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Format is more accessible

May I congratulate the NCE staff on the excellent new format of the magazine. I hope that it will be one of many initiatives of the profession in making itself more appealing and accessible to the next generation of civil engineering students.

What the industry seems to be failing to recognise is that it now requires a considerable investment of time and money to graduate with the I was the structures agent for the contractor, Tarmac Construction. My surprise is at the Concrete Society's apparent change of heart. In 1977, the Society adjudged it worthy of no more than a Highly Commended award.

The article in NCE refers to the varying depth of the structure's deck, but this is only one feature of its complicated shape. In plan, the bridge follows a reverse curve which requires a constantly changing carriageway crossfall from one abutment to the other. In turn, this varying crossfall geometry is repeated in the crosssectional alignment of the deck itself, resulting in webs which, although apparently vertical, are actually at right angles to the deck soffit and upper slab.

Even before reaching this stage of construction, we had experienced enormous problems in founding one of the abutments and in devising a support system for the adjacent end span of the deck (NCE 8 April 1976).

No doubt the design of this bridge resulted in an aesthetic masterpiece but, alas, it was hopelessly inadequate from the viewpoint of buildability. Nevertheless, I think I can speak for all of us involved in its construction when I say that we remain immensely proud of what we achieved.necessary qualifications to reach chartered status.

Most new graduates will be leaving university with a debt of more than £8,000 after four years spent studying extremely hard.

As with any sensible investors we are going to expect a reasonable return on our investment.

If the profession does not start to take account of this there will be many more management consultants in the future who pause and gaze knowingly when passing a construction site.

Nick Higgs (S), Cardiff University,

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