What is Structural engineer – Structure Design Software

What is Structural Engineer ?

Structural engineers analyze, design, plan, and research structural components and structural systems to achieve design goals and ensure the safety and comfort of users or occupants. Their work takes account mainly of safety, technical, economic and environmental concerns, but they may also consider aesthetic and social factors.

Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty discipline within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right. In the United States, most practicing structural engineers are currently licensed as civil engineers, but the situation varies from state to state. Some states have a separate license for structural engineers which is required to design special or high risk structures such as schools, hospitals, or skyscrapers.In the United Kingdom, most structural engineers in the building industry are members of the Institution of Structural Engineers rather than the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Typical structures designed by a structural engineer include buildings, towers, stadia and bridges. Other structures such as oil rigs, space satellites, aircraft and ships may also be designed by a structural engineer.Most structural engineers are employed in the construction industry, however there are also structural engineers in the aerospace, automobile and shipbuilding industries. In the construction industry, they work closely with architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, and construction managers.

Structural engineers ensure that buildings and bridges are built to be strong enough and stable enough to resist all appropriate structural loads (e.g., gravity, wind, snow, rain, seismic (earthquake), earth pressure, temperature, and traffic) in order to prevent or reduce loss of life or injury. They also design structures to be stiff enough to not deflect or vibrate beyond acceptable limits. Human comfort is an issue that is regularly considered in the limits. Fatigue is also an important consideration for bridges and for aircraft design or for other structures which experience a large number of stress cycles over their lifetimes. Consideration is also given to durability of materials against possible deterioration which may impair performance over the design lifetime.

Structural design is a systematic and iterative process that involves:

1) Identification of intended use and occupancy of a structure – by owner

2) Development of architectural plans and layout – by architect

3) Identification of structural framework – by engineer

4) Estimation of structural loads depending on use and occupancy

5) Analysis of the structure to determine member and connection design forces

6) Design of structural members and connections

7) Verification of design

8) Fabrication & Erection – by steel fabricator and contractor

9) Inspection and Approval – by state building official

Structure Design and analysis Software 

Structural Engineers use many software depending on the purpose.

What is Structural engineer
What is Structural engineer

STAAD Pro:  STAAD Pro is one of the most widely used structural analysis and design software. It supports several steel, concrete and timber design codes.

SAP2000 :  Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) is a structural and earthquake engineering software company founded in 1975 and based in Walnut Creek, California with additional office location in New York.The structural analysis and design software CSI produce include SAP2000, CSiBridge, ETABS, SAFE, PERFORM-3D, and CSiCOL.

ETABS: It is an integrated software package for the structural analysis and design of buildings

Revit Structure and Architecture  for Building Information Modelling including features for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering, and construction.

MATLAB  is used by structural engineers for analyzing structural and foundation problems using series of arrays. Mathematical simulation is done.

I would recommend (separating the software that I think you should learn into specific knowledge areas) the following:

-CAD → AutoCAD (2D & 3D)
-BIM → Revit and ArchiCAD
-Structural Analysis –> SAP2000, Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis

-Steel structures (BIM and detailing) → TEKLA

-General FEA → Z88, ANSYS, COMSOL
-Civil Engineering/Surveying → Autodesk Civil 3D
-Microsoft Office
-Programming: Learning a programming language is also useful (e.g. Python, MATLAB, C++).

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