The Institution of Structural Engineers The Institution of Structural Engineers
What is a structural engineer?

What is a structural engineer?

Date published

Structural engineers are highly skilled, creative professionals who design the strength and stability of our buildings and bridges.

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.


A designer

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.


A safety expert

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.


A problem solver

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.

Watch: What is structural engineering?

Our Youtube video has 180,000 views and counting!

It's a great summary of the amazing range of work done by structural engineers.

Explore our training, events and resources to support you throughout your career and membership journey.