The Art of Structural Engineering: Bridges


In this engineering course you will learn how to analyze bridges from three perspectives:

  1. Efficiency = calculations of forces/stresses
  2. Economy = evaluation of societal context and cost
  3. Elegance = form/appearance based on engineering principles, not decoration

With a focus on some significant bridges built since the industrial revolution, the course illustrates how engineering is a creative discipline and can become art. We also show the influence of the economic and social context in bridge design and the interplay between forces and form.

This is the first of three courses on the Art of Structural Engineering, each of which are independent of each other. The two other courses will be on tall buildings/towers and vaults.


Maria Garlock
Maria Garlock
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Maria Garlock directs the Program in Architecture and Engineering at Princeton University. She received her BSE and Ph.D at Lehigh University in 1991 and 2002, respectively, and her MSE at Cornell University in 1993. She has been a Professor at Princeton since 2002. Before joining academia, Dr. Garlock was a design structural engineer in New York City working for Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA).