Structural engineering is a specialized discipline within the broader field of civil engineering, which focuses on the design and integrity of structures such as buildings, bridges, and monuments. Structural engineers are responsible for ensuring that all public works, from bridges to water treatment facilities, are designed, constructed, and maintained in a safe and secure manner. They must pay close attention to the internal and external forces that can affect a structure, such as fractures, materials used, earthquakes, vibration, creep, structure fatigue, temperature, wind, and dynamics. Structural engineers also set requirements for structural serviceability in the future to ensure the safety of workers, visitors, customers, and long-term users of the structure. Structural engineers use their knowledge of materials and their properties to understand how different materials can withstand loads.
They also use corrosion engineering to avoid galvanic coupling between different materials. In addition, they use structural analysis software to design the main structural elements of a building or other structure. This includes the floor system, vertical supports, foundations, and other parts of the building. Throughout history, people have been designing and building increasingly sophisticated structures. Structural engineers play an essential role in this process by ensuring that these structures are safe to use.
They also help society address major issues such as climate change and disaster relief. In addition to working on large projects such as skyscrapers and bridges, structural engineers are often needed for residential construction. In some cases, customers may not realize they need a structural engineer until a city official or other professional requests it. A structural engineer can assess the severity of any potential problems with a construction site and recommend an appropriate solution. It is important to note that homeowners should not take advantage of structural engineers; if an insurance company provides its own engineer for a project, it should be used. Some of the most famous structural engineers include Gustave Eiffel (Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty) and Eero Saarinen (Gateway Arch).
These engineers have helped shape our world with their innovative designs. If you are interested in learning more about what structural engineers do and the unique projects they can work on, read on.