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Structurae Newsletter - 6/2018
Structurae - International Database and Gallery of Structures

Dear <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>,

Nearly 20 years ago I started my work on Structurae right after I finished my civil engineering studies. Then and now, the work done by Professor David P. Billington, who coined and popularized the term "Structural Art", has impressed and influenced me deeply. Unfortunately, Prof. Billington passed away on March 25th at 90 years of age. In his memory and honor, I would like to present some of the extraordinary engineers and their works which he showcased in "The Tower and the Bridge", his lectures and other publications.

In this e-mail, I also present to you a short summary of the wishes for improvements and developments that users shared in the online survey we held earlier this year. 

Best regards,
Nicolas Janberg
Structurae Editor-in-chief / Owner

New features, new content - old features, old content

We recently asked you if there are any features or content that you are currently missing on Structurae. First of all, we were overwhelmed by all the positive comments and praise we received in the survey results. Thank you very much for that! It is always nice to learn that Structurae is already helping you with your work or your studies. 

Below you can find the most frequently mentioned features.

Free articles and conference papers

Many of you asked for access to free-of-charge articles and conference proceedings. Good news: This already exists. How do you get access to free articles? It's easy! Simply register for My Structurae which is entirely free of charge and you automatically get access to all available full texts.

Enhanced Search Features

Especially regarding the search function for structures we've been asked for many different kinds of improvements to the existing search and additional features not yet available.  

This is actually one of the main goals for this year: providing more filters to the structure search that go way beyond what is already available. This will include numeric quantitive filters (e.g. height, span length, etc.). Also, all lists of structures will be equipped with filters and sort functions for various columns.

Information about persons

We learned that you are looking for information about famous engineers and engineers. We can already help you with that. Structurae currently contains pages for more than 10,000 individuals. While we are always trying to offer as much information as possible per person, we can only publish certain content due to data privacy regulations. Check out the "persons" category on Structurae and see for yourself!

By the way: you can browse the category alphabetically, by country or by time period. 

Forensic Engineering and Remedial Measures

One of the most requested areas of information has to do with the damages, defects, and failures of parts of or entire structures and measures taken to remedy these issues. While we are already showing what information we have regarding this on the individual structure pages, we plan on doing this more systematically in the future.

My Structurae is an additional, and completely free service which provides access to additional functions and content. To take advantage of this, simply create a personal account and then log in every time you visit Structurae. 
Register for My Structurae now for free!

Structural Artists and their Works

Efficiency, economy and elegance are the three main characteristics which David P. Billington used to describe what makes an engineering structure a work of "Structural Art". Many of these works have gained international fame and Billington's work certainly deserves some credit for that as he kept describing them in his lectures and publications. These works are often known outside engineering circles and have since become protected monuments although the artists, i.e. engineers, who created them, are not always quite as well known as their works. The following will showcase a few of these artists and their works.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) was not just known for the design and construction of some really extraordinary bridges in the United Kingdom, but just like his father, he was also a pioneer in building railroads and steamships. His largest bridge, the Clifton Suspension Bridge was only completed after his death, unfortunately.
Known not just for inventing prestressed concrete, French engineeer Eugène Freyssinet (1879-1962) built many bridges and buildings throughout his life. One of the more unusual ones is the underground basilica at Lourdes.
After being forced into exile in Mexico, Spanish engineer Felix Candela (1910-1997) founded a construction company there and used it to promote and build a large number of elegant and efficient reinforced concrete shells all over the country at very competitive costs.
Billington became an expert on Robert Maillart (1872-1940) and made him and his works known way beyond the borders of Switzerland. Maillart's Salginatobel Bridge is often seen as the epitome of elegance and beauty in bridge design. As a contractor, Maillart was able to build many of his own designs proving in many bids that he was economically competitive.
Jörg Schlaich (*1934) started his own engineering office in 1980 and he and his successors have since designed the most amazing bridges, stadiums, grid shells and other structures in Germany and around the world. 

Reminder: Conferences in 2018

Fourth International Conference on Structural Engineering Education Without Borders

The conference program was published recently with keynote lectures to be held by Chris Wise and Mike Schlaich in Madrid, Spain, 20-22 June 2018.

VII Congreso de ACHE
The 6th International Congress on Construction History will be held from 9-13 July 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Registration is open and the full program has been published online. It promises to be another highlight for the construction history community! Visit 6icch.org for more information and to register now.
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