Structural engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of public works. Structural engineers are responsible for analyzing and designing the structural support systems for buildings, bridges, tunnels, and other structures. They work with architects to form the skeletal system of houses, buildings, and other structures, and they ensure that these structures can withstand the stresses and pressures imposed by use and the environment. Structural engineers use mathematics, problem-solving skills, and cutting-edge technology to calculate stability, strength, and rigidity.
They also verify the validity of software results using their knowledge and basic formulas of structural analysis. Structural engineers are essential for maintaining the stability and core structure of any construction process. They may be needed even when a client does not intend to build a house or renovate one. In such cases, they work closely with lawyers during the reporting phase to ensure that all appropriate information has been included in the report.
Structural engineers evaluate various materials and construction methods based on the mechanical stress they expect their structures to withstand. The forces and stresses of structural analysis software can be used to design the main structural elements, including the floor system, vertical supports, foundations, and other parts of the building. If the case goes to trial, the structural engineer will often be asked to take the stand as an expert witness. To become a structural engineer, you must obtain a degree in civil or structural engineering accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers. The Structural Engineering Certification Board offers certification as a means of providing national certification for all jurisdictions.
Professional licensing as a structural engineer is granted through the National Council of the Association of Structural Engineers.