Structural Engineering

From Wikipedia, Structural engineering is a field of engineering dealing with the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads. Structural engineering is usually considered a speciality within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right.

Millau Viaduct
The Millau Viaduct in France

Structural engineers work in firms designing bridges to skyscrapers, oil rigs to parade floats, and everything in between. If the civil engineering field was to be broken down fluid mechanics would be the blood, transportation the skin, geotech the muscle, and structural the bones.

A variety of structural materials and engineering methods exist and are presented in this section. The purpose of this section is to aid both structural engineers, and those studying to become one, in understanding both basic, intermediate, and advanced concepts in the world of engineering.

The legacy of the structural engineer is to learn through their mistakes. Major code changes occur after large earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and hurricanes. Structural engineering is a reactionary field.

An example of this is after the Northridge earthquake in California it was found that the connections of moment frames had failed during the quake and fractures could be found in the connections. In reaction to this many organizations (ASCE, SEAOC, AISC) did testing to find out the problem and construct a solution which could be found in the most recent codes (ASCE 7-05, AISC 13th edition). Therefore the structural engineering field is constantly changing and adapting to meat these new problems and challenges.

Materials of Note:

Structural Engineers work with a variety of materials including:

Famous Structural Engineers include:

  • Imhotep - Noted for designing and constructing the great pyramids. A feat that to this day is still debated as to how it was completed.
  • Gustave Eiffel - It may be hard to guess what he is know for.
  • Joesph Strauss et al. - designers and builders of the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Stephen Timoshenko - arguably, the father of engineering mechanics, engineering scientist
  • John Roebling - designed the Brooklyn Bridge, civil engineer

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