Structural engineering, a claim to fame inside the field of Civil Engineering, centers around the system behavior of structures. It is a field of engineering managing the analysis and design of structures to resist various loads coming on to the structure during its expected life. The best thing about Structural Engineering is that it provides an option to perceive what one has done.
What does a Structural Engineer do?
Structural Engineers are responsible for conducting a “Load Transfer Analysis” for loads, stresses and moments perpetrated through self weights, live loads due to human use and ecological conditions. Subsequently, they design the dimensions considering the safety aspects and structural adequacy, decide on construction material and supervise the work. They are supposed to guarantee the durability parameters and also, structural adequacy in case of extreme events like cyclones and earthquakes. The structural engineer incorporates calculated structural design, materials engineering, engineering graphics, software based design and structural analysis at elemental level. Since the 1990s, expert programming has opened up to help in the design of structures, with the usefulness to aid the drawing, analysing and designing of structures with most extreme exactness; models incorporate AutoCAD, StaadPro, ETABS, Prokon, Revit Structure and so forth. Such programming may likewise think about natural loads, for example, from tremors and winds.
Structural Engineering vs Architectural Engineering
While an architect plans the layout and elevation but it’s the Structural Engineer who can only make his imagination a reality. Architects work intimately with the property/real estate developer to design room plans and direct the general appearance and functionality of the structure. The structural specialist does the calculations to work out whether it is structurally practical and feasible to construct.
Courses in Structural Engineering
To become a structural engineer, one needs a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. After a Bachelor’s degree, one can take up Specialization in Structural Engineering which is offered under M.Tech in Civil Engineering. This will help students enhance their skills and career opportunities as well.
Course structure includes following topics: Project Planning & Control, Construction Methods & Equipment, Construction Materials lab, Construction Economics and Finance, and Advanced Construction Technology among others.
Career and Future Scope in Structural Engineering
The job content also involves a lot of liaison with architects, deciding on the location, size and detailing of structural elements. Monitoring the construction site taking into consideration the phases, safety, environmental and heritage factors which may affect the design parameters also is done by a structural designer. One can join engineering services in the public sector, multinational infrastructure development and construction companies or have one’s own freelancing structural consultancy. This profession gives ample satiating opportunities to strike a balance between personal and societal growth. It is an indispensable discipline for the welfare of mankind constituting one leg of the tripod food, clothing and shelter.
A structural Engineer plays a pivotal role in both pre-disaster and post disaster management of infrastructure and housing. Their charter includes assessing and retrofitting existing structures which have either experienced a tremor or change of usage like an added structural component or an entire storey. Reviving the heritage structures with age-old structural systems and construction materials is a also contemporary arena with immense scope. The challenge is to retrofit the structure and its façade while retaining its heritage value.
Top Recruiters of Structural Engineers
- The Stellar Group of Companies
- Larsen & Tourbo
- Reliance Infrastructure
- Jindal Steel & Power Ltd
- Ashoka Buildcon
- PNB Housing Finance
- Vishwa Infrastructure