Author: Li Zhi Cao
1. We help the clients idea become a reality
Structural engineers are responsible for engineering design and structural analysis. While entry-level structural engineers may just design simple elements of a structure, more experienced engineers are responsible for the structural design and integrity of an entire system, such as a building or bridge. When designing a building, first the architect must come up with the building layout. Afterwards, it is the structural engineer’s responsibility to calculate the loads, decide what structural system to use, and what materials to use. From there, engineers select beams and columns to create the buildings support system. This analysis is necessary to ensure that the architects design can hold up to the rigors of every day use. Engineers gives the go ahead that a project needs before construction can begin. From houses to shopping malls to skyscrapers, structural engineers see their client’s ideas and design come to life.
2. We make the world a safer place
Structural engineering has existed since humans first started to construct their own structures. Since then, it has become a more defined and formalized profession, going back to the industrial revolution in the late 19th century. With the development of knowledge of structural theories and materials that emerged during the 19th and early 20th centuries, the profession of structural engineers came into existence. Since then, the safety standards have continually increased and improved to the point that now, the design for a building must ensure the building can stand up and function against a variety of factors, including fatigue and the elements. A structural engineer’s responsibility is to ensure public health, safety, and welfare of those inside and out of their buildings.
3. We build structures that can last a lifetime
On average, most building or structures will last for about 50 years. Steel or concrete bridges and high-rise building will last between 50 and 100 years. Monumental structures like temples, mosques, and churches have lasted for thousands of years. The Colosseum in Rome, Italy was built nearly 2000 years ago. The Pyramids of Giza, the monumental tombs of Pharaoh’s were constructed some 4500 years ago, and are still standing to this day. Engineers have an opportunity to truly leave their mark on the world.
4. Structural analysis is actually fun
The role of a structural engineer today involves a ton of work doing structural modeling and analysis. We build the model first, then apply static of dynamic loading onto the model. Structural analysis is a key part of the engineering design of structures. If you like it, it is extremely rewarding when you analyze, design, and see your baby (the structure) constructed.