Digital engineering

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It has never been more important for structural engineers to be competent in the use of digital tools and demonstrate an awareness of the potential risks and opportunities digital systems can bring.

The influence of the digital world is increasing its impact on those involved with the built environment, whilst our capability to exploit data to inform designs and push the boundaries of what is possible is at the heart of structural engineering.

As our ability to monitor, record, extract and extrapolate information on the performance of our structures continues to improve there is a growing need to better understand how best to use the information. 

The use of big data and AI tools are emerging challenges for the industry. It is the ability to understand and manipulate information with computational tools which may transform the role of structural engineers. 

An increasingly online world requires robust digital security to mitigate potential infiltration of digital systems and the harm that could be caused to our infrastructure, whether it be financial damage, intellectual property infringement, criminal activity or terrorism. 

Featured events and resources

Blue abstract blocks

The ACORN, the SQUIRREL and the OAK

The poster of the 2021 Coolest Concrete Award winner, Robin Oval, Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Cambridge.

Date – 7 February 2022
Author – Robin Oval
Price – Free
Guidance
<h4>Computational engineering</h4>

Computational engineering

Providing comprehensive guidance on: design (including parametric design), modelling (and its problems), analysis, optimisation, AI and machine learning, and the future of engineering software.

Date – 22 October 2020
Author – Peter Debney
Price – £34.95
Report
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Vision-based monitoring data to inform new assessment techniques for tunnelling-induced damage

The executive summary from a 2020 Research Award winning project.

Date – 7 February 2022
Author – Sinan Acikgoz, Harvey Burd, Burcu Gulen, Yiyan Liu, Michael Devriendt, Ben Gilson, Deniz Dalgic, Alper Ilki, Muhammet Marasli
Price – Free
Guidance
<h4>LOD and LOI Tool</h4>

LOD and LOI Tool

Use this tool to help you determine the structural information requirements and level of detail required for your projects.

Date – 11 August 2021
Author – IStructE BIM Panel
Price – 0
Training
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AI and the structural engineer

Peter Debney explores Artificial Intelligence and how it can help structural engineers. 

Date – 21 July 2021
Author – Peter Debney
Price – Free

Digital engineering resources and events

Course
A image of a person holding a digital pen sketching on a Pad device.

Digital sketching for engineers

This interactive course, delivered as three two-hour sessions, provides a comprehensive foundation in digital sketching for Windows and OS system users.

Date – 19 September 2024
Location – Online
Price – £295 - £445 + VAT
Course
looking upwards surrounded by tall buildings

Design and analysis of tall buildings

This popular one-day, online course offers guidance on the design, stability, safety and performance of tall buildings.

Date – 9 September 2024
Location – Online
Price – £295 - £445 + VAT
Course
An image from a 2017 lecture showing computational design of a structure

Using computational design in practice

This practical, two-day, online course introduces engineers to various computational design methods and systems.

Date – 19 June 2024
Location – Online
Price – £515 - £765 + VAT
Course
A computer model of a walkway in Geneva

Understanding structural design

This two-day course extends the principles developed in the Understanding structural behaviour course. It covers more complex real structures and failures; and the important skills of approximate analysis for checking computational output and member sizing.

Date – 4 June 2024
Location – Online
Price – £515 - £765 + VAT
Course
steel roof

Eurocode 3: structural steelwork design

This course provides an introduction to structural steelwork design to Eurocode 3 for building design.

Date – 23 May 2024
Location – Online
Price – £295 - £445 + VAT
Webinar
<h4>How to streamline your structural analysis (sponsored content)</h4>

How to streamline your structural analysis (sponsored content)

This webinar, sponsored by Graitec, explores Advance Design, a globally recognized FEM software, uniquely blending user-friendliness, BIM integration, sustainability emphasis, and comprehensive capabilities to revolutionize structural analysis.

Date – 26 March 2024
Location – Online
Price – Free
Webinar
Rear view of male architect photographing construction site through digital tablet

Analysis and strengthening of concrete structures 1950 - 1985: building modelling

This webinar examines historical building modelling methods and how to utilise modern computer-aided analysis to assess the structural behaviour of existing concrete buildings.

Date – 12 March 2024
Location – Online
Price – £45 - £70 + VAT
Training
Cityscape against cloudy sky, with a park in front of it.

Lean design and structural innovation

This lecture explores lean structural design, how to challenge a brief to reduce embodied carbon, and low-carbon structural innovation.

Date – 20 October 2023
Author – Ryan Daniell & Oscar White
Price – Free
Training
The image shows a presenter pointing at a whiteboard whilst looking at an audience around a table. The image is overlapped by a blue layer containing app-like symbols hinting at digital tools. Copyrig

Achieving material and economic efficiency through digital optimisation

This webinar on digital optimisation showcases strategies to optimise designs and explores how to apply available techniques to achieve material and cost savings.

Date – 19 September 2023
Author – Various
Price – £45 - £70 + VAT
Blog
The image shows a presenter pointing at a whiteboard whilst looking at an audience around a table. The image is overlapped by a blue layer containing app-like symbols hinting at digital tools. Copyrig

Optimisation in structural engineering: enhancing efficiency and performance

Ashley Kacha, Senior Engineer at the Institution, explores the diverse applications of optimisation techniques in structural engineering for smarter designs and better outcomes.

Date – 1 September 2023
Author – Ashley Kacha
Price – Free
Training
The image shows a presenter pointing at a whiteboard whilst looking at an audience around a table. The image is overlapped by a blue layer containing app-like symbols hinting at digital tools. Copyrig

Managing digital workflows for optimisation

This webinar focuses on the opportunities for business benefits, improved quality and increased performance generated by implementing efficient digital workflows in your practice.

Date – 14 June 2023
Price – £45 - £70 + VAT
Training
A digitally created city landscape with construction sites is shown against a blue backdrop.

The power of digital sketching

This talk demonstrates the designing potential of sketching using digital software, and how the practice is innovating the industry.

Date – 17 May 2023
Author – Various
Price – Free
Blog
DALL-E image of a robot sitting at a desk

Can you trust your AI assistant?

As the field of engineering continues to evolve, new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and language models are becoming increasingly important tools for structural engineers. AI and language models can provide many benefits to structural engineers, but they also come with potential risks that must be considered.

Date – 17 April 2023
Author – Ashley Kacha
Training
The photo of a wooden, round-shaped building in a woody settings with women on top i shown next to the image of a metallic structure against a blue sky and an indoor setting with an unfocused woman sh

Engineering computational design in the democratisation of building

This technical lecture explores how emerging technologies are changing the engineering design landscape, resulting in a democratisation of the building process.

Date – 7 March 2023
Author – Stephen Melville
Price – Free
Blog
3D image of a building in brand colours

The built environment: sustainability from the outset

The built environment contributes significantly to the climate crisis. Susan Mantle, Technical Director at Heyne Tillett Steel, discusses five ways Structural Engineers can reduce carbon emissions - embodied carbon in particular - right from the very start of their projects.

Date – 2 March 2023
Author – Susan Mantle
Price – Free