In earlier times, building masters, going only on experience and intuition, made structures of “suitable” materials such as wood, stone and concrete. The use of iron and steel in the 19th century led to the foundation of structural analysis which later became the cornerstone of the building sciences. From the concept of force equilibrium, new support systems were developed whose bearing capacity could be quantified. The steel enabled the supporting structures to be adapted to the theoretically calculated systems, while structural analysis made it possible to break through the boundaries of direct experience. Using today’s computer-based aids, which have made the quantification of all kinds of objects possible, civil engineers can break free of established static systems and design support systems to suit the materials used.
Lecture in German.