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The Art of Structural Engineering

Vaults

In this engineering course you will learn how to analyze vaults (long-span roofs) from three perspectives:

  • Efficiency = calculations of forces/stresses
  • Economy = evaluation of societal context and cost
  • Elegance = form/appearance based on engineering principles, not decoration
  • We explore iconic vaults like the Pantheon, but our main focus is on contemporary vaults built after the industrial revolution. The vaults we examine are made of different materials, such as tile, reinforced concrete, steel and glass, and were created by masterful engineers/builders like Rafael Guastavino, Anton Tedesko, Pier Luigi Nervi, Eduardo Torroja, Félix Candela, and Heinz Isler.

    This course illustrates:
    • how engineering is a creative discipline and can become art
    • the influence of the economic and social context in vault design
    • the interplay between forces and form

    The course has been created for a general audience—no advanced math or engineering prerequisites are needed.  This is the second of three courses on the Art of Structural Engineering, each of which are independent of each other. The course on bridges was launched in 2016, and another course will be developed on buildings/towers.

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    PrincetonX

    Rating 5.0 based on 17 ratings
    Length 6 weeks
    Effort 2 - 3 hours per week
    Starts Jan 24 (26 weeks ago)
    Cost $0
    From PrincetonX via edX
    Instructor Maria Garlock
    Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
    Language English
    Tags Engineering Architecture

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    structural engineering in 3 reviews

    I would like to congratulate Professor Garlock, her colleagues and the course team for developing the excellent content presented in this course "The Art of Structural Engineering: Vaults".

    71 year old in one review

    I’m a retired 71 year old mechanical engineer who has a love of everything engineering.

    art history teacher in one review

    I am an art history teacher and theorist from New Zealand and have taken many MOOCs that allow access to internationally respected institutions.

    behind those beautiful in one review

    The course is really helpful for a jump start of learning structural engineering and the architectural concept behind those beautiful structures.

    discussion forum assignments in one review

    The weekly discussion forum assignments allow participants to submit images and a statement pertaining to the topic of interest.

    feel comfortable enough in one review

    While the mathematical problems were more challenging, I was grateful to have information on hand that made a non- maths graduate feel comfortable enough to conquer the challenge.

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    edX

    &

    PrincetonX

    Rating 5.0 based on 17 ratings
    Length 6 weeks
    Effort 2 - 3 hours per week
    Starts Jan 24 (26 weeks ago)
    Cost $0
    From PrincetonX via edX
    Instructor Maria Garlock
    Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
    Language English
    Tags Engineering Architecture

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