A History of Engineering and Structural Design
Routledge – 2010 – 244 pages
This innovative new book presents the vast historical sweep of engineering innovation and technological change to describe and illustrate engineering design and what conditions, events, cultural climates and personalities have brought it to its present state.
Matthew Wells covers topics based on an examination of paradigm shifts, the contribution of individuals, important structures and influential disasters to show approaches to the modern concept of structure. By demonstrating the historical context of engineering, Wells has created a guide to design like no other, inspirational for both students and practitioners working in the fields of architecture and engineering.
"This book appears to be an ambitious project. Not only does the author propose a ‘history of engineering and structural design’ from prehistory to present time (2000, p. 5), but he also seeks to contribute to a comprehensive and critical analysis about the way in which engineering and the innovation process have developed all along this time and in different parts of the world. This is a real challenge, to which Matthew Wells successfully responds, due to his comprehensive reading and to his methodological approach." - Elisabeth Campagnac, Construction Management and Economics, July 2012
1. Prehistory and Ancient Times 2. Rome and the East (220 BC–533 AD) 3. Byzantium and the European Dark Ages (476–1000) 4. Light (1000–1600) 5. Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) 6. Enlightenment (1580–1789) 7. Encyclopaedia (1750–1860) 8. The American Reconstruction (1860–1890) 9. Classical Analysis and Reinforced Concrete (1890–1920) 10. Flight and the World Wars (1900–1950) 11. Early Contemporaries (1945–1960) 12. The Continual Present (1950–2000)
Matthew Wells, a Chartered Architect and Engineer, has taught at various schools of architecture including Nottingham School of Architecture as a unit tutor. He is an external examiner at Liverpool University School of Architecture and has been a technical tutor at the Bartlett School of Architecture for 10 years. He is best known as the founder and director of Techniker Ltd, Consulting Structural Engineers and has worked with leading architects such as Lifschutz Davidson and Eva Jiricna on footbridges, glass staircases and many contemporary leading edge projects.