Student Contribution: Anjushree Saha, Final year student (M.Tech. in Structural Engineering), Adamas University
Structural engineering is the field of engineering that deals with the structural integrity and strength of a building or structure. Structural engineering is a specialty of civil engineering that ensures the structures are safe, stable and don’t collapse under applied loads. It is mainly focused on analysis and design of the structure.
Analysis of the structure
- Careful analysis of the wind speed that can carry structural loads and the overall capacity and utility of the building also provides information.
- Analysis of the structure according to the principles of structural engineering will make sure that the structure depends on all the necessary design codes.
Design of the structure
- Structures have to be designed so that they can withstand their own weight as well as the loads and pressures that will be placed upon them.
- Structural engineers take steps crucial information about the foundations, roof types, load types, beams, columns, material quality, retaining walls etc.
Responsibilities of a structural engineer
A structural engineer also plays a major role as a team among other professionals like surveyor, quantity surveyor, and architects engineers.
The following tasks must be performed by a structural engineer:
- Design models of structures using software.
- Assessing the reaction of structures to pressures and stress.
- Finalizing the appropriate concrete materials that would be suitable for the structure.
- Assessing budget of the project.
- Liaising to ensure that newly erected buildings are structurally sound with construction contractors.
- Using computers and computer-aided design technology for simulation purposes.
Skills required to become a Structural Engineer
It’s necessary for every structural engineer to possess the following skills:
- Analytical skills
- Detailed orientation
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Knowledge of CAD software application like ETABS, SAFE, STAAD Pro, PROKON, RAVIT, ROBOT etc.
- Excellent computer skills
- Knowledge of construction management
- Familiarity with codes and regulations specific with the industry
- Up-to-date technical skills
Role of Structural Engineering in building design & sustainable development
- Urbanization, buildings, and civil infrastructure are most important of the world for any economy. Require lots of natural resources and energy required for their construction, operation, maintenance and deterioration.
- Structural engineers play an important role in the efficient design, construction and execution of a building. At the beginning of construction projects in collaboration with structural engineers, architects, owners and construction managers, architects decide on the effectiveness, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of concepts. As the project progressed to the design stage, structural engineers produced the first set of executive design documents.
- Structural engineers have traditionally not identified themselves with environmental sustainability. Growing concerns for the natural environment, the rise of smart cities, and the growing importance of sustainability and energy efficiency are driving the demand for structural engineers.
- Building construction consumes natural resources, potable water and energy. Secondly, the construction process also contributes to 30% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Thus, a sustainable environment is not achievable without contribution of the building & construction sector, especially the structural engineering domain.
- The renewable energy department is a great leading factor. The concept of sustainability is gaining popularity these days and it is clearly increasing the applicability in the energy sector.
Thus overall, the career & job prospects of structural engineers are very bright in the coming future days.
In a concluding remark, Structural Engineers are best suitable in Design Engineers as well as Project Engineers and Site Engineers. Also anyone can flourish career in research and teaching. If you are focused and passionate, you can lead a bright career.
Blog Written By : Bidhan Ghosh (Assistant Professor Department of Civil Engineering, Adamas University)
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