Structural engineers help create record-breaking structures, beautiful structures, useful structures and sometimes just cool structures - anything from bridges, rollercoasters and skyscrapers to hospitals, homes and public artworks.
They work as part of a team alongside architects, builders and other engineers.
They make sure the building works well in practice, depending on what it is used for: for example, a dance floor shouldn’t vibrate too much when people jump up and down on it.
Structural engineers design buildings so they’re strong enough to support the loads on them (like people and equipment) and stable against elements like wind.
They usually design buildings to last for fifty years, and bridges for over a century, so their structures are used and enjoyed by thousands, or even millions of people.
Structural engineers make sure all our buildings and infrastructure are safe to use. For instance, they study how to stop buildings from falling down during earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
Structural engineers use many skills to solve problems – from basic maths to cutting-edge technology.
They work to design sustainable structures: that is buildings that are larger and longer, but use less material and require less maintenance.
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Shaping the urban environment Structural engineers shape our world with their mastery of materials and design (image: Suzhou Dajia double bridges, Suzhou, China - 2018 Structural Awards shortlist.
Credit: Shanghai Co-Base Structural Steel co.,ltd
Enabling future technology Engineering excellence allows structures to be built for extreme conditions, creating potential new energy sources (image: Meygen Phase 1A Tidal Turbine, Scotland - 2017 Structural Award winner)
Credit: Robert Bird Group
Creating amazing spaces Engineers help realise architectural visions, pushing the boundaries of what is possible (image: Victoria and Albert Museum, London - 2018 Structural Award winner)
Credit: Hufton & Crow
Making the old new again Engineers help rejuvenate old structures safely and beautifully (image: King's Cross gasholders, London - 2018 Structural Awards shortlist)
Credit: Ove Arup and Partners
Building super-tall Engineering ingenuity allows the construction of skyscrapers even in zones prone to earthquakes and hurricanes (image: Tencent Seafront Towers, Nanshan District, People’s Republic of China - 2018 Structural Awards shortlist)
Credit: Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., LTD
Making connections Many of our members are bridge designers, connecting communities and improving access in elegant, interesting ways (image: Geneva Mobile Walkway - 2017 Structural Award winner)
Credit: Gabriele Guscetti|Etienne Bouleau|Jérôme Pochat
Designing strength Structural engineers design the framework of buildings, based on their highly skilled mastery of materials and loading effects (image: Leadenhall Building, London - 2017 Structural Awards shortlist)
Sheltering from the elements Many of our most striking roof designs are feats of structural engineering, spanning farther with less material (image: San Mames stadium, Bilbao, Spain - 2017 Structural Awards winner)