Just to set things straight, this portion of my blog dedicated to structural engineering is not a one-stop-shop for the vast turf that our profession covers. There is always something left to learn and the learning never stops because as the saying goes, “the more you know, the more you don’t know” is very much applicable to us. Even the old and renowned structural engineers in the past and present have not mastered every detail nor unturned all the stones in every corner. Much so for me. Besides, there are a lot of forums, technical papers and printed journals and books out in the world today which are great sources of information for specific structural engineering issues.
I don’t have all the answers and neither do I know all the possible questions. What I can assure is that I’ve been there for all the situations I was in as a structural designer – a bloodied soldier in the battle field and a boxer receiving punches and knocking down opponents inside the ring.
What I share are by-products of my TAEing (TRIAL AND ERRORing).
What I do is I apply what I learned from forums, from a friend, officemates and technical literatures no matter how obvious or trivial as long as it captures the interest of the technical beast in me. How do I do this? I model in ETABS and SAFE or any structural engineering software a simple prototype and study the behavior until everything makes sense. It doesn’t matter if it seems stupid or a waste of time to others. The important thing is it captures my imagination. And in the end, the deduction will either reinforce what I already know or disprove what I previously believed to be true.
Just as I mentioned before, this serves as my technical diary. What I write about are the things that I discovered through my initiative, discussions with my superiors and colleagues, and the projects I was assigned to. The procedures I lay in this blog are the same procedures I execute.
I don’t have the monopoly of knowledge and wisdom in my profession nor do I claim to be a grand master of the subject. I acknowledge that there will always be those who are smarter than me and more experienced than me.
But what fires me up is the learning process. Learning in itself, the flow that comes with analyzing and drawing conclusions from the mathematical calculations are the rewards themselves. Of course money is necessary. I have myself and a family to feed and tend to. But I’ve been happier not by putting money as my ultimate prize but learning.
I don’t want to be stuck as a teacher when the time comes that I will teach younger generations of structural engineers. Life’s a journey not a destination, Aerosmith said in one of their songs. We all get our turns in teaching the young minds in whatever profession that we choose. I always want to be a student. And I am loving the journey of learning structural engineering. What drives my passion for structural engineering is finding answers, understanding the behavior of structures and making sense out the outputs – it’s what separates the handsome intelligence from the artificial one.
This inherent desire to be better and to strive for excellence (not perfection) are the ultimate qualities that a professional must have because these are the things that will give him satisfaction in his chosen career and it’s that something that no machines will ever be able to emulate.
And I wish that as a structural engineer like myself, we’ll both take the same stand to always be better than ourselves today than yesterday, and that neither do we allow AI nor programmers to replace the work that only the structural engineer does and understands. And most importantly, to always tell ourselves that the structural engineer’s judgment will ALWAYS be superior because he has this gut feel that no machine will ever have.
I’ll try to write more about technical topics since based on my stats, there are more views on topics regarding structural engineering rather than my creative compositions. I know I have a hard time blogging about my work especially when I’m preoccupied with deadlines and when I am in the flow. But I’ll try to post frequently about technical stuff. And by the way folks, thank you for your visits. I hope my writings helped enlighten you. Please feel free to communicate on how can I further improve so that I will be able to reach more graduate and assistant structural engineers who need assistance to master the basics.
So if you have comments/suggestions/doubts/thoughts or anything about our profession that you are hesitant to bring out in technical forums, let’s discuss it here. Feel free to leave a comment. I will try to answer what I can answer.
Cheers mates ml/!!!
The handsome man behind the blog,
I will also take this opportunity to pay my last respects to our iron lady, the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago who served her country until the last ounce of her strength. All I have left in memory of you is your book. Thank you for being a Filipino. May you rest in peace – and your wisdom given to those who need it the most…