What inspired you to become a structural engineer?
I’ve always wanted to design buildings since I was young. They looked impressive and I wanted to be able to design and to be able to touch them. I started out in architecture but then switched to structural engineering as I loved math and physics. I’ve been a structural engineer since I graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Cornell University.
How would you define structural engineering?
Some people would say that the structural engineer is the person who makes the building stand up, but we do a whole lot more than that.
The structural engineer designs the skeleton or framework of a building to safely withstand forces from gravity, wind, earthquakes, temperature changes and blasts. We do this economically, with constructability, robustness, and safety built into the design. The structure should be good looking as well.
Without structural engineering, the built world as we know it would not exist. The structural engineer designs all the buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure that we use every day; from our homes, to our roads and bridges, to our offices, museums, hospitals, schools, airports etc.
SawTeen at the site of Merdeka 118, under construction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Merdeka 118 under construction
The curving AIG footbridge in Hong Kong
NASCAR Hall of Fame and Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA (image by Paul Warchol)
Skylight in the atrium of Bellevue Hospital, New York
The 555m Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea (Image by Lotte Group)
The Bank of China, Hong Kong
The Shanghai World Financial Center (image by Mori Building)