Structural engineering is a branch of learning within the of civil engineering sector that concentrate on the model of structures, and establishing developmental blueprint for the structures to be firmly rooted against pressures and physical forces from the surrounding environment while maintaining the highest level of safety, stability, and protection within projected lifeline. It’s the duty of structural engineers to design and establish quality assurance of these structures.
Structural engineering are into various specializations, including:
- Structural building engineering - This area of structural engineering deals with the design of buildings and can be said to work hand-in-hand with architecture. This area of structural engineering manipulates resources and scopes the fundamental scientific and mathematical concepts to attain results in compliance with functional requirements and safety standards. Structural building engineering focuses on: Earthquake engineering, Roof engineering, Fire engineering, Façade engineering, Tower engineering, and Wind engineering.
- Civil structural engineering - this area of structural engineering focuses on building environmental structures such as road, Bridges, Pipelines, Dams, waterways, tunnels etc. The role of the structural engineer here is leading other designers on achieving planned structures and the safety of the structure is at uppermost concern.
- Mechanical structural engineering - This type of structural engineers design and develop mechanical structures such as Cars, trains, bikes etc, applying the principles of mechanical structures to achieve result.
- Aerospace structural engineering - this involves the design and development of structures that travels through the atmosphere and outer space as seen the aviation, missiles, satellites and spacecraft. The structures here are mostly made up of thin plates with stiffeners designed for the external surfaces, while frames and bulkheads are to provide support for the shape, the components are held together by various fasteners.
BENEFITS OF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING
The safety of different structures that are used for different purposes should be of utmost concern, thus structural engineering provides the need analysis, design, development, and quality assurance for these structures. Structural engineering takes cognizance of all details and conditions in which structures are built, considering all associated factors while providing technical insight on the structure. It is the work of the structural engineer to expertly solve these problems, meet challenges and provide creative and technical solutions, through:
- Critical analysis of blueprints, project reports, as well as other geological data;
- Define scope of the structure and determine the cost and appropriate materials, tools and labor;
- Regular inspection of project to observe progress and make sure that the development of structural project is in accordance with the designed specifications;
TOOLS AND MATERIALS
A number of tools and materials are essentially in structural engineering:
- Columns - columns are components that carry only axial force, compression, or axial force and bending together.
- Beams - A beam is a component with one dimension a lot greater than the other two.
- Others include - Trusses, Plates, Shells, Arches, Catenaries
- Materials - Iron, Alloy, Masonry, Timber, Aluminium, Composite materials, Adobe, Carbon fibre, Mudbrick.