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05. December 2011

Baustatik: Analyse & Synthese von Tragstrukturen in Praxis und Forschung

After Christmas Ernst & Sohn will publish the book Baustatik ("Structural Analysis") by Peter Marti, Professor for Structural Engineering and Concrete Structures at the ETH Zürich.

In this book, the author discusses the analysis of two and three-dimensional structures according to elastic and plastic theory. It continues the analytical tradition of ETH Professors Karl Culmann (1821-1881), Wilhelm Ritter (1847-1906), Hans Ziegler (1910-1985) and Bruno Thürlimann (1923-2008). Karl Culmann is the subject of another book published by Ernst & Sohn, a wonderful novel entitled "Karl Culmann und die graphische Statik. Zeichnen, die Sprache des Ingenieurs" (Karl Culmann and Graphic Statics. Drawing as an Engineering Language" and written by fiction author Dr. Christine Lehmann and her husband, teacher of mathematics Dr. Bertram Maurer. As Ritter once followed in the footsteps of Culmann, so does Marti continue Thürlimann's work in a creative manner.

By applying plastic theory to reinforced and prestressed concrete structures Thürlimann profoundly influenced teaching and research in structural engineering; Hans Ziegler, Professor of Mechanics, provided important support. Thürlimann had to prevail over the influential Fritz Stüssi (1901-1981). The latter was professor of structural analysis and steel structures at the ETH Zürich from 1937 to 1966 and would only allow elastic theory methodology and polemicised nearly 50 years ago against limit load design – which Thürlimann parried brilliantly and victoriously. All the while Stüssi's two-volume lectures on structural analysis (1st edition of 1946/1954) remained highly influential during the innovation phase of the theory of structures (1950-1975). It was therefore time to give structural analysis a modern treatment and summary. Marti achieves this exhaustively with this book. This monograph also sets a new marker for the Zurich school of structural analysis that began with Culmann's "Graphic Statics" (1864/66). At the same time it is a great homage to Thürlimann's scientific work and achievements. "Baustatik" is Marti's magnum opus – it should be required reading for all dealing with the analysis and synthesis of structures in practice, teaching and research. But this read goes much beyond direct utility; it also provides the simple pleasure knowledge.