At one time, there were about 10,000 covered wooden truss bridges throughout the United States. Rachel Sangree, chair of the part-time Civil Engineering program at Johns Hopkins Engineering, believes they still hold valuable lessons for students.
Students are often inspired by new designs, the tallest building in the world, the longest bridge, Sangree stated in a recent JHU Engineering magazine article,
[But] it's important for students to learn how structures evolved over time, including the successes and failures throughout that evolution, so they are well-prepared to build on that knowledge when they design the monumental structures of tomorrow.
Sangree, who earned both her master's and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, has been serving as the chair of the part-time Civil Engineering program since 2010. She also teaches an online course called Design of Wood Structures, which was available to students this summer.