Errol Seemungal from Trinidad and Tobago is a structural technician with expertise in the computer-aided design of structures. He has been a Technician Member of The Institution since 2009. Here he discusses how Technician Membership has helped his career.
I started my career as a draftsman in 1990, working through to my current position as a civil and structural technician: my role involves the use of computer aided design programmes and BIM software like Autodesk: AutoCAD, Civil 3D and Revit (in which I’m a qualified instructor), producing structural and civil engineering drawings. I also perform inspections of work sites - ensuring compliance with designs and a good quality of workmanship.
I work with structural engineers on a daily basis, producing conceptual engineering design drawings with preliminary member sizing and connection / rebar detailing to complement the engineer’s calculations.
I work on all kinds of projects including residential houses, apartment buildings, and multi storey commercial buildings, designing structural steel, reinforced concrete and shear walls – plus other projects like drilling platforms, and even the refurbishment of a 3000 tonne cruise ship.
Being a member of the Institution is one of the proudest achievements of my career. I first heard about the IStructE from a Fellow of the Institution, Mr Anthony Farrell, who saw that I had all the necessary experience to meet the requirements for membership. He strongly encouraged me to become a member, and as it was convenient and easy to join, I signed up – becoming one of the first ever members in the Caribbean.
One of the great things about Technician Membership is that I have been motivated to learn much more about structural engineering – I have met a lot of engineers through Institution events and gained a lot of knowledge just by listening to professionals discuss the projects that they have worked on.
I have also managed to attend a few seminars and workshops hosted by IStructE and the knowledge gained is priceless: even though I am not an engineer, I am now able to better understand the engineer’s perspective, which makes my job easier and more enjoyable. The Structural Engineer
magazine has also been a very good source for developing my knowledge and keeping up to date with technical developments.
I would encourage anyone in my area of expertise to pursue the TIStructE grade of membership: it’s easy to join, opens up unique access to learning about structural engineers and their work, and helps you do your own job more efficiently.
There’s also a huge sense of accomplishment. Technician Membership brings more recognition from your peers, as you have attained a qualification equivalent to a technician diploma or higher – I only have O Levels otherwise - and also impresses your employer about your commitment to and enthusiasm for your work, which may help your prospects at work. I’d recommend Technician Membership to anyone seeking to broaden their horizons both in terms of careers and knowledge building.
Learn more about Technician Membership