Structural engineering.


Large man-made objects ranging from vehicles to cranes and furniture to medical equipment all require the input of structural engineers in order to ascertain their safety and reliability.

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Structural engineers are involved in every stage of realization of a structure, playing a key role in design and construction teams. They work together with architects along with other professions to create conceptual designs and ascertain that the structure to be built is both stable and durable. The structures built should be stiff enough to not deflect beyond acceptable limits through vibrations, and also be able to stable and strong enough to resist all structural loads like wind, gravity, rain, snow and seismic earthquakes. By using structural analysis, structural engineers understand the effects of loads or stresses as caused by gravity, the users of structures, and the various climatic and ground conditions around the world. Structural loads are external forces which are capable of compromising a structure.

Another important aspect of a structural engineer’s work is choosing the right materials for building a structure. The material for construction may be steel, reinforced concrete or steel-concrete. The choice of material is influenced by the function of the structure, intended time of use, and environmental impact of using the material. There are some structures constructed for a limited period of use, for instance, off-shore platforms built to facilitate exploration beyond the shores and have to be demolished once the explorations are complete. Such structures have to be strong enough to withstand water, yet be affordable during demolition.

Structural engineering also accommodates fun in the learning and practicing stage. During training, engineers should travel and visit interesting structures or construction sites, and consciously see and analyze such structures (Milne, 2010).

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