What does a structural engineer do?

The Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, the London Underground, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Taipei 101 all have one thing in common – a structural engineer turned them from an idea into a reality.

Structural engineering is part of the broader field of civil engineering. It ensures that the ‘bones’ of a structure can confidently stand up to the stresses placed on them over time. Structural engineers work on everything from houses to office blocks, malls, hospitals, bridges, and more. 

Simply put, they’re in charge of stability, and carefully calculate the load and stress that the foundations, floors, beams and walls can stand. With computer modelling simulations, structural engineers determine how structures will respond to general wear and tear, increased height and weight, extreme weather, flooding and earth tremors. 

They then design the plans and blueprints for structures, and work closely with architects to combine form and function. They’re also deeply involved in choosing the materials or bones of the structure, and supervise construction to ensure that the building’s structural integrity remains intact.

Making sure that each project they work on meets strict environmental, legal, and health and safety standards is one of a structural engineer’s greatest responsibilities.

More ‘boring’ parts of their jobs include preparing cost estimates, obtaining construction permission from the relevant authorities and submitting progress reports.

They will work wherever construction takes place – from large, bustling cities to remote rural settings – and typically split their time between the office and building site. Construction companies, utilities, government departments and engineering consulting firms all require the expertise of structural engineers to manage, advise on and oversee projects from residential homes to breathtaking structures like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Millau Viaduct in France.

Looking for a structural engineering partner? 

Lithon offers multi-disciplinary consulting engineering for a wide range of projects. Our accomplished team of structural engineers and technicians holds a successful track record for conceptualising, designing, detailing and analysing innovative steel and concrete structures. If you’d like to discuss how we can partner with you to bring your next project to life, get in touch with us today on info@lithon.com.