December 13, 2019

What Kinds of Projects do Structural Engineers Work On?

Ultimately, structural engineering is a very important and valuable form of engineering as it ensures that our homes, buildings, bridges, and other structures are built safely and securely. When you hire an engineer, they can provide a variety of services to oversee the planning, construction, and ongoing support of a wide variety of real estate and infrastructure projects.

A half built house

For anyone that has an interest and aptitude in math and science and want to have a job where they will make a real-life impact on the world, becoming an engineer would be a great career path. One field of engineering that will always be high in demand due to the valued service that it provides is structural engineering.

At a high level, a structural engineer is responsible for ensuring that buildings, bridges, and other structures have the appropriate structure in place to withstand all of the weight, weather, and other stressors that will be placed on it. In particular, there are a wide variety of different types of projects that a structural engineer could be tasked with working on.

New Construction

One of the biggest and most common jobs that a structural engineer will have is assisting in the development of a new building. Most specifically, an engineer will be responsible for determining whether or not the building will be properly supported by a proposed foundation and structure. A structural engineer will reach this conclusion by assessing a wide variety of different factors including the soil type in the area, the weight of the building and improvements, the strength of the proposed foundation, and weather patterns.

The structural engineers are often brought in during the early stages of a project to properly design this foundation and structure. In many cases, an engineer is also involved in the redevelopment or improvement of a property. If a property is being redeveloped, which would add weight, a new foundation assessment will be necessary. Structural engineers are also commonly hired to fix the foundation of any property that is having structural issues.

Bridge Construction

Similar to when they are assisting in the development of a new building, structural engineering professionals will also help with the development and construction of bridges. Due to the substantial weight that they can carry, the development of a new bridge requires a thorough analysis by a structural engineer. This report will be used to develop the foundation for a bridge and will require a unique analysis based on the different stressors that impact the support of a bridge.

City Infrastructure

A structural engineer could also be involved in the development of some larger city infrastructure projects. Along with civil engineers, structural engineers will analyze the plans for the development of major roadways, highways, tunnels, and other projects taken on by local communities. They will be able to assess the viability of the plan to ensure that it is able to withstand the weather, traffic volume, and other factors that add stress to any type of roadway.

Community Development Impact Analysis

Another type of project that can come with a structural engineering background is the focus on analyzing how certain community development projects could impact the structures in the area. Community development is a big part of the advancement of any city. This can include adding a new road, redirecting public water, or expanding a local waterway.

While all of these projects could have a positive impact on the community, their impact could also affect the structure of the buildings in the area. A structural engineer will be able to deeply assess the changes proposed to determine whether it will have a material impact on the land. If so, this could impact the structural integrity of any project in the area, which will be addressed in the findings provided by an engineer.

Project Site Inspections

While structural engineering can help to identify whether there are any structural concerns with a building’s plan, the ultimate sufficiency of the structure is only good if the work is done the right way. Depending on the scope of the project, a structural engineer may be tasked with going onsite to a job site to monitor the development of the foundation. They will then be able to confirm how this ties to the building plans to make sure that it is in compliance with building code and requirements, which will give assurances that it is being built safely.

Ultimately, structural engineering is a very important and valuable form of engineering as it ensures that our homes, buildings, bridges, and other structures are built safely and securely. When you hire an engineer, they can provide a variety of services to oversee the planning, construction, and ongoing support of a wide variety of real estate and infrastructure projects.

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