Monthly Archives: April 2014

My Favorite Engineering Books…Kind Of


My book case is filled to the brim with engineering books, manuals, and codes.  I have so many books in my office my stout hardwood bookshelves are bowing under the load.  I must admit I enjoy reading about engineering.  I’m an engineering geek!   So how do I narrow down a collection that has taken 30 years to compile into five or six favorites?  The short answer is I can’t!  I’ll just have to blog on my book collection again in the near future.

bridgedeckE.C. Hambly (1991), Bridge Deck Behaviour Second Edition

Abe’s Books

Bridge Deck Behaviour covers the grillage method in depth.  There are also a few brief chapters on foundation modeling, folded plate, and finite element methods.  If you are looking to sharpen your understanding of how different superstructure types perform this is the book to buy.  The book covers slabs, slabs on beams, multi-cellular decks, and box girders.  It has excellent coverage of shear lag, slab membrane action, skew and curvature, and temperature and prestress loading.


psCollins, Mitchell (1991),  Prestressed Concrete Structures

Abe’s Books

What can you say about this classic?  This book is still in such demand I just saw it used in fair condition on for $1,290 USD!  This book was my first introduction to moment curvature and the unified compression field theory.



dynamicsClough, Penzien (1993), Dynamics Of Structure

Dynamics Of Structure is fantastic introductory book on structural dynamics.   The book covers free vibration, superposition methods, step-by-step MDOF methods,  and earthquake response including soil structure interaction.




pcihandbookPCI (2004), PCI Design Handbook 6th Edition

PCI Bookstore

I have the 7th Edition but it has come up missing.  That’s how popular this book is – thieves can’t keep their hands off of it.  You can tell how much I use this book by its tattered, dog- eared and ripped pages.   The book covers connections, tolerances, general design information, standard specifications and practices pertaining to precast.



bowlesBowles (1996), Foundation Analysis And Design

Foundation Analysis And Design is programmer’s dream book.  The book originally came with a 3 1/2″ disk filled with DOS utility programs.  Many of the chapters are organized  around a foundation analysis concept and then the author guides you on how to program the concept.  This is a fantastic format for those of us that like to develop spreadsheets or Mathcad documents.  The book has excellent coverage of foundations and walls.