Structural engineering/Introduction

EYE Film Institute Netherlands in Amsterdam, Netherlands, opened in April 2012.

Introduction to Structural Engineering edit

Let's review some of the definitions given by structural engineers about this sacred profession.

The Institution of Structural Engineers[1] says:

Structural engineering is the science and art of designing and making, with economy and elegance, buildings, bridges, frameworks and other similar structures so that they can safely resist the forces to which they may be subjected.

Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

Another popular description amongst engineers is:[2]

Structural engineering is the art of molding materials we don’t wholly understand, into shapes we can’t fully analyze, so as to withstand forces we can’t really assess, in such a way that the community at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.


File:Yas Marina Hotel by Rob Alter.jpg
Yas Viceroy Hotel and Yas Marina F1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE, opened in 2009.

The College of Structural Engineering of Engineers Australia provides a brief description of structural engineering:[3]

Structural Engineering is concerned with the research, planning, design, construction, inspection, monitoring, maintenance, rehabilitation and demolition of permanent and temporary structures, as well as structural systems and their components. It also considers the technical, economic, environmental, aesthetic and social aspects of structures.
Structures can include buildings, bridges, in-ground structures, footings, frameworks and space frames, including those for motor vehicles, space vehicles, ships, aeroplanes and cranes. They can be composed of any structural material including composites and novel materials.
Structural engineering is a creative profession that makes a significant contribution to infrastructure, industry, as well as residential and recreational developments.
Structural engineers carry out strength calculations and prepare drawings of structures to ensure they are strong enough to avoid collapse when loaded. The most common structures dealt with are buildings and bridges, but tunnels, walls to hold back earth embankments, large tanks and silos as well as mining structures, also form part of a structural engineer's work. Specialist areas include oil drilling platforms and associated infrastructure, shipbuilding and aircraft design.
Structural engineers generally work in teams and look at the way a structure is to be built. They ensure buildings are strong enough to withstand natural forces and loads imposed by the nature of its use. Through research and the testing of both form and material, new solutions are developed which promote safer, more environmentally friendly buildings and structures.
Some structural engineers work in the design of structures (carrying out the strength calculations and supervising drawings), others specialise in the building of structures and some work in research. Structural engineers commonly work with architects, builders, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers to ensure that all parts of the structure are safe and capable of fulfilling their intended function. They also make sure structures use appropriate materials efficiently.

Pre-requisites edit

International bachelor degree qualification in Civil Engineering with strong background in relevant structural engineering subjects.

Course Content edit

  • Reinforced Concrete Design
  • Structural Steel Design
  • Structural Timber Design
  • Advanced Solid Mechanics
  • Structural Analysis 1: Static Methods
  • Structural Analysis 2: Plasticity in Structures
  • Structural Analysis 2: Dynamics of Strutures
  • Wind Engineering
  • Earthquake Engineering
  • Analysis and Design of Buildings
  • Computer Aided Analysis and Design

Reference edit

  1. Institution of Structural Engineers. "Strutural Engineering". Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  2. Institution of Structural Engineers. "Strutural Engineering". Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  3. Engineers Australia, College of Structural Engineering. "What is Structural Engineering". Retrieved 31 August 2012.