1st Edition

Structural Design from First Principles

By Michael Byfield Copyright 2018
    335 Pages 206 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    335 Pages 206 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    This enlightening textbook for undergraduates on civil engineering degree courses explains structural design from its mechanical principles, showing the speed and simplicity of effective design from first principles.

    This text presents good approximate solutions to complex design problems, such as "Wembley-Arch" type structures, the design of thin-walled structures, and long-span box girder bridges. Other more code-based textbooks concentrate on relatively simple member design, and avoid some of the most interesting design problems because code compliant solutions are complex. Yet these problems can be addressed by relatively manageable techniques. The methods outlined here enable quick, early stage, "ball-park" design solutions to be considered, and are also useful for checking finite element analysis solutions to complex problems.

    The conventions used in the book are in accordance with the Eurocodes, especially where they provide convenient solutions that can be easily understood by students. Many of the topics, such as composite beam design, are straight applications of Eurocodes, but with the underlying theory fully explained.

    The techniques are illustrated through a series of worked examples which develop in complexity, with the more advanced questions forming extended exam type questions. A comprehensive range of fully worked tutorial questions are provided at the end of each section for students to practice in preparation for closed book exams.

    Introduction. Laterally restrained and unrestrained steel beams. Buckling of columns, trusses and arches. Buckling of plate girders and box girders. Steel-concrete composite beams. Reinforced concrete beams. Reinforced concrete subjected to stress concentrations. Mechanics of crack control in concrete. Prestressed concrete. Timber.


    Michael Byfield is a lecturer at the University of Southampton, UK and runs his own engineering consultancy. He was awarded the Parkman Medal by the Institution of Civil Engineers and his research focuses on blast loading of buildings.

    If you read this book, absorb its timeless principles and work your way through the examples, you will learn a great deal and it will serve you well in your career.

    --Allan Mann, FREng

    "The skill of the structural engineer lies in creating possibilities where others see the impossible. This skill requires years of nurture and practice, which is why this book is a must have on any book shelf. It focuses on the embedment of fundamental principles in structural mechanics to design. Read it! Enjoy it! Apply it!"

    -- Tim Ibell, University of Cambridge and past-president of the Institution of Structural Engineers

    "Mike Byfield has hit on an essential first principle of his own: To make things as simple as possible but no simpler. His illustrations are deceptively minimal, but they demonstrate another engineering first principle….to an engineer, a line is not just a line….it is short-hand, code, for a real structure, responding to mathematics, physics, environment, gravity, people, money, time, weather. The structure to which these first principle should apply are practical, useful, modest, connected to the rest of the world….they have foundations, mass, structural integrity, and in the right hands can be made to actually work beginning with the principles in the book. Here is an approach that brings first principles in an accessible way to everyone whether student engineer or ancient practitioner. After all, why would any engineer learn "second principles", without nailing the first ones first? As I looked through his examples I found myself thinking: "You know what, perhaps engineering’s not quite so hard after all…."

    -- Chris Wise, FREng, HonFRIBA, Expedition, UK


    "I consider this book to be good value for money. I would recommend it especially to those who are interested in crossovers between building structure design and bridge structure design."

    -- John Lyness in The Structural Engineer

    "...simplifies and demystifies the theory of structural design and, through practical examples, makes the principles simple and easy to understand."

    -- Yancheng Cai in Civil Engineering (Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers)