Institute of Structural Engineers History Study Group

Paul Bell on A Window on Soviet Era Timber Engineering – Wooden Structures and the Derevyagin Beam

An in-person talk at  The Institution of Structural Engineers, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS on Monday 16 May at 6pm (refreshments from 5.30pm).

Synopsis

The talk about Soviet Era Timber Engineering will be based on Wooden Structures by G.G. Karlsen, written in 1961,  translated and published in English in 1967. Theory, as described in the book, was remarkably advanced using Plastic and Limit State Design. In contrast many structures illustrated use logs as structural members, which at first sight looks primitive, but in a country like Russia with an abundance of timber is very practical. The Derevyagin beam is a built-up beam using oak keys to connect softwood baulks without glue. It exploits the anisotropic properties of timber and the different strengths of softwood and oak. Design of Metal Structures, a sister volume to Wooden Structures was also published at this time of a highpoint in Soviet technological prestige. The relationship between engineers and the Soviet state over the period when G.G. Karlsen was working will be considered.

Speaker

Paul Bell has been a member of the History Study Group since its inception, having spent a large part of his working life dealing with old buildings. He has given talks to the Group on “The Structure of the Georgian London House” and “19th Century Laminated Timber Structures”. In 2021 he presented a paper to the 7th International Congress of the Construction History Society on “Wooden Structures by G.G. Karlsen and the Derevyagin Beam”. This paper is now in the public domain and can be downloaded here.

Covid arrangements

At the time of writing, the Institution’s policy is that face masks are not required but, on arrival, Reception will take your temperature and ask you to sanitise your hands.

Forthcoming talks

14 June | Alan Hayward on the Dee Bridge collapse of 1847

Scottish Historic Buildings Trust Talks

The Scottish Historic Building Trust are running a short series of four free online talks in May and June which will be of interest to ASCHB Members:

New Perspectives of the Country House

From the Country House Estate to the Council Scheme
6PM Tue 3rd May (free online event)
John Lowrey looks at the importance of industry as a component in the economy of the country house estate as far back as the 17th Century.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/327248337587

Projects, Plans and Politics – A Scottish Tour in 1712
6PM Tue 17th May (free online event)
Margaret Stewart uses newly uncovered evidence of a Scottish country house tour in 1712 to cast light on the architect James Gibbs.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/327267013447

Ghosts of Strathleven – Colonial History and Approaches to Heritage
6PM Tue 31st May (free online event)
Esmé Coppock investigates stories of colonial exploitation, and searches for approaches to heritage which recognise this past.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/327272118717

Technology and the Country House – Understanding Design and Materiality with Drones, LiDAR and 3D Scanning
6PM Wed 15th June (free online event)
Dan Bochman explores the use of drones, LiDAR and 3D Scanning to better understand the design and materiality of country houses.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/327953948087

For further information, see the SHBT website HERE

Paul Bell on A Window on Soviet Era Timber Engineering – Wooden Structures and the Derevyagin Beam

An in-person talk at  The Institution of Structural Engineers, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS on Monday 16th May at 6pm (refreshments from 5.30pm).

Synopsis

The talk about Soviet Era Timber Engineering will be based on Wooden Structures by G.G. Karlsen, written in 1961,  translated and published in English in 1967. Theory, as described in the book, was remarkably advanced using Plastic and Limit State Design. In contrast many structures illustrated use logs as structural members, which at first sight looks primitive, but in a country like Russia with an abundance of timber is very practical. The Derevyagin beam is a built-up beam using oak keys to connect softwood baulks without glue. It exploits the anisotropic properties of timber and the different strengths of softwood and oak. Design of Metal Structures, a sister volume to Wooden Structures was also published at this time of a highpoint in Soviet technological prestige. The relationship between engineers and the Soviet state over the period when G.G. Karlsen was working will be considered.

Speaker

Paul Bell has been a member of the History Study Group since its inception, having spent a large part of his working life dealing with old buildings. He has given talks to the Group on “The Structure of the Georgian London House” and “19th Century Laminated Timber Structures”. In 2021 he presented a paper to the 7th International Congress of the Construction History Society on “Wooden Structures by G.G. Karlsen and the Derevyagin Beam”. This paper is now in the public domain and can be downloaded here.

Covid arrangements

At the time of writing, the Institution’s policy is that face masks are not required but, on arrival, Reception will take your temperature and ask you to sanitise your hands.

Forthcoming talks

14 June | Alan Hayward on the Dee Bridge collapse of 1847

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