Headshot image of Maria Garlock--A white woman with blonde curly hair and wears a bright red dress.

The Art of Engineering: Vaulted Structures

with Maria Garlock
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 • Wednesday, June 16, 2021 Wednesday, June 23, 2021
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Apply or nominate a worthy colleague here.
Deadline: May 4.

Engineering is an art informed by culture, history, and aesthetic values. To make this point, this class will focus on vaulted structures, the long-span roof coverings seen in stadiums, airports, and domes. Such vaults are very thin in comparison to their span—proportionally speaking, they can be thinner than an egg. Through historical and current examples, we’ll look at vaults within the context of engineering (efficiency), society (cultures and economy), and we will also make judgments about elegance. The lectures will be given in a storytelling style and will include a general description of how these large structures carry the forces. (For those interested in a more detailed explanation of the calculations, materials written for a general audience will be made available.)

This is a three-session master class. In the first two sessions, teachers learn from the master. In the third, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Maria Garlock is professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University where she is also the co-Director of the Program in Architecture and Engineering. Her research centers on innovative structural engineering design (buildings, bridges, etc.) to mitigate the negative societal effects of extreme events such as earthquakes, large fires, and storm surges. For example, her most recent research on aquatectural shells examines thin-shell concrete umbrellas that transform into flood barriers.

Scroll to Top