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Civil Engineering Website
2

Civil Engineering Website

Civil Engineering Website

(OP)
Hi Everyone,

I am a civil engineer and as a hobby I am building a civil engineering website to contain all common problems' calculators in Structural, Hydraulics, Environmental, and Geotechnical. The process is extensive and requires a lot of time, although I check solutions as I am building each calculator, I am not checking manually other input/output. I am continuously building and releasing new calculators, so there is still a lot of material missing.

this website is not a money maker or anything, it is more like an educational tool and a back of the napkin calcs. check it out, provide comments/feedback, and if you'd like to test any of the calculators to check for accuracy would be awesome.

please visit engineeringautomated.com

thank you
Rodi

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Rodi M. Those are pretty simple calculations - a few comments on one that I looked at (compression members in the structural part)
1. You don't provide any information related to what source, formulae, code, etc. this is based on.
2. Without at least the code reference, there's no way I'd ever use it as each of my designs have to meet particular codes.
3. Codes change over the years so the code version would be essential to know.
4. I can quickly turn to my AISC manual and get better, quicker information than entering Sx, Length, etc.
5. None of this is meant to discourage you, or simple be critical - just giving you feedback.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

On the concrete beam - your output here tells me this is "No Good".
How can it even check a beam at all if you don't enter a bending moment into the derivation?
This doesn't look valid at all.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

(OP)
JAE, thank you for the feedback, I totally agree with you about adding the standard used and will add hopefully in the near future, as far as the second comment about the min steel, as it is stated about the minimum steel, used in concrete, check the concrete book where you will find in the book section, there you find this comparison, also, do mind the units in the text boxes, the concrete is in psi not ksi and the comparison is between the 200 and 3sqrt(fc) you should be able to find this in the concrete book. More content and more detail will be added. Thank you,

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Despite the psi vs ksi the concrete beam calculator isn’t useful at all. What good is it without moments?

RE: Civil Engineering Website

(OP)
Hi JAE,

For this calculator in particular it is not complete yet, as the image suggests a moment, this is just the first step to the full design of tension section, compression and stirrups. As previously I had mentioned, the site is a work in progress and this particular problem is not complete as it indicates just the min design of flexural steel.

Thank you for your comments and I welcome more down the road and perhaps with suggestions on how to make some pages more useful.

Rodi M.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Rodi - I applaud what you're trying to do. It's not a new idea, but the doing of it will help you develop as an engineer (teaching the computer to do something can be a great way to really cement the knowledge into your own mind).

I would caution you, however, that you need to be clear in which calculators are complete and which are not. The concrete beam, for example. You say it's intended to check the minimum flexural steel - I get that you mean the code mandated minimum, but to a lot engineers the "minimum required flexural reinforcement" is going to be the greater of the code mandated minimum and what is required to resist the design moment. There are a lot of young engineers out there who, either from laziness or from want of time to meet a seemingly impossible schedule, will latch onto something like this and use it without a second thought. You can put up disclaimers and legal mumbo-jumbo to keep from getting sued all you want, but if you're doing this as a battery of tools for designers to use then you have a moral and ethical obligation to make sure you clearly site your sources and the limitations of all accessible content.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Agree

RE: Civil Engineering Website

(OP)
Wow,the first page and the about page clearly state the resources used and proper usage (not for design) so I think when it comes to ethics and morals, I am just fine, there is no "mumbo, jumbo" as you say given that the about page clearly and simply states the purpose (not 20 pages of rules and how this can be used as there is with every engineering software out there). as to details of formulas used and or which page of the book was used, I guess ill just have to add that at some point.

When I posted this to get comments, I expected to get comments suggestions, not an attack on my morals and ethics as if i produced something, obtained a compensation and attempted to hide flaws. I wanted to create something that was not available for me when I was in school a quick check for some common problems.

so please, if you have comments on the site and how to make it better, I welcome all of your comments, otherwise, I got the wrong audience here.

greatly appreciate all valid input.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Rodi,
phamENG was not questioning your morals or ethics. What he said was clear:

1. "You need to be clear in which calculators are complete and which are not." What's wrong with this - perfectly correct. You did not do this"
2. "to a lot engineers the "minimum required flexural reinforcement" is going to be the greater of the code mandated minimum and what is required to resist the design moment. There are a lot of young engineers out there who, either from laziness or from want of time to meet a seemingly impossible schedule, will latch onto something like this and use it without a second thought." I agree with this - your concrete beam page doesn't jive with anything I get in terms of minimum reinforcement per the ACI code - which code is it? AND....the minimum reinforcement also can depend on the actual applied moment - Putting this up for others is a bit awkward and dangerous
3. "you have a moral and ethical obligation to make sure you clearly site your sources and the limitations of all accessible content." I looked at your book references and could not determine what codes actually applied other than me knowing the maroon AISC manual uses ANSI/AISC 360-10. You do have a moral and ethical obligation to be accurate, complete, informative, and concerned about how others might use your tools. Your disclaimer on the "about" page is a good start, but more information is needed.

I don't think phamENG, or myself, are interested in bashing you, rather the opposite - we took the time to point out issues we saw were a concern. You, as a "professional" should be open to peers...this is what this whole site is about.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Rodi - no need to get defensive. As I said, I applaud what you're doing.

My advice is this: if these tools are not intended for design, you should state that clearly on every page. When I went to your website, I didn't see the about page. Had I looked for it, I probably could have found it. But as I mentioned before, a lot of people go to these sorts of websites looking for a convenient shortcut to solve a problem and move on. They aren't going to be interesting in the website's back story. They should be, but the fact of the matter is that they are not and most won't read your about page.

Despite the ease with which anyone can publish online, it seems to be a socially ingrained response to trust what we read with little or no verification of the source. So I recommend that you put a standard banner or other note on each calculator indicating that it is for educational purposes only and should not be used in design. Is it an ethical consideration? Yes. Am I questioning your ethics/morals? No. I'm merely pointing out the fact that it should be thought of in that light to make sure you consider the depth of potential consequences for the misuse of your creation and take adequate steps to discourage such misuse.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Thanks, JAE.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

(OP)
JAE & phamENG

The whole reason I signed up and shared here is to get genuine comments, and what I've "heard" from 1st comment to before last is bashing and belittling rather than peers "commenting" genuinely.

Thanks

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Quote (Rodi M.)

what I've "heard" from 1st comment to before last is bashing and belittling rather than peers "commenting" genuinely.

It is unfortunate that this is how you are receiving both JAE's and phamENG's comments. Both of these individuals contribute and provide very valuable content to these forums. When I read the thread above I see them both providing very constructive feedback and not belittling you in any way.


Quote (Rodi M.)

I wanted to create something that was not available for me when I was in school a quick check for some common problems.

As JAE alluded to, a "black box" answer is not a very useful tool for practicing engineers or for students. It is important to see equations and code references so that the user of the tool can, as a student, get a better understanding of what is happening and how it is applied, and as a practicing engineer, verify that the correct code provisions are being applied.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

Sorry you feel that way, Rodi M. We didn't, and aren't bashing you....just trying to give you "genuine" comments.
I can assure you that all my comments are genuine and sincere.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

(OP)
Thank you

RE: Civil Engineering Website

You’re welcome.

RE: Civil Engineering Website

@Solid7ion.....please post your question by starting a new thread, either in this forum or in the Structural Engineering General Discussion forum.

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