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The Structural Engineer

column14The Structural Engineer is a professional man or woman who is involved with the design and supervision of the construction of all kinds of structures, including: houses; theatres; sports stadium; hospitals; bridges; schools; office blocks; shops; oil rigs.

In contributing to the design and construction of many of these structures the Structural Engineer plays a vital role in improving the quality of our environment and providing better living standards for all.

Because construction is a team effort, a Structural Engineer will usually work with other professionals such as architects, quantity surveyors, builders, contractors, management consultants, financial specialists and engineers of other disciplines. The specialists skills required of the Structural Engineer will include calculating loads and stresses, investigating the strength of foundations and analysing the behaviour of beams and columns in steel, concrete or timber to ensure the structure has the strength required to perform its function safely, economically and with a shape and appearance that is visually satisfying.

column24Like structures themselves, structural engineering is constantly advancing. More and more use is being made of sophisticated design processes involving advanced techniques based upon the operation of computers and other aids of modern science. To undertake all these tasks the Structural Engineer must be creative, able to communicate effectively, have an understanding of the work of other professionals, work well in a team and be at the forefront of engineering knowledge and technology. The education and training given to Structural Engineers is designed to develop these skills and lead to professional qualifications and professional status.

Whether in industrial organisations, contracting, the service of central or local government, teaching and research, or private consultancy, the Structural Engineer’s place of work can range from a design office to on-site construction. Demand for their specialist skills opens up many exciting professional opportunities both at home and abroad.