College: Princeton University
Certificate Price: $49
Length: 6 Weeks
Instructors: Maria Garlock

The Art of Structural Engineering: Vaults

In this engineering course you will learn how to analyze vaults (long-span roofs) from three perspectives:

Efficiency = calculations of forces/stresses
Economy = evaluation of societal context and cost
Elegance = form/appearance based on engineering principles, not decoration
We explore iconic vaults like the Pantheon, but our main focus is on contemporary vaults built after the industrial revolution. The vaults we examine are made of different materials, such as tile, reinforced concrete, steel and glass, and were created by masterful engineers/builders like Rafael Guastavino, Anton Tedesko, Pier Luigi Nervi, Eduardo Torroja, Félix Candela, and Heinz Isler.

This course illustrates:
how engineering is a creative discipline and can become art
the influence of the economic and social context in vault design
the interplay between forces and form

The course has been created for a general audience—no advanced math or engineering prerequisites are needed. This is the second of three courses on the Art of Structural Engineering, each of which are independent of each other. The course on bridges was launched in 2016, and another course will be developed on buildings/towers.

Similar Courses

Computing for Data Analysis

The modern data analysis pipeline involves collection, preprocessing, storage, analysis, and interactive visualization of data. The goal of this course, part of the Analytics: Essential Tools and Methods MicroMasters program,…

Computer Hardware and Operating Systems

This is a self-paced course that provides an Introduction to Computer Hardware and Operating Systems This course will cover topics including: Fundamentals of system hardware Introduction to OS concepts OS…
C Programming: Advanced Data Types

C Programming: Advanced Data Types

In this course, part of the C Programming with Linux Professional Certificate program, you will define your own data types in C, and use the newly created types to more…
Saving Schools

Saving Schools

This course seeks to answer the question: how did a school system, once the envy of the world, stumble so that the performance in math, science, and reading of U.S.…
The Quantum World

The Quantum World

Welcome to The Quantum World! This course is an introduction to quantum chemistry: the application of quantum theory to atoms, molecules, and materials. You’ll learn about wavefunctions, probability, special notations,…
China and Communism

China and Communism

How did the Communists conquer China? What role does culture play? What are the successes and failures of the Chinese Communist Party after seizing power in 1949? What constitutes liberation?…
Big Data and Education

Big Data and Education

Online and software-based learning tools have been used increasingly in education. This movement has resulted in an explosion of data, which can now be used to improve educational effectiveness and…

Lending, Crowdfunding, and Modern Investing

In this course, you’ll learn the foundational theories behind robo-advising, crowdfunding, and marketplace lending, and how to apply these theories to optimize your investments. Professor David Musto of the Wharton…