Kristian Dahl Hertz, an author Design of Fire-resistant Concrete Structures, and Professor in Design of Building Structures, Technical University of Denmark, shares what inspired him to become an engineer and reveals what he enjoyed most about writing the book.

A cup of tea with Kristian Dahl Hertz
Kristian Dahl Hertz pictured with his book, Design of Fire-resistant Concrete Structures.
What inspired you to work in civil engineering? 
Originally, I wanted to become an architect. However, I found that I really wanted to fully understand all the technical possibilities so I became an engineer who can support interesting architecture projects by solving technical problems with new design solutions.
 
What does writing a book entail? 
The process of writing a book gives me an opportunity to see how data, design methods, and applications, which I have gathered during my 40 year career, constitute a complete area. You are able to tell the full story and give a complete presentation. I take pleasure in knowing that the resources I’ve put together will be used by students and engineers.
 
What is the best part of writing a book? 
The best part for me is creating a coherent description of the subject. I also really enjoyed preparing visuals for the book such as photos and my own drawings which I believe help reader’s understanding of the design principles and make reading the book more entertaining.
 
And the worst…? What was the biggest challenge you faced? 
The biggest challenge was finding the time to write and clearing my head of other work issues in order to concentrate.
 
What will the reader learn from Design of Fire-resistant Concrete Structures
How to design concrete structures for fire with all data that’s required, all methods explained, and all formulas derived according to the laws of nature and examples of the application. The book serves as a reference and a guide for design.
 
How do you take your tea? 
Without sugar or milk, please. It is bad enough to add water making tea or coffee. 
 
If you could invite any engineer (alive or dead) to dinner, who would it be? 
Apollodorus of Damascus, who I consider to be very great engineer. He made a bridge crossing the Danube, the cupola of Pantheon and Emperor Trajan’s Forum in Rome. His work has inspired me to invent the method in which super-light structures are filled with strong concrete in the areas in which force would be placed. The rest of the structure is then filled out with light concrete, stabilising and protecting the strong concrete from fire. The SL-deck is one of these structures. I show in my book, that it has a standard fire-resistance of no less than 240 minutes. Apollodorus also made his concrete structures very fire-resistant, because he was influenced by the big fire of Rome in year 64 AD.

Find out more about the latest Kristian Dahl Hertz's book, Design of Fire-resistant Concrete Structures.

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