How Structural Engineers Find Errors in Analysis and Design Results. Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction

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Spring 5-2021


Errors in structural analysis and design are inevitable, but finding them early in the design process saves time and money. Knowledge of the broad causes of errors and how experienced engineers identify the presence of errors can inform training for structural engineers thus empowering them to find their own errors early in the design process. Therefore, this study presents 145 pieces of information about errors in structural analysis and design compiled from structured interviews with 35 structural engineers. The strategies used to find errors have been classified into eight categories: Comparison, Rule of Thumb, Information Check, Visualization, Extreme Value, Previous Experience, Field, and Other. Evaluation of the information shows that responsibility for quality control should not be held only with reviewers but should also be shared with the engineers creating the designs. Also, quality control training should be heavily influenced by the Comparison strategies. Overall, the specific examples of errors and the problems they cause could be helpful in developing in-house training and updating quality control procedures.

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