Thank you for your interesting observation.
I believe that the problem stems from the fact that, for most, it is far easier to pretend that a computer “model” is the thing that engineers are supposed to understand, analyze and design rather than the physical structure that may actually get built. Unfortunately, that fact is even more accurate in describing most of the professors who guide people into our profession.
I have been a member of several of SEAOC’s technical committees involved with building codes for many years and I am finding that most new code submittals are based on mathematical analysis of these computer based “models” rather than the reaction of actual structures to the loads that they encounter. When asked about the assumptions that accompany these theoretical analyses of imagined physical systems, I generally receive back a blank stare and expression indicating that my question does not pertain to what these other engineers are concerned with.
Perhaps some future monumental structural failures will demonstrate the need for many to rethink their approach to structural engineering.
Richard Hess, S.E.
As you may know, the Revit world wildly enforces the term "analytical model" which means essentially the FEA model generated from a BIM "physical" model.
Is it the same pain to see for you as it is for me? FE Model isn't analytical in any way, it is numerical.
Okay, "analytical" may be a homonym which means both, ehm, "calculational" and "such that has a closed-form solution", but doesn't it pose an actual threat to understanding of the subject,
especially by younger generation?
Oh, and I had a very hard time explaining the difference to architectural folks at the recent Autodesk Russia Forum in Moscow. Something clearly needs to be done here.
Civil/Structural design & inspection engineer, CAD professional
MSc Structural engineering, Ph.C. Engineering