Structural engineer

What they do

Structural engineers research, plan, design and monitor the construction, maintenance, renovation or demolition of the framework of buildings, stadiums, bridges and tunnels to ensure they are strong, durable, and safe. They take into account all structural loads when planning, such as predicted pedestrian and road traffic, and natural forces such as wind, rain, earthquakes, and cyclones to ensure the overall stability of the structure. Structural engineers usually work as part of a team with architects, builders, and other engineers to create a safe and sturdy structure.

Working conditions

A structural engineer usually works from an office during the design phase, although some time may be spent on site to determine planning. During the construction phase, structural engineers may be based on building sites, where they may have to wear personal protective equipment.

Structural engineers usually work for design and consultancy firms around Western Australia. They can also work as consultants to assist in the safe demolition of buildings, or assess damage to structures in emergencies and natural disasters.

Tools and technologies

Structural engineers use drawing and measuring instruments and materials, as well as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and structural engineering software packages (such as SpaceGass and StrucPLUS). They must also analyse building plans and construction materials against a range of building standards and codes to ensure that a finished structure complies with the law and will be strong enough to stand on its own and withstand all weather conditions.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a structural engineer you usually need to study a degree in engineering, majoring in civil engineering. You may need to complete further postgraduate study to specialise in structural engineering.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.