New Course Plans - what's next

Hi Everyone,

Time to announce the next course. I flagged two ideas I was playing around with in a previous post, analytical modelling of plates and shells and reinforced concrete design. It was a tough decision, but I’ve decided to return to an old favourite of mine…reinforced concrete design!

This is a topic I’ve always enjoyed, from designing in the wild during my time with Arup many moons ago to teaching it at various universities. I’ve always found the RC design process more organic and flexible by comparison to, say, structural steel design (although we’ll probably cover this too eventually!).

I’ve spent the afternoon mapping out a complete learning pathway right from the basics of section analysis all the way up to design for seismic and blast loading. There is a lot we could potentially cover - but I’m aware that designing to EC2 might not be everyone’s cup of tea. With that said, I want to make sure your membership continues to stay relevant and helpful, so I have a couple of points to make about this new foray into design.

Bitesize (3-5 hour) versus massive (12-15 hour) courses

I want to break this topic into a collection of smaller courses. This means, in theory at least, I can get them published quicker and potentially intersperse them with analysis courses you’re more familiar with on DegreeTutors. I also don’t know how well received this topic will be with the wider audience, so I’m testing the water with a smaller than usual initial course.

In total, I envisage 5 or 6 courses to cover the topic sufficiently. The first course will be Fundamentals of Ultimate Limit State Design of Reinforced Concrete to Eurocode 2 (working title). This will be an introduction and cover actions, load patterns, intro to limit states and designing for shear, bending and torsion. If you’re new to RC design or need a refresher after years away, this will be ideal. If you’re designing concrete every day, this might not be a little basic for you. But you may benefit from the Python-based content.

I’ll assess how well that goes before committing to the next course, which would look at serviceability design and deflection of RC structures. If enough people find these courses helpful, we’ll eventually move on to designing slabs, flat slabs, continuous beams, columns, looking at frame stability, foundations, retaining structures and potentially seismic design and blast loading.

Python versus ‘old school’

While design does not typically require programming to the same extent that analysis at scale does, I think there will be some benefit to giving our design calculations the Python treatment. However, I don’t want to lock non-programmers out of these courses. So, I’m going to try and produce them in such a way that you can follow the course without Python by default and then just cover Python optimisations and efficiencies if you like. This is the plan, we’ll see how it works out.

What about the hardcore FE from scratch courses?

If my FE and programming heavy courses are what you’re here for…don’t worry! These are not going away, I have a list as long as my arm of juicy topics and analysis tools I want to build courses around. As I said above, if RC design is well received, I’ll be interspersing design and analysis courses going forward.

So that’s the plan. Of course, there is other stuff I’m working on or want to get around to, mainly around Labs, but I’ll update you on that in a future post.

Speak soon.