Structural Design Education for the 21st Century
Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering Department
George Mason University, Fairfax VA 22030, USA
Civil Engineering Department, Catholic University of America, Washington DC 20064, USA
The paper discusses the future of the structural design education. It provides a brief description of the present situation and of factors shaping it, including information technology. Next, a vision of a future structural engineer is presented and his/her major desired abilities are identified. Structural design education is divided into teaching conceptual and detailed design. In the first area, design and inventive engineering are briefly discussed, including the initial teaching experience. In the area of teaching detailed design, three network-oriented computer tools, Dr. Structure, OleSteel, and Engineering Mechanics Digital Library, are overviewed. The first one was developed at George Mason University, while the remaining two at the Catholic University of America. Also, the initial experience with using all three tools is discussed.