Structural Engineering is a sub-division of civil engineering that is to be studied by a structural engineer. In this kind of engineering, the structural engineer undergoes training to gain knowledge in terms of predicting, calculating the strength, rigidity, and stability of buildings. These buildings can be of various kinds: Built, building or no- built.
This is done through structural engineering so that the structural engineer can design and integrate the concepts innovated with that of other designers. They even do the supervision of the projects on sites. Not only this, a structural engineer also learns to be deeply involved in the machinery design, medical equipment, and vehicles – to make sure that the integrity of the structure is safe in its functioning.
Structural engineer’s learning is based on certain laws of empirical knowledge and physical laws – for the structural performance of various materials and their geometries. The structural engineering design is a simple formula that makes use of simple structural elements in order to achieve an outcome of building complex structural systems.
A Structural engineer has to make sure that he brings efficiency and creativity in the usage of funds, materials, and structural elements – to meet his goals.
Structural Engineer depends on the following:
- Material Science
- Knowledge of Applied Mechanics
- Applied mathematics
All the three above by the structural engineer are to gain knowledge, to be able to predict and understand and gain expertise to predict the structural engineering challenges – how various structures support and resist self-weight and imposed loads.
A structural engineer successfully applies the knowledge only if he gains detailed know-how of:
- theoretical design codes and relevant empirical codes
- Knowledge of corrosion resistance of the materials and their structures
- Techniques of structural analysis
It is way back in 1990 that structural engineers have access to specialist software to aid them in the designing of structures. This gives a structural engineer functionality to assist the designing, drawing, analyzing any structure with care and paramount precision.
The structural engineer has access to software like Prokon, Revit Structure, StaadPro, AutoCAD, Industa RCB and many more. This kind of software also helps a structural engineer to take into consideration while designing structures some key elements like – environmental loads that arise out of storm, winds, earthquakes and other natural calamities.
A Structural engineer specializes in fields like –
- building engineering,
- bridge engineering,
- industrial engineering,
- special mechanical structures such as space crafts, ships or heavy-duty vehicles,
- pipeline engineering
Structural Engineer is not a new phenomenon. It all started way back when human beings invented building and started building their own structures. It is a very highly sought after the profession that is formalized and defined in today’s days and age. This started during the industrial revolution in the 19th century – before that the architect and structural engineer was one and the same thing – often called the master builder.
Structural engineer emerged with the advent of structural theories and development of specialized knowledge of the same. This is how the structural engineer came into existence opening up a plethora of job opportunities around the world.