Civil MDC

Michael Byfield - Structural Design from First Principles 2

Michael Byfield – Structural Design from First Principles


When I began my career in academia, I taught students how to use the British Standards
to design members. The Eurocodes were introduced and I was faced with the challenge of
teaching some very complicated design methods to students who had only a basic understanding
of mechanics.

I decided I needed to teach students the first principles and began out
of necessity to write lecture notes that turned into this book. During this process, I found
it was possible to tackle some problems that would ordinarily be outside the scope of traditional
undergraduate courses. Topics like the design of long-span bridges, which if treated
from first principles, become quite easy to understand.

I have not ignored the codes. In fact, I have used the Eurocode safety factors and notation
throughout. However, the formulae are in many cases quite different. My intention has been
to convey a firm understanding—not of the current codes themselves—but of the underpinning
principles. I hope this will help young engineers to face the future, whichever design
codes they use.

I would like to express my thanks to Louise (my wife) and also John (my father), who
patiently proof read the manuscript. I would also like to thank Allan Mann, who found the
time to read the entire manuscript and write the Foreword to this book. I would also like to
thank my Editor, Tony Moore, for his help throughout.

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