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Design007-Apr2021

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80 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2021 Simulation and modelling are long-time friends of the engineer. I recently read e Works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel [1] (Pugs- ley). e math and modelling that accompa- nied his civil engineering works almost 200 years ago are quite humbling—even more so given that all his calculations were made by hand, devoid of the luxury of high-speed com- puting that bathes the engineer of this century in an abundance of tools. But the purpose of modelling then was the same as now—to reduce the number of proto- types, to predict safety margins for structural loads, and, in Brunel's case as an engineer, he also had a head for marketing as his math- ematical and engineering abilities allowed him to build bridges with fewer materials and shal- lower curves than had his peers doubting their longevity. However, here we are 200 years later, and high-speed trains and traffic are still using his elegantly designed structures with safety. Just as with modern engineering challenges, the materials in his hands were not ideal, wrought iron was relatively new, and wooden structures, though well understood, were still natural materials and subject to the ravages of damp and decay over the life of the structure. Brunel had to understand both the math, and the limitations and inherent variability of the materials he deployed. is was especially the case in tunnelling operations where, despite geological surveys, the nature of the material being tunnelled was not always as predictable as expected. Simulating Stackup and Signal Integrity The Pulse Feature Column by Martyn Gaudion, POLAR INSTRUMENTS Figure 1: Isambard Kingdom Brunel. (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

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