"A Historical Perspective on Empirical And Rational Structural Design" presented by Thomas E. Boothby (with Dinner)

  • 22 Jan 2014
  • 5:30 PM
  • DoubleTree Hotel, East Syracuse, NY


Registration is closed

Please join us!

4:30 PM Board Meeting
5:30 PM Registration
6:00 PM Presentation & Dinner (provided by the DoubleTree)

$35 Member
$45 Non-member
$15 Student

Registration due by Thursday, 1/16/14.

***Approved for 1 LU/HSW credit from AIA CES***

Program description:

This talk will cover the opposing philosophies of empiricism, which holds that knowledge of the world can only be acquired through experience, and rationalism, according to which knowledge can be acquired through reason. We will describe how these notions are important to us as engineers. Having established this, we can investigate critically structural design decisions made in antiquity, in the nineteenth century, and in the present age, and understand the relationship between such structural design decisions and the natural world.

This discussion can be used to understand structural designs dating from a previous age, and based on an entirely different world-view than our own, and can help us to recognize that the modern viewpoint is not necessarily the best representation of the facts of strength, endurance, and beauty. As a consequence, we can always be refreshed by examining the works of the past, and we lack moral standing for imposing out way of thinking on an artifact from the past. 

Learning objectives:

1.       Participants will gain an understanding of empirical design.

2.       Participants will understand how empirical design is widely practiced in contemporary structural engineering.

3.       Participants will understand the relation between empirical design, rational analysis, and conventional design.

4.       Participants will understand the appropriate uses of the three types of design.

5.       Participants will learn how to apply the appropriate type of design to historic preservation projects. 

Presented by:

Thomas E. Boothby, P.E., Ph.D., R.A., Professor of Architectural Engineering at Pennsylvania State University

Click here to view his faculty page.

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