Structural engineering is needed for the construction of any man-made structure. It is a specialized subset of civil engineering. Architects, building owners, contractors and developers can work directly with structural engineers on a wide variety of projects in the architecture and engineering profession.
To become an engineer, one must an accredited course for civil engineering. Upon completion, a more specialized course is required to become a structural engineer. This advanced education is required because civil engineering only encompasses more large-scale work such as roads, dams, or water diversion projects. Structural engineers, however, will deal with more intricate projects that can densely enclose hundreds or thousands of people. The safety requirements are much more involved, thus requiring further specialization.
Structural engineers must be licensed to practice engineering in the state in which they work. They must also maintain their credentials every 2 years and attend courses or lectures to continue their education throughout their career. Like any other professional in the construction community, they must follow uphold the safety and welfare of the public.
The job of a structural engineer is to ensure that a constructed component of any weight will be supported, suspended, and braced against the elements. Some of these elements could be rain, snow, wind, vibration, existing buildings, or excavation. Depending on the location, an engineer may also be required to include seismic considerations into a project. And if a project requires specifics in safety such as a federal facility, engineering will be required for blast protection.
Structurally engineered solutions can be required no matter what the type of built environment. Just as an elevated highway can be complicated to design, suspending a building's floor level above another to maintain acoustic separation can be a completely different type of engineering. Structural engineering needs can range from a simple hand railing to a space shuttle launch pad.
Engineering has become more critical than ever as innovation has allowed for more technical and elaborate building designs. New problems have presented themselves that no one has seen before and engineering solutions. Wind and solar energy equipment often force engineers to find new ways to apply new solutions to structures or buildings. New water management solutions are required as rainfall has become more torrential and infrequent in some areas. No matter what is needed, a structural engineer will provide the necessary calculations and factors of safety to ensure anything that is built will meet code requirements, standards of care, and stand the test of time.
For more information, contact structural engineering services.