The ANEX facility has been developed to allow nearly real-time comparisons of analysis results with experimental data gathered on small-scale structural models. ANEX has been used successfully for in-class demonstrations, student-designed experiments, and comprehensive design/build competitions in an introductory structural analysis course at the University of Missouri-Rolla. An expert system is now being developed to guide ANEX users and to act as a trouble-shooter and advisor in the event that analytical and experimental results do not correlate acceptably well. ANEX, using only simple, small-scale model structures, is able to enrich structural engineering instruction by introducing students to the sophisticated capabilities of computer structural analysis, while reinforcing the need for experimental verification of computer analyses and the importance of developing a good "physical intuition" for the response of structures to loading conditions. The ANEX teaching methodology need not be limited to structural engineering courses - it could be extended to a wider range of lower-division engineering and architecture courses such as Statics, Strength of Materials, and Introduction to Structural Design for Architects. The relatively modest cost of ANEX makes it reasonable to envision ANEX adoption at other academic institutions, even in this age of ever-tightening academic budgets.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Second Department

Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

01 Dec 1992