Bridge Project Report
Homework & quizzes 10%
Lab Reports 15%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 40%
Bridge Project Report 15%
The Cooper Union Civil Engineering Student Outcomes
(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
(g) an ability to communicate effectively
(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
(i) a recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning
(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues
(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
(l) a broad fundamental knowledge to qualify for and pass the New York State FE Exam administered in the year of their graduation
Criteria (a) through (k) coincide with the ABET Criteria (a) through (k). Criterion (l) has been added by our Civil Engineering Department to emphasize the importance of getting the students started on their way to eventual professional licensure in their careers.
Civil Engineering Program Educational Objectives
1. Our civil engineering graduates will engage in life-long learning to stay abreast of the latest body of knowledge and professional practices in civil engineering and allied disciplines throughout their careers.
2. Our graduates will excel in teamwork, interdisciplinary concepts, organizational skills and problem-solving methodologies in their professional careers.
3. Our graduates will attain positions of leadership as professional practitioners, government officials, academicians, inventors, researchers, etc., during their professional careers.
4. Our graduates will have a strong sense of commitment to excellence independent thinking, innovation and modern professional practices throughout their careers.
5. Our graduates will have a strong commitment to professional and ethical responsibility during their careers.
6. Our graduates who pursue careers in engineering will seek and successfully achieve professional licensure in their chosen fields.
Academic Honesty: Professors at Cooper Union are committed to preserving an environment that challenges every student to realize his or her potential. You are expected to provide your best efforts in your studies and will be supported to produce original work of the highest caliber. Firm guidelines defining violations of academic integrity are listed in the Course Catalog under ‘Academic Standards and Regulations’. If the definitions of Academic Integrity are unclear to you, it is your responsibility to review your professor’s policies or to ask your advisor to ensure compliance.
Students seeking accommodations due to a condition covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act are required to formally self-identify through the Office of Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will work with the students to clarify requested accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to speak directly to me to see how their accommodations can be met.
Students who have medical excuses for missing class should contact the Dean of Students promptly. Students will be required to provide the Dean of Students with documentation from a medical provider justifying the absence. The Dean of Students will inform me when an absence is due to a valid medical issue/condition so that the absence can be considered excused. It is important to note that even with excused medical absences; a student is still responsible for completing all of the course requirements. If a student’s absences have resulted in their missing vital components of in-class discussions and experiences, students may be required to withdraw from a course and retake it even with valid medical excuses. This is entirely at the discretion of the faculty member teaching the course. In addition to communicating with the Dean of Students, students must remain in regular communication with the faculty teaching the course when they need to miss a class.
Drop/Add Period: After the Add/Drop Period at the beginning of the semester, “Add’s” are not allowed, including independent studies. During the first week, you may “Drop” classes with approval from your faculty advisor with no record of that “Drop” on your transcript. For classes being dropped between the second and eighth weeks, a “W” will be placed next to the course on your student transcript. In only extenuating circumstances, and with the approval of the course faculty member, your academic advisor, and the Dean of the School of Engineering, “Drop’s” will be allowed after the eighth week.
Civil Engineering Departmental Lab Policy
1. No student or group of students, undergraduate or graduate, can work in any of the CE labs, C-14 or non-C-14, unless a professor or a technician is present in that particular lab at all times that the students are working in that lab. This means that the buddy system is no longer allowed.
2. For the single C-14 CE lab (the Environmental Systems Lab), a C-14 professor or a C-14 technician must be present in the lab at all times when the students are working in that lab.
3. The CE Research Design Lab (Room 401) is exempt from the requirements of 1 & 2 above. CE juniors, seniors, and graduate students will be given ID card swipe access to Room 401 in the near future.
4. The CE department will try to accommodate all reasonable requests by CE students to work in the CE labs, but this will be permitted only during 9 AM - 5 PM weekdays when we can assure that a professor or a technician is present in the lab. A student must obtain prior approval from the faculty advisor or the Chairman at all times so we can assure that arrangements have been made for a faculty member or a technician to be present in the lab. Except for Room 401, students, undergraduate or graduate, have not been provided programmed ID card swipe access to any of the CE labs. This means that without prior approval, students cannot gain access to any of the CE labs.
5. If a student wants to use the labs during off hours (other than 9 AM - 5 PM weekdays), it is the student’s responsibility to obtain prior approval of the Chairman. This will be allowed only if the department is able to assure that a faculty member or a technician has agreed to be present in the lab during the off hours when the student will be working in the lab. Since the Dean of Engineering has made it clear that payments to a technician for off-hours work are not in the budget, this means that a professor or a technician will have to volunteer their time for off-hours work for a student to work in the lab.
Detailed Laboratory Schedule
Note: All homework assignments (one per person) and reports (one per group) are due a week later at the end of the class on Thursdays.
Week 1: Introduction to Materials and Structures Laboratory
Form groups (4 per group). Survey the lab and take measurements of the dimensions (rounded to the nearest inch) of the lab, lab equipment, and any other important features (do not include any details less than 6 in size except for white boards, First-Aid kits, and MSDS).
Read and understand all Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of materials found in the lab located outside the door. You must be aware of the physical dangers presented by all chemicals used in a laboratory. Be familiar with MSDS sheets and understand the information they contain. Submit a report (one per person) with your notes for the chemicals handling, safety precautions and disposal procedures of the chemicals in the lab. Each member of a group can concentrate on a few chemicals so that the group covers all, but the individual reports should still list the most important safety precautions for all chemicals!
Schedule Welding lessons with the shop technician, if you are planning to use welding in your final Bridge project.
Invite Brian to talk about welding. email@example.com
Homework: 1) Summarize all MSDS of materials found in the lab and their corresponding important precautions.
2) Draw using Autodesk AutoCAD an architectural floor plan of the lab with lab equipment, white boards, Fire-extinguishers, First-Aid kits, and MSDS indicated. The lines on your drawing should have different line weights according to their importance (i.e., dimensions should have the lightest line weight since they have the least importance. Emphasize the walls and contents of the lab not its dimensions!) The drawing should be dimensioned (feet-inches and fractions not decimals), printed on 11x17 paper with a title block, scale and list of equipment.
Show exterior wall thickness. Dimension tolerance ½” for fixed features and 1” for movable (such as furniture). If your drawing gets crowded, you can move some of the information on a separate table assigning numbers or letters to furniture and equipment in the drawing with their additional information such as dimensions and description on the table. See an example of a floor plan down below in this syllabus.
3) Prepare for the next experiment by researching the theory of tensile tests and stress-strain curves. Develop the equations to calculate the modulus of elasticity of an aluminum rod.
Week 2: Tensile Testing of a Rod
Schedule Welding lessons with the shop technician, if you are planning to use welding in your Bridge project.
Report: 1) The written lab report for the Tension experiment is due (Always follow the report format and technical paper suggestions as shown at end of this syllabus). Compare the experimental and theoretical moduli of elasticity, proportional limits, 0.1% and 0.5% offset yield strengths, and ultimate tensile strengths. Plot the experimental stress strain curve on the same set of axes with the corresponding theoretical curve of your tensile rod.
Draw a front view of your specimen and equipment. Emphasize the specimen and its supports. Use standard drawing conventions (like the floor plan for week #2).
Homework: 1) Prepare for the next experiment by researching the theory of Euler buckling. Develop the equations to calculate the buckling load and stress of an aluminum column.
Week 3: Buckling Testing of a Column
Report: 1) The written lab report for this experiment is due. Compare the experimental and theoretical buckling loads and stresses and plot the experimental buckling load versus slenderness ratio curve on the same set of axes with the corresponding theoretical curve for the aluminum column.
Draw a front view of your specimen and equipment. Emphasize the specimen and its supports. Use standard drawing conventions.
Homework: 1) Prepare for the next experiment by researching the theory of concrete composition and concrete mixing. Develop the equations to calculate the volume (in ft3) of concrete needed for a standard concrete cylinder with a 6 in diameter and 12 in height.
2) Design a concrete mix (i.e., determine the weight of aggregate, sand, cement, and water in lb/ft3 of concrete) for the 28 day compressive strength (fc’) specified for your group below (incorporate some excess material in case of spillage during mixing). For information about concrete mix design, you can refer to the specification: ACI 211.1-91 Standard Practice for Selecting Proportions for Normal, Heavyweight, and Mass Concrete.
3) Read about concrete mixing procedures and safety precautions (see below for Concrete Mixing Procedures and Safety Precautions).
4) Schedule a time for concrete mixing with the lab technician.
Week 4: Mixing and Casting of Standard Concrete Cylinder
Homework: 1) Prepare for the next experiment by researching the theory of the vibration of single and multi-degree of freedom systems, focusing on how to obtain the first 3 modes of vibration for a vertically cantilevered aluminum bar with uniformly distributed mass. Develop the equations to calculate the natural frequency and damping ratio for the aluminum bar.
Week 5: Vibrational Testing of a plate Bar
Report: 1) The written lab report for this experiment is due. Determine the damping ratio and compare the experimental and theoretical natural frequencies and inflection points of your aluminum bar.
Draw a front view of your specimen and equipment. Emphasize the specimen and its supports. Use standard drawing conventions.
Homework: 1) Prepare for the next experiment by researching the theory of strain gages and the associated circuit configurations.
2) Schedule a time for strain gage installation with the lab technician.
3) Brainstorm and draw 2-D top, side, and cross-sectional views of bridge designs on the same X and Y scale (at least one design per person). These drawings can be done by hand on graph paper or on the computer. Submit your preliminary sketches with your name and title of views.
4) If you intend on having welded connections in your bridge designs, schedule times for welding lessons with the Student Machine Shop technician.
Project: Design the most economical 6 foot long bridge to yield when an 800 lbs load is applied in the middle. The bridge should have a maximum member size of 1”x2”x14” (except for cables), and a unobstructed cross-sectional opening of 6” vertical by 14” horizontal to simulate the passage of vehicular traffic (unless the bridge is designed such that the top of the bridge supports the passage of vehicular traffic). Read more details about your bridge project at the end of this syllabus.
Week 6: Strain Gage Installation
Homework: 1) Prepare for the next experiment by researching the theory of Euler-Bernoulli linear elastic beam bending. Develop the equations to calculate the bending stress, strain, and deflection of an aluminum beam.
2) Create a 3-D model of your proposed bridge. One per-person with no more than 14inch long members. Simplify the design for constructability (reduce number of members).
3)Save your individual sketches for the final report (See week 15).
Week 7: Flexural Testing of a Beam
Report: 1) The written lab report for this experiment is due. Compare the experimental and theoretical stresses, strains, and deflections; determine the shear center; and plot the experimental stress versus strain curve for the aluminum beam. Write about the Wheatstone Bridge Circuit and how it is used to measure strain.
Draw a front view of your specimen and equipment. Emphasize the specimen and its supports. Use standard drawing conventions.
Homework: 1) Prepare for the next experiment by researching the theory of standard concrete cylinder tests. Develop the equations to calculate the compressive strength of a standard concrete cylinder.
2) Select a bridge design for your group and import or draw its geometry in a Structural Analysis software such as Robot. Apply the Loads and do the Analysis.
You can use any material for your bridge design including steel, aluminum, copper, plastic, wood or any combination of them.
Week 8: Compressive Testing of Standard Concrete Cylinder and start of the Bridge Project.
Report: 1) The written lab report for this experiment is due. Compare the experimental and theoretical 28 day compressive loads and strengths for the standard concrete cylinder.
Draw a front view of your specimen and equipment.
Homework: 1)Optimize the Bridge geometry based on the Analysis results (remove low force members or change the geometry to eliminate low force members).
2)xSectional design of members and assign them to the Structural Analysis software (Do not use the default sections!). Re-analyze and optimize members for constructability (groups) and cost.
Invite Brian to talk about Connections, Nuts ands Bolts. firstname.lastname@example.org
Week 9: Connection Design of Model Bridge
Bolted connections strongly recommended, unless you are very good at welding. Your bridge should not fail due to bad welding.
Homework: 1)Draw Connection details. Draw all connections to full scale in order to visually establish how to connect the members, paying special attention to how 3-D members must be cut in order to fit at the connections. For bolted connections, the edge distance of a bolted hole should not be less than 1.5 times the diameter of the hole. (see Week 11).
Unless you are welding, you should specify flat hollow sections in order to have enough remaining section to drill the connection holes! A solid round section is very difficult to drill and connect with gusset plates. It is better to have flat sections or tubes with flattened ends!
2) Finalize the design of member cross-sections.
If you use a soft material (like wood) with steel bolts, check for block shear at the end of the wooden member (edge distance > 3 * Db).
Week 10: Final Design of Model Bridge
Order all materials required for fabrication and construction of your bridge.
Do not order materials before you consider connections! Not only about how members fit at their connections but also how the member gross section is affected by the holes! Order considering NET sections!
For information about where to order materials, you can refer to the suppliers:
Address: 200 New Canton Way, Robbinsville, NJ 08691
Phone: (609) 259-8900 Website: www.mcmaster.com
- Online Metals
Address: 5 Sterling Drive, Wallingford, CT 06492
Phone: (800) 704-2157 Website: www.onlinemetals.com
Address: Metals4U, Inc., 1240 Majesty Dr., Dallas, TX 75247
Ph: 214-231-1434 Website: https://www.metals4uonline.com
- Metals Depot
Address: 4200 Revilo Road, Winchester, KY 40391
Phone: (859) 745-2650 Website: www.metalsdepot.com
- The Home Depot
Address: 40 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 929-9571 Website: www.homedepot.com
- Ace Hardware
Address: 1449 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10021
Phone: (212) 288-4868 Website: www.acehardware.com
- Ryerson Incorporated
Address: 20 Steel Road South, Morrisville, PA 19067
Phone: (215) 736-8970 Website: www.ryerson.com
- Weinstock Brothers Corporation
Address: 358 West Street, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 929-1500 Website: www.weinstockbros.com
Email me if you find other suppliers
Homework: 1) Schedule times for fabrication and construction of your bridge with the lab technician and the Student Machine Shop technician.
Week 11: Begin Fabrication of Model Bridge
Create construction drawings and use them to cut members to size, drill holes in members for bolted connections, and weld members for welded connections. Draw all connections to full scale in order to visually establish how to connect the members, paying special attention to how 3-D members must be cut in order to fit at the connections. For bolted connections, the edge distance of a bolted hole should not be less than 1.5 times the diameter of the hole. Ensure that there is minimal to no eccentricity between the tension and compression members at each end of the bridge (typically between the top compression members and the bottom tension members or cable).
Week 12: Continue Fabrication of Model Bridge
Minimize connection eccentricities.
Week 13: Finish Fabrication of Model Bridge
Fabrication and assembly of your bridge model.
Week 14: Class presentation and Load Testing of your Model Bridge.
Before load testing your bridge make a short presentation to class, about your bridge design and lessons learned from fabrication.
When obtaining experimental load testing data files from the computer for the MTS 793 Hydraulic Actuator, make sure that you are using only your group’s data, as any data file copied may contain additional data appended from previous groups. Negative load values (which mean downward compression) are the actual forces that were applied to your bridge and the data you must use in your report. Positive load values (which mean upward tension required to offset the weight of the loading plates attached to the machine) represent no applied load on your bridge. If there are many data points at the beginning and end of your data file tracking the calibration of the machine before and after load testing of your bridge, you can skip those data points when generating the experimental load-deflection curves for your written report.
Report: 1) The bridge project report is due next week
Week 15: Bridge Project Report
Write an overall description of the entire bridge design process in the Procedure section. Calculate your Bridge score (see end of this document). Include representative structural analysis and member cross-section size design calculations as sample calculations in the Results section. Add a special section on lessons learned from the design, fabrication, and construction processes. Include all individual preliminary bridge design sketches and all 3-D CAD drawings of the proposed final design and connection details in the Appendix section. Include printouts of representative input and output data from your structural analysis software (not more than 20 pages) and printouts of all Microsoft Excel spreadsheet data (highlighting any important data with their units) in the Appendix section. Provide the contact information (name, address, phone number, and email) of your materials suppliers in the Appendix section.
Submit the Lab Peer Review sheet as shown at the end of this document to the Professor on the day of the final (separate from your group project.) This review is for the entire semester Lab work (not just the bridge).
Concrete Mixing Procedures and Safety Precautions
Use caution when measuring cement, mixing concrete, and handling wet concrete by wearing protective gloves, masks, and goggles. Skin contact with or exposure to cement of sufficient duration may cause serious, potentially irreversible skin damage in the form of chemical (caustic) burns. Inhalation of or exposure to airborne dust or cement may cause immediate or delayed irritation or inflammation. Eye contact with or exposure to large amounts cement may cause effects ranging from moderate eye irritation to chemical burns or blindness. Such exposures require immediate first-aid and medical attention to prevent significant health effects.
1. Before mixing your concrete, soak the aggregates and sand in water to ensure that they are saturated. Otherwise, they will absorb water from the concrete mix, making your concrete cylinder weaker in strength.
2. Use scoops to obtain aggregates, sand, and cement from the materials containers and place them into 3 separate buckets. Ensure that no water gets into the cement container by using dry scoops. Obtain water from the sink and place it into a fourth bucket. The amount by weight (in pounds) of each component can be confirmed using the scale. When using the scale, ensure that the weight of the buckets used to hold the materials has been zeroed out. Only use as much material as you need according to your concrete mix design (with some extra in case of spillage during mixing) so that materials are not wasted.
3. Slowly pour the solid materials into a mixing tray in size order from largest to smallest (i.e., aggregates then sand then cement) so that there is an even layer of each. Use shovels to thoroughly mix the components together.
4. Gradually pour small quantities of water into the mixing tray while thoroughly mixing until all of the water is added. After thorough mixing, there should be no dry patches in the concrete mix and the concrete should appear wet and workable. If this is not the case, slowly add small quantities of water until the concrete is sufficiently wet and workable (account for this potential addition of material as a deviation from your concrete mix design and a source of error in your report).
5. To conduct the slump test, move all of the concrete in the mixing tray to one side and place the slump test device into the tray. Lock the conical mold into the base and fill it with scoops of concrete while using vertical strokes of the compaction rod to compact the concrete. Once the mold is full, unlock from the base and slowly lift it away from the base. The concrete should retain some of the conical shape and slump a maximum of 4 in as measured with a ruler from the top of the mold. If the concrete fails the slump test, then it is likely that the concrete contains too much water. Slowly add small quantities of aggregates, sand, or cement until the concrete is sufficiently dry and passes the slump test (account for this potential addition of material as a deviation from your concrete mix design and a source of error in your report).
6. If the addition of superplasticizer is required by the professor, measure out the correct amount of superplasticizer in a graduated cylinder and add it into the concrete. Thoroughly mix the superplasticizer into the concrete until a fluid, workable consistency is attained.
7. Use the red color pencil to write your group number on the outside of the container or formwork so that it can be identified after curing.
8. Pour a small amount of the grease onto a paper towel and use it to thoroughly lubricate the inside of the container or formwork to prevent the concrete from adhering to the inside during curing.
9. Alternate filling the container or formwork with scoops of concrete (making sure that the concrete fills around all of the rebar in the formwork) and compacting the concrete with the compaction rod or vibrator.
10. Once the container or formwork is full, use a trowel to level the top surface of the concrete so that a flat surface is created.
11. Carefully transport the container or formwork into the curing room using the trolley and place it onto a flat surface inside. If any concrete spilled during the process, use the trowel to level the top surface of the concrete again. The flat surface is important to have during the load testing afterwards.
12. Thoroughly clean all of the equipment, especially those that have come in contact with wet concrete in the sink. This is done to prevent wet concrete from drying and hardening onto the equipment.
13. Once the concrete has cured for 28 days, use the trolley to transport the container or formwork from the curing room into the lab. For concrete in containers, carefully use the chiseled cutting tool and the hammer to create an opening on the top edge all the way to the bottom, making sure not to damage the concrete. Invert the container and lightly tap the bottom and outside of the container using the hammer. If the container was sufficiently lubricated before filling with concrete, the concrete should slide out. If this is not the case, create another opening on the side of the container opposite the first opening and retry. Once the container is separated from the concrete, dispose of it. For concrete in formwork, carefully use pliers to cut any wires used to hold the rebar in place in the concrete. Use a screwdriver to remove all screws holding the formwork together and lightly tap the bottom and outside of formwork using the hammer. If the formwork was sufficiently lubricated before filling with concrete, the formwork should fall off. If this is not the case, use a chisel and carefully hammer it between the inside of the formwork and the concrete, making sure not to damage the concrete. Once the formwork is separated from the concrete, dispose of it, the wires, and the screws.
14. If the top surface of the concrete is not flat due to the presence of aggregates at the top or the upward migration of air bubbles during curing, use the file to sand down the top surface so that it is flat. The concrete is now ready for load testing.
15. When load testing is complete, use the brush to carefully sweep up all of the crushed concrete pieces into the trash can.
1) Cover Page (1 Page)
- Experiment number and title
- Group number and names of group members
- Name of professor
- Course code
- Date of report submission
2) Table of Contents (1 Page)
- Include a list of all tables and figures presented in the report (ensure that each table or figure included in the report is numbered, has an appropriate title, and is located by a page number)
3) Objective (1 Page)
- Describe the purpose and engineering importance of the experiment
- Include where the experiment was conducted
4) Procedure (1+ Pages plus drawing)
- Describe the experimental setup and any laboratory equipment used. Add a drawing of the experiment and equipment (front or plan view with dimensions, scale and title block). See sample drawing.
5) Theory (2+ Pages)
- Describe the background theory of the experiment (include all relevant figures to visually explain the theory)
- Include all relevant equations and their derivations
6) Sample Calculations (1+ Pages)
- Include representative typewritten calculations used in the experiment with appropriate numerical values substituted (ensure that all units and significant figures are consistent)
7) Results (No Page Limit)
- Present all relevant tables and figures with appropriate titles (multiple tables may be presented on the same page, but only one figure should be presented on a page)
- Present any relevant pictures taken during the experiment.
8) Conclusion (2+ Pages)
- Conduct research about any prior experiments that have been conducted that relate.
- Comment on why any specimens tested failed or behaved the way that they did.
- Describe all important experimental outcomes and trends that can be drawn from the data, tables, and figures presented.
- Compare theoretical and experimental results (include all appropriate discrepancies and percentage errors)
- Explain the significance of all experimental, instrumental, procedural, and calculation errors.
- Discuss potential ways in which the experiment can be improved.
- Lessons learned from the design, fabrication and construction of your experiment.
9) References (1 Page)
- List all relevant resources consulted in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author of each reference (if there is no author, alphabetize by the publishing institution of the reference)
- For information about formatting resources, you can refer to the website: library.canterbury.ac.nz/services/ref/asce.shtml
10) Appendix (No Page Limit)
- Include completed data sheet
How to write a Technical Paper (by ASCE)
The following publications can provide useful guidance in preparing your Technical report
- For guidance on the mechanics of written communication, consult the current edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press).
- For spelling and word usage, ASCE follows the current editions of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Webster’s International Dictionary, Unabridged.
- For rules of grammar and usage, refer to Words into Type (Prentice-Hall) or New York Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage (HarperCollins).
- For guidance on engineering terms, refer to McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, Wiley Dictionary of Civil Engineering and Construction, or Means Illustrated Construction Dictionary.
- For assistance in the presentation of mathematics, refer to Mathematics into Type (American Mathematical Society).
- For assistance with the use of SI (metric) units, refer to IEEE/ASTM SI-10, Standard for Use of the International System of Units (SI): The Modern Metric System (this standard replaces the former ASTM E-380 and ANSI/IEEE Std 268-1992) or to Metric Units in Engineering: Going SI (ASCE Press).
Active versus Passive Voice
Wherever possible, use active verbs that demonstrate what is being done and who is doing it.
Instead of: The bridge was built by James Eads.
Use: James Eads built the bridge.
Instead of: Six possible causes of failure were identified in the forensic investigation.
Use: The forensic investigation identified six possible causes of failure.
Direct versus Indirect Statements
Direct statements are clear, concise, and do not wear on your reader. Indirect statements are those that begin with phrases such as “it should be noted that…” or “it is common that….” Other types of indirect statements may begin with “to be” statements such as “there are” or “it was”.
Instead of: It should be noted that the flow was interrupted by a surge…
Use: A surge interrupted the flow…
Instead of: It is common that the steel rebars are weakened by oxidation…
Use: Oxidation commonly weakens steel rebars…
Instead of: There are many reasons that concrete may fail…
Use: Concrete may fail for many reasons…
Instead of: There are three kinds of bolt that can be used in these circumstances…
Use: Three kinds of bolt can be used in these circumstances.
Use of “I” and “We”
While the use of first-person pronouns (I, we, my, our) should be sparing in technical material, the use of “I” and “we” is preferable to awkward constructions such as “the authors” or “this researcher.”
- If you are the sole author, use “I” to indicate your actions or opinions.
- If you are working with coauthors, use “we” to refer to your collective actions or opinions. Use last names to refer to the actions or opinions of individual coauthors.
- If you use “we” to refer to yourself and your coauthors, avoid the use of “we” in other contexts, such as referring to other people or humankind in general.
Writing without bias may feel stiff or unnatural at first, but usually results in greater precision and consideration for your readers. Therefore, avoid language that arbitrarily assigns roles or characteristics or excludes people on the basis of gender; racial, ethnic, or religious background; physical or mental capabilities; sexual orientation; or other sorts of stereotypes.
- Avoid using man or men to refer to groups containing both sexes. Substitute words and phrases such as humankind, humanity, people, employees, workers, workforce, staff, and staff hours.
- Avoid the use of masculine pronouns to refer to both sexes. Use plural pronouns, a locution that carries no bias, imperative verb forms, or second-person pronouns.
Instead of: When an engineer begins to design an overpass, he should consider…
Try: When engineers begin to design overpasses, they should consider…
Or: When beginning to design an overpass, an engineer should consider…
Instead of: A manager should not assume that his staff will alert him to potential problems.
Try: As a manager, do not assume that staff will alert you to potential problems.
Or: As a manager, you should not assume that your staff will alert you to potential problems.
Acronyms and Abbreviations
An abbreviation is a shortening form of a word or phrase, such as “Jan.” for “January”, “U.S.” for “United States,” and “ASCE” for “American Society of Civil Engineers.” An acronym is formed when the abbreviation forms a pronounceable word, such as “NATO” for “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” or “AASHTO” for "American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials."
- Abbreviations and acronyms in text must be spelled out the first time that they appear in each chapter or paper, with the shortened form appearing immediately in parentheses. Thereafter, the shortened form should be used throughout the chapter.
- Several very common abbreviations (U.S. and U.K. as adjectives; DNA and PVC for nouns) do not need to be spelled out on first usage.
- Basic units of measure do not need to be spelled out on first usage. These include: ft, in., lb (customary) and m, mm, kg (SI).
SI versus Customary Units
ASCE publications use Système Internationale (SI) units, the most widely and officially recognized system of metric units, as the primary system of weights, dimensions, and other physical measures. For more information about SI units, visit the Web sites of the U.S. Metric Association (USMA), Inc. or the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or consult the book, Metric Units in Engineering: Going SI.
All ASCE publications use SI units in text, figures, and tables. Customary (also known as English or imperial) units may be included in parentheses, if the author chooses.
One exception is recognized for ASCE Press titles. Case studies, examples, and problem sets can become difficult to use when both systems of units are presented. Therefore, it is acceptable to alternate metric and customary units in cases, examples, or problems.
Figures, Tables, and Other Supporting Materials
Elements such as figures, tables, and boxes containing lists or case studies are included to support or augment what appears in the text.
- For books, each element should be numbered consecutively with the chapter number and an Arabic numeral: Fig. 9-1, Fig. 9-2, Fig. 9-3 …; Table 7-1, Table 7-2 …; Box 10-1, Box 10-2 …. For journal articles and conference proceedings volumes, which do not have chapter numbers, the chapter number is left out: Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3....
- If a figure or table has parts, a capital or lowercase letter is used to identify the parts: Fig. 9-1A, Fig. 9-1B…; Fig. 1(a), Fig. 1(b)…
- In books, do not use subheading numbers for figures and tables. This practice is awkward and confuses readers.
- Every element must be discussed in text, with a reference to the element and its number. The first reference to a figure, table, or box is the call-out. The call-outs must be worded consistently throughout your manuscript. Spell out “Table” and abbreviate “Fig.” For example: "The results of the stress tests (Fig. 1) clearly demonstrate…" and "Table 6-2 presents a range of planning options along with…".
- When your manuscript is typeset, the element will be placed on the page on which it is called out—or as soon as possible thereafter.
- Tables and figures must be numbered in the order in which they are discussed in text so that call-outs also appear in numerical order. In other words, Table 3 must be called out in text before Table 4.
Your written report will be graded based upon:
a. Appearance (binding, typescript, uniformity, titles, pagination, etc.)
b. Mechanical organization (title page, table of contents, appendices, bibliography, etc.)
c. Illustrations (quality, quantity, relevance)
d. Logical organization (introduction, development, conclusions, etc.)
a. Tone and pitch to intended audience
b. Legibility and persuasiveness
c. Quality of thought, logic tightness, and articulation of argument
Bridge building Project
Design the most economical 6 foot long bridge to yield when an 800 lbs load is applied in the middle with a max deflection of 0.5 inch. Your bridge should collapse or have large nonlinear deflections at a load not more than 1000lbs, when applied in the middle 2 feet of your bridge. The bridge should have a minimum vertical clearance of 6” at midspan, a maximum member size of 1”x2”x14” (except for cables), and a unobstructed cross-sectional opening of 6” vertical by 14” horizontal to simulate the passage of vehicular traffic (unless the bridge is designed such that the top of the bridge supports the passage of vehicular traffic). Brainstorm and identify the criteria that should be used to evaluate different aspects of individual bridge designs. Analyze individual designs for their strengths and weaknesses and identify what constitutes the best solution. Select a final design that incorporates the input of all group members. Materials: You can use Steel, Wood, Aluminum, Coper, Plastic or any other material with a yield stress more than 2ksi.
Tip: If your calculated bridge member x-sections are too small, you may elongate them to increase their buckling length, or you can reduce the height of the bridge to as low as 7 inches (without impinging on traffic clearance). To minimize construction cost, reduce the number of members and connections.
Try to design an innovative and aesthetically pleasing bridge. A beautiful design will give you as much as 25% extra credit.
Start your bridge exploration with a sketch on the same horizontal and vertical scale using graph paper. Draw the boundaries of the bridge first.
Bridge score sheet.
Aesthetics Appearance: balance, proportion, elegance, finish.
AESTHETICS SCORE (A) (Best is 0, worst is 100) = _____________
Construction Speed Time require to construct the bridge.
CONSTRUCTION TIME (T) =
_______Total minutes x NumberOf Builders / 3 = _____________
WEIGHT (W) = _____________pounds x 5 = _____________
MAXIMUM DEFLECTION (D) = _____inches x 20=____________