What does a career in structural engineering involve?
Structural engineering is an important branch of civil engineering in the construction sector. Structural engineers design the framework that holds a building or structure together, so it is strong enough and flexible enough to withstand the stresses and strains put on it over its lifetime.
Structural engineers work on many construction projects such as new offices and apartment blocks, sports arenas, bridges, dams and tunnels.
Their work involves meeting clients and developing design plans and investigating the properties of materials, such glass, steel and concrete, and advising on which may be most suitable for the project.
They have to work out the loads and stresses on different parts of a structure, such as foundations, beams, arches and walls.
Another part of their work is to inspect unsafe structures and recommend options for repairs or demolition.
What personal skills do you need?
You need to be good at maths, IT and mechanics, with excellent problem solving skills and a thorough knowledge of construction methods, health and safety and legal regulations.
Communication skills are needed for explaining design plans to clients. You also need good project and time management skills for meeting deadlines. You must be able to work out budgets and work as part of a team, to travel and work in all weathers. …