The origins of modern structural engineering

Bill Addis
University of Cambridge

Bill Addis will present some of the people and events that led to the emergence of modern structural engineering during the 19th and 20th centuries. The crucial step was the introduction of cast and wrought iron as substitutes for traditional materials - stone, timber and brick. Engineers had to develop new ways to achieve sufficient confidence in using these new materials for unprecedented types of structure. To this end they benefited from a growing body of empirical data, developments in structural science, and the use of reduced-scale physical models.