Structural engineer work activities

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Structural engineer work activities

Tasks may vary depending on the structure being worked on and size of the team, but can include:
  • analysing configurations of the basic structural components of a building or other structure;
  • calculating the pressures, stresses and strains that each component, such as a beam or lintel, will experience from other parts of the structure due to human use or environmental pressures such as weather or earthquakes;
  • considering the strength of various materials, e.g. timber, concrete, steel and brick, to see how their inclusion may necessitate a change of structural design;
  • liaising with other designers, including architects, to agree on safe designs and their fit with the aesthetic concept of the construction;
  • examining structures at risk of collapse and advising how to improve their structural integrity, such as recommending removal or repair of defective parts or rebuilding the entire structure;
  • making drawings, specifications and computer models of structures for building contractors;
  • working with geotechnical engineers to investigate ground conditions and analyse results of soil sample and in situ tests;
  • liaising with construction contractors to ensure that newly erected buildings are structurally sound;
  • applying expert knowledge of the forces that act on various structures;
  • using computers and computer-aided design (CAD) technology for simulation purposes.

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