What is a Structural Engineer?

Nov 22, 2020 | Structural services | 0 comments

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Do you wonder how buildings remain intact? Why do the natural stresses from the environment not cause buildings to collapse? How is it possible that a large skyscraper does not collapse under its own weight? Well, structural engineers are responsible for answering those questions before a building is made. In fact, structural engineers play a key role in structural design of those buildings.

What is Structural Engineering?

Structural engineering is a specialty within civil engineering. It focuses on the framework of structures, designing structures to withstand the environment, and how to keep those structures stable. Simply put, structural engineers are responsible for ensuring that building and bridges do not collapse.

Remember when humans constructed huts from sticks and leaves? Well, that is an early use of structural engineering and one which has consistently developed with time. Without that development, modern structures like the Parthenon, ancient aqueducts of Rome, or the International Space Station would not exist.

What do Structural Engineers do?

Now that we know what structural engineering is, let’s talk about what structural engineers do. Structural engineers work alongside civil engineers and architects on a construction team. They are primarily concerned with structures being able to withstand environmental conditions.

For instance, a house constructed in Canada cannot be built in the same manner as a house in Texas. The house in Canada needs to have a roof capable of bearing the heavy weight of snow, since that is an expected condition. It must also be constructed with materials that can withstand extreme temperatures, torrential downpour, and intense winds. These are factors which may seem obvious, but they do require a professional level of planning.

Structural engineers can be involved in many distinct aspects of a project. They can design roof framing, floor framing, arches, columns, braces, frames, foundations, and walls. Additionally, the designed structures need to be protected from gravity, earthquakes, high winds, water, soil, collisions, and blast explosions.

How Knowledgeable are Structural Engineers?

Before anyone rushes to the conclusion of being able to carry out the job of a structural engineer, let’s discuss what is required as knowledge. Critical skills needed by a fully competent structural engineer include an in-depth understand of physics and mathematics. They need to know the properties of various materials, such as density, hardness, tensile strength, etc.

Calculations behind how varied materials will perform under stresses like compressions, tension, bending, and twisting are needed for designing structures too. However, structural engineers need to also take longevity into account when performing these calculations. Since all structures inevitably age, ensuring that materials will stable well into the future is also a key requirement.

Still not sure about what is meant by structural engineering consultation services? Feel free to click this article and learn more about it!

If you need a structural engineer, call Sabio Engineering Services at (929) 381-0300 or visit our website.

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