Welcome to If it’s Moving, it’s Broken, a structural engineer’s take on the world of of Structural Engineering, Structural Integrity, Computer Programming and anything else that interests me. I am hoping that by writing this blog I can share a little of what I do, and at the same time improve my writing ability.
The title: If it’s moving, it’s broken comes from a joke describing the difference between structural and mechanical engineers. For structural engineers, if something moves it usually means that large amounts of steel and concrete will soon be coming towards you at high speed. The mechanical engineers I work with though usually want things to move - if they don’t it probably means you’ve had a bearing fail.
However, in the real world it’s never that simple. Bulk materials handling machines that load mineral products (such as conveyors, shiploaders, stacker-reclaimers etc.) are very large structures that move. They don’t fit neatly into either structural OR mechanical engineering. Understanding this intersection is an interesting challenge that this blog may explore.
In addition to structural engineering, I am interested in programming and how it can be relevant to the engineering world. Currently the area of structural engineering is both heavily innovating with computer analysis tools (i.e. Rhino + Grasshopper for parametric CAD modelling that is then often placed straight into analysis packages with their APIs) but also lagging behind in many ways. For example, once design of members is done, design of connections and local details is often still a very manual process, and spreadsheets abound (many of poor quality).
This is an area that I am exploring with my own dabbling in programming. Given I work full time as an engineer, I don’t have time to waste on curly brackets, and therefore
Python and (if I must)
VBA are my languages of choice.
Hopefully this post gives you an idea of what my goals are in writing this blog, and an idea of whether or not you’ll be interested. I hope to see you around.