Project Description

Structural Engineer

Who are they and what do they actually do? The details of Structural Engineering

Photo credit – eosmay, CC

Structural Engineers are the backbone (pun intended) of those amazing buildings, monuments and any significant structures. Generally, a Structural Engineer will have to study general Civil Engineering, however they can also specialise in Structural Engineering. While the architects get all the credit for their amazing and inspiring designs, they would simply not be possible without Structural Engineers!

Behind any amazing, beautiful or baffling structure is a team of Structural Engineers who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the structure doesn’t fall down (or cause its residents discomfort), but also to maintain the architect or designer’s original vision as best as possible. It is a complex profession and, like many Engineering careers, requires that you combine not only Engineering but also art and design!

Cognitive processes and intelligence methods used: Structural Engineers rely primarily on visual and kinaesthetic methods of processing in their design work.

Skills that are needed to begin in this career path: It requires a combined knowledge of engineering principles and a strong grasp of structural elements and their failure modes. Some Structural Engineers also have a good eye for architectural features. A good base level of CAD skill is needed for Structural Engineers to be able to step into a professional role.

Skills that are developed throughout this career path: Similar to Design Engineers, both the design and Engineering skills need to be combined to create an intuitive feel for the design process. Unlike Design Engineering, there is a much deeper mathematical understanding that is developed by Structural Engineers.

Individual or teamwork: Most Structural Engineers work individually and collaborate within small teams.

Similar Engineering careers:

  • Manufacturing Design Engineering
  • Mining Design Engineering
  • Other Design Engineering fields

Read more about the most relevant disciplines: