Our work on this topic began in late 1999. We started identifying the concepts in textbooks for teaching undergraduates in Civil and Structural Engineering, which can be demonstrated using physical models and the real examples in engineering practice showing the application of the concepts. The work however could not be presented in the current form without the input of others.

Several previous and current undergraduate students at the University of Manchestger, Emily W Yip, K H Lee, C E Liang, K Chow, K Y Chan, Tom Eccles , Lu Chen and John Oxtoby, carried out investigative projects on Seeing and Touching Structural Concepts. They contributed their understanding through personal experience of study in class and made a number of physical models.

Mr. M Dean, Mr. G Lester, Mr. G Sigh and some other technical staff in the School gave assistance to these students with making models.

Professor Biaozhong Zhuang, an emeritus professor in Engineering Mechanics at Zhejiang University, China, contributed his personal experience of solving practical problems using basic theory of Mechanics and offered some interesting models used in daily life.

Several individuals and organisations kindly permitted the use their photographs and they are acknowledged directly next to the photographs.

Mr T Zheng, a PhD student at the University of Manchester, provided many of the line drawings in the book. Dr K C Leong, a previous student, and Miss L Xue, a PhD student at the University of Manchester, helped to create the website.

We are also grateful to Dr B R Ellis, an independent consultant, for reading, checking and commenting on the contents in the website.

Finally we would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by The Education Trust of the Institution of Structural Engineers, The University of Manchester and the Engineering Subject Centre of The Higher Education Academy, for developing and updating the website.

Tianjian Ji, Adrian Bell
School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering
The University of Manchester