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Dilemma appeal


I write with regard to the story Poor Eurocode teaching (NCE 5 July), and the reported dilemma of university lecturers who must choose between British and European standards.

Several structural codes share the same design philosophy, adopt a common approach to many problems and, even at a detailed level, have considerable similarities.

However, given the decreasing shelf life of such documents compared to a generation ago, I believe university courses should focus on principles and the essential technical background leading to codified methods.

Furthermore, students should be given the opportunity to explore differences between codes in project work, which is a strong feature of many BEng and, particularly, MEng programmes.

This is not an attempt to sideline the important issue facing the construction industry regarding adoption of Eurocodes. It is recognition that our students, many of whom will practise in a global environment, would benefit from a solid foundation in structural design and analysis.

Better this than a detailed exposition of current codes during their university education.

Professor M K Chryssanthopoulos (F), University of Surrey, GU2 7XH

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