How would you define structural engineering?
Structural engineering is that part of engineering that allows any structure (hospitals, offices, houses, bridges, etc) to stand safely. Structural engineering is everywhere. It’s our home and our workplace. It’s the factories where our cars are made and energy is produced. It’s our hospitals, schools, cinemas, train stations and airports.
Who should become a structural engineer?
When I was a student, I thought that structural engineering was only about numbers and calculations. Of course technical skills are very important, but so is the ability to communicate with others (architects, services engineers, builders, etc) as well as taking the time to go on site looking at how things are built and how we can make it easier and safer for workers.
Ultimately, as a structural engineer, you should always ask yourself ‘how does it work?’, ‘how do I make it work?’, ‘is there a better way to solve this problem?’. Answering these questions on a daily basis is what defines you as a structural engineer.
And you can answer these questions only if you have an all-around understanding of what you’re trying to build, how is going to be built and used, what functionalities it requires. And you will often work very closely with other parties (architects, service engineers, builder specialists, etc,) to find the best solution to these questions.
What does Chartered Membership mean to you?
I worked towards IStructE Chartered Membership because it progresses my career and is recognised worldwide, opening up better working opportunities abroad.