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Structural engineers analyze, design, plan, and research structural components and
structural system The term structural system or structural frame in structural engineering refers to the load-resisting sub-system of a building or object. The structural system transfers loads through interconnected elements or members. Commonly used structures ...
s to achieve design goals and ensure the safety and comfort of users or occupants. Their work takes account mainly of safety, technical, economic, and environmental concerns, but they may also consider aesthetic and social factors. Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty discipline within
civil engineering Civil engineering is a professional engineering Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to defin ...
, but it can also be studied in its own right. In the United States, most practicing structural engineers are currently licensed as
civil engineer A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering Civil engineering is a Regulation and licensure in engineering, professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and natu ...
s, but the situation varies from state to state. Some states have a separate license for structural engineers which is required to design special or high-risk structures such as schools, hospitals, or skyscrapers. In the United Kingdom, most structural engineers in the building industry are members of the
Institution of Structural Engineers The Institution of Structural Engineers is a professional body for structural engineering Structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering Civil engineering is a Regulation and licensure in engineering, professional engineeri ...
or the
Institution of Civil Engineers The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is an independent professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) seeks to advocacy, further a particular profes ...

Institution of Civil Engineers
. Typical structures designed by a structural engineer include
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a ...

building
s,
towers A tower is a tall structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of ru ...

towers
,
stadia
stadia
and
bridge A bridge is a structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules t ...

bridge
s. Other structures such as
oil rig An oil rig is any kind of apparatus constructed for oil drilling. Kinds of oil rig include: * Drilling rig, an apparatus for on-land oil drilling * Drillship, a floating apparatus for offshore oil drilling * Oil platform, an apparatus for offshore ...

oil rig
s, space
satellite In the context of spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either human spaceflight, with or uncrewed spaceflight, without humans on board. Most spaceflight ...

satellite
s,
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by using either Buoyancy, static lift or by using the Lift (force), dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in ...

aircraft
and
ships A ship is a large watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional propertie ...

ships
may also be designed by a structural engineer. Most structural engineers are employed in the construction industry, however there are also structural engineers in the aerospace, automobile and shipbuilding industries. In the construction industry, they work closely with
architects An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that h ...

architects
,
civil engineer A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering Civil engineering is a Regulation and licensure in engineering, professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and natu ...
s,
mechanical engineers Mechanical engineering is an engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discip ...
,
electrical engineers
electrical engineers
,
quantity surveyor A Quantity Surveyor (QS) is a construction industry professional with expert knowledge on construction costs and contracts. Qualified professional quantity surveyors are known as Chartered Surveyors (Members and Fellows of The Royal Institution o ...
s, and construction managers. Structural engineers ensure that buildings and bridges are built to be strong enough and stable enough to resist all appropriate
structural load A structural load or structural action is a force, Deformation (engineering), deformation, or acceleration applied to Structural engineering#Structural elements, structural elements. A load causes stress (physics), stress, deformation (engineering) ...
s (e.g., gravity, wind, snow, rain, seismic (
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known ...

earthquake
), earth pressure, temperature, and traffic) to prevent or reduce the loss of life or injury. They also design structures to be stiff enough to not deflect or
vibrate
vibrate
beyond acceptable limits. Human comfort is an issue that is regularly considered in the limits.
Fatigue Fatigue describes a state of tiredness that does not resolve with rest or sleep. In general usage, fatigue is synonymous with extreme tiredness or exhaustion that normally follows prolonged physical or mental activity. When it does not resolve ...
is also an important consideration for bridges and aircraft design or for other structures that experience many stress cycles over their lifetimes. Consideration is also given to the durability of materials against possible deterioration which may impair performance over the design lifetime.


Education

The education of structural engineers is usually through a
civil engineering Civil engineering is a professional engineering Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to defin ...
bachelor's degree, and often a master's degree specializing in structural engineering. The fundamental core subjects for structural engineering are
strength of materials The field of strength of materials, also called mechanics of materials, typically refers to various methods of calculating the stresses and strains in structural members, such as beams, columns, and shafts. The methods employed to predict the re ...
or
solid mechanics Solid mechanics, also known as mechanics of solids, is the branch of continuum mechanics that studies the behavior of solid materials, especially their motion and deformation (mechanics), deformation under the action of forces, temperature change ...
,
Structural Analysis Structural analysis is the determination of the effects of load Load or LOAD may refer to: Aeronautics and transportation *Load factor (aeronautics), the ratio of the lift of an aircraft to its weight *Passenger load factor, the ratio of reve ...
-Static & Dynamic,
material science The Interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary field of materials science, also commonly termed materials science and engineering, covers the design and discovery of new materials, particularly solids. The intellectual origins of materials science ste ...
and
numerical analysis Numerical analysis is the study of algorithms that use numerical approximation (as opposed to symbolic computation, symbolic manipulations) for the problems of mathematical analysis (as distinguished from discrete mathematics). Numerical analysis ...
.
Reinforced concrete Reinforced concrete (RC), also called reinforced cement concrete (RCC), is a composite material in which concrete's relatively low ultimate tensile strength, tensile strength and ductility are compensated for by the inclusion of reinforcement h ...
, composite structure,
timber Lumber, also known as timber, is wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...

timber
,
masonry Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps betwe ...

masonry
and
structural steel Structural steel is a category of steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, ...
designs are the general
structural design Structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering in which structural engineers are trained to design the 'bones and muscles' that create the form and shape of man-made structures. Structural engineers also must understand and calcu ...
courses that will be introduced in the next level of the education of structural engineering. The
structural analysis Structural analysis is the determination of the effects of load Load or LOAD may refer to: Aeronautics and transportation *Load factor (aeronautics), the ratio of the lift of an aircraft to its weight *Passenger load factor, the ratio of rev ...
courses which include
structural mechanics Image:Caterham7spaceframe-front.jpg, 220px, Tubular frame used in a competition car Structural engineering, Structural mechanics or Mechanics of structures is the computation of deformation (engineering), deformations, Deflection (engineering), defl ...
,
structural dynamicsStructural dynamics is a type of structural analysis Structural analysis is the determination of the effects of loads on physical structures and their components. Structures subject to this type of analysis Analysis is the process of breaki ...
and
structural failure Structural integrity and failure is an aspect of engineering that deals with the ability of a structure to support a designed structural load (weight, force, etc.) without breaking and includes the study of past structural failures in order to ...

structural failure
analysis are designed to build up the fundamental analysis skills and theories for structural engineering students. At the senior year level or in graduate programs,
prestressed concrete Prestressed concrete is a form of concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substan ...

prestressed concrete
design,
space frame In architecture and structural engineering, a space frame or space structure (3D truss) is a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometry, geometric pattern. Space frames can be used to span large ar ...

space frame
design for building and aircraft, bridge engineering, civil and aerospace structure rehabilitation and other advanced structural engineering specializations are usually introduced. Recently in the United States, there have been discussions in the structural engineering community about the knowledge base of structural engineering graduates. Some have called for a master's degree to be the minimum standard for professional licensing as a civil engineer. There are separate structural engineering undergraduate degrees at the
University of California, San Diego The University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego or, colloquially, UCSD) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in San Diego, California. Established in 1960 near the pre-existing Scripps Inst ...
and the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Geodesy, Sofia, Bulgaria. Many students who later become structural engineers major in civil, mechanical, or aerospace engineering degree programs, with an emphasis on
structural engineering Structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering Civil engineering is a professional engineering Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety ...
.
Architectural engineering Architectural engineering, also known as building engineering or architecture engineering, is an engineering discipline Discipline is action ACTION is a bus operator in Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Australia. Found ...
programs do offer structural emphases and are often in combined academic departments with civil engineering.


Licensing or chartered status

In the United States, persons practicing structural engineering must be licensed in each state in which they practice. Licensure may usually be obtained by the same qualifications as for a Civil Engineer, but some states require licensure specifically for structural engineering, with experience specific and non-concurrent with experience claimed for another engineering profession. The qualifications for licensure typically include a specified minimum level of practicing experience, as well as the successful completion of a nationally administered exam, and possibly a state-specific exam. For instance, California requires that candidates pass a national exam, written by the
National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is an American non-profit organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors. The Council’s members are the engineering and surveying lice ...
(NCEES), as well as a state-specific exam which includes a
seismic Seismology (; from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ( ...

seismic
portion and a
surveying Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art, and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land survey ...

surveying
portion. Most states do not have a separate structural engineering license. In Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, there is an additional license or authority for Structural Engineering, obtained after the engineer has obtained a Civil Engineering license and practiced an additional amount of time with the Civil Engineering license. The scope of what may be designed by a Structural Engineer but not by a Civil Engineer without the S.E. license is very limited in Alaska, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington and is reserved entirely to S.E. licensees in Hawaii and Illinois. The
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
has one of the oldest professional institutions for structural engineers, the
Institution of Structural Engineers The Institution of Structural Engineers is a professional body for structural engineering Structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering Civil engineering is a Regulation and licensure in engineering, professional engineeri ...
. Founded as the Concrete Institute in 1908, it was renamed the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) in 1922. It now has 22,000 members with branches in 32 countries. The IStructE is one of several UK professional bodies empowered to grant the title of
Chartered Engineer Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to define the licensure process through which an engineer bec ...
; its members are granted the title of Chartered Structural Engineer. The overall process to become chartered begins after graduation from a UK
MEng Meng may refer to: * Meng (surname) (孟), a Chinese surname * Master of Engineering (MEng or M.Eng.), an academic or professional master's degree in the field of engineering * , "M with hook", letter used in the International Phonetic Alphabet ** ...
degree, or a
BEng A Bachelor of Engineering (abbreviated as B.E., B.Eng. or B.A.I. in Latin form) is a first professional undergraduate Undergraduate education ieducationconducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically inclu ...
with an MSc degree. To qualify as a chartered structural engineer, a graduate needs to go through four years of
Initial Professional Development Professional development is learning to earn or maintain professional credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, attending conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice. It has been described as intensive an ...
followed by a professional review interview. After passing the interview, the candidate sits an eight-hour professional review examination. The election to chartered membership (MIStructE) depends on the examination result. The candidate can register at the
Engineering Council UK The Engineering Council (formerly Engineering Council UK; colloquially known as EngC) is the UK's regulatory authority A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has d ...
as a Chartered Structural Engineer once he or she has been elected as a Chartered Member. Legally it is not necessary to be a member of the IStructE when working on structures in the UK, however, industry practice, insurance, and liabilities dictate that an appropriately qualified engineer be responsible for such work. In the United States, application for license exam is allowed four years after the candidate graduated from an ABET-accredited university and passing the fundamentals of Engineering exam, three years after receiving a master's degree, or two years after receiving a Ph.D. degree.


Career and Remuneration

A 2010 survey of professionals occupying jobs in the
construction industry Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Pre ...
showed that structural engineers in the UK earn an average wage of £35,009. The salary of structural engineers varies from sector to sector within the construction and
built environment In urban planning, architecture and civil engineering, the term built environment, or built world, refers to the human impact on the environment, human-made environment that provides the setting for human behavior, human activity, including Home, ...
industry worldwide, depending on the project. For example, structural engineers working in public sector projects earn on average £37,083 per annum compared to the £43,947 average earned by those in commercial projects. Certain regions also represent higher average salaries, with structural engineers in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
in all sectors, and of every level of experience, earning £45,083, compared to UK and EU countries where the average is £35,164.


See also

*
Architects An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that h ...

Architects
*
Architectural engineering Architectural engineering, also known as building engineering or architecture engineering, is an engineering discipline Discipline is action ACTION is a bus operator in Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Australia. Found ...
*
Building officials Building officials of developed countries are generally the jurisdictional administrator of building and construction codes, engineering calculation supervision, permits, facilities management, and accepted construction procedures. Qualifications I ...
*
Civil engineering Civil engineering is a professional engineering Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to defin ...
*
Earthquake engineering Earthquake engineering is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other ...
*
List of structural engineers This is a list of Wikipedia:Notability, notable structural engineers, people who were trained in or practised structural engineering and who are notable enough for a Wikipedia article. See also architect and lists of engineers. {{compact ToC, sid ...
* List of structural engineering companies *
Structural engineering Structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering Civil engineering is a professional engineering Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety ...
*
Structural failure Structural integrity and failure is an aspect of engineering that deals with the ability of a structure to support a designed structural load (weight, force, etc.) without breaking and includes the study of past structural failures in order to ...

Structural failure


References

National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (www.ncsea.com) American Society for Civil Engineers
Forensic Engineers Houston,Texas, Florida, LA. Call: (832) 548-3972
About Structural Engineering
Structural Engineer North Wales , Blue Sky Consulting Engineers


External links


A day in the life of a structural engineerIABSE (International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering)
• NGT

{{DEFAULTSORT:Structural Engineer Structural engineers, • NGT

Building engineering• NGT

] Engineering occupations