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It is with great pleasure that I write this foreword to Structural Analysis: In Theory and Practice, by Alan Williams. Like many other engineers, I have utilized Dr. Williams ’ numerous publications through the years and have found them to be extremely useful.
This publication is no exception, given the extensive experience and expertise of Dr. Williams in this area, the credibility of Elsevier with expertise in technical publications internationally, and the International Code Council (ICC) with expertise in structural engineering and building code publications.
Engineers at all levels of their careers will find the determinate and indeterminate analysis methods in the Structural Analysis in Theory and Practice by Alan Williams book presented in a clear, concise, and practical manner.
I am a strong advocate of all of these attributes, and I am certain that the Structural Analysis in Theory and Practice by Alan Williams book will be successful because of them.
Coverage of many other important areas of structural analysis, such as Plastic Design, Matrix and Computer Methods, Elastic-Plastic Analysis, and the numerous worked-out sample problems and the answers to the supplementary problems greatly enhance and reinforce the overall learning experience.
One may ask why, in this age of high-powered computer programs, a comprehensive Structural Analysis in Theory and Practice by Alan Williams book on structural analysis is needed.
The software does all of the work for us, so isn't it sufficient to read the user’s guide to the software or to have a cursory understanding of structural analysis?
While there is no question that computer programs are invaluable tools that help us solve complicated problems more efficiently, it is also true that the software is only as good as the user’s level of experience and his/her knowledge of the software.
A small error in the input or a misunderstanding of the limitations of the software can result in completely meaningless output, which can lead to an unsafe design with potentially unacceptable consequences.
That is why this Structural Analysis in Theory and Practice by Alan Williams book is so valuable. It teaches the fundamentals of structural analysis, which I believe are becoming lost in structural engineering.
Having a solid foundation in the fundamentals of analysis enables engineers to understand the behavior of structures and to recognize when output from a computer program does not make sense.
Simply put, students will become better students and engineers will become better engineers as a result of this Structural Analysis in Theory and Practice by Alan Williams book.
It will not only give you a better understanding of structural analysis; it will make you more proficient and efficient in your day-to-day work.