Wind Wizard: Alan G. Davenport and the Art of Wind Engineering


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 1.2 X 9.3 inches | 1.45 pounds
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About the Author

Siobhan Roberts is a freelance science journalist who first wrote about Davenport and wind engineering for the New York Times. She is the author of King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, The Man Who Saved Geometry.


Roberts has done a very good job demonstrating the importance of Davenport's more sophisticated approach to wind and its effects on structures in making many of the world's tall buildings possible.-- "Choice"
An elegant piece of work. . . . Siobhan Roberts' style has literary merit. The narrative flows uniformly. The reader is not jolted by phrases, by fragments singing out of tune. I would not be surprised if she were to try to write novels in the future. After all, what's past is prologue.---Paolo Maria Mariano, Mathematical Reviews
Recommended. . . . The dramatic undulations and final collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 demonstrated the power of wind and impelled a new discipline of wind engineering. Alan G. Davenport led the field with his meticulous science and innovative wind tunnel. Journalist Roberts delves into Davenport's portfolio of superlatives, which includes the world's tallest bridge, France's Millau Viaduct.---Marissa Fessenden, Scientific American
Wind Wizard is an unlikely gem, a biography of both a man and a field. . . . From now on, I shall refer students and professors alike to Roberts' clear account. . . . Roberts has written a largely equation free book in which technical subtleties such as aeroelasticity and Davenport's statistical description of turbulent buffeting are set out clearly, engagingly and accurately. Her precise, vivid phrases, such as vortices 'pushing and shoving the structure this way and that like a gang of bullies', will enliven my future lectures.---Allan McRobie, Nature
Richly drawn. . . . A winning, enlightening investigation into wind engineering and the man who made the airwaves speak.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Roberts's book is more than an account of Davenport's life--it also provides fascinating insights into some of civil engineering's greatest achievements, and closest shaves. She reminds us how much we rely on wind engineering: from portable toilets to space rockets, Davenport tested everything. . . . With climate change making violent storms like Sandy more common, the story of the wind wizard has never been more relevant.---Ben Crystall, New Scientist-- "Choice"
Roberts' Wind Wizard is a tenaciously gripping and extraordinarily well-told tale of one of the great figures in structural engineering.---Nick Smith, Engineering & Technology-- "Choice"