Structural Engineering: the job where you build up your dreams

Structural engineering is attracting more and more attention from ambitious students out there. And no wonder. It is one of those industries that allows you to get a real sense of achievement as soon as your project is finished. Being a structural engineer, you see your dream properly built up. Brick by brick. Project by project.

If you’re searching for reasons to pursue structural engineering as your career, David Knight has the strongest ones at hand. Being a structural engineer with engineering consultancy group COWI, David has helped design amazing projects around the world, therefore he knows a thing or two about dreaming big.

Our ideas become reality.

With structural engineering, success and performance will be noticed straightaway once a skyscraper, a bridge or a house is built up. It is a rush to touch something that you imagined and designed, knowing that your skills were instrumental in bringing it into being. We’re involved in creating record-breaking structures, beautiful structures, useful structures and sometimes just cool structures. It’s really rewarding work.

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Our work lasts a long time.

The work structural engineers do has an incredible, long-lasting impact. We design buildings to last for 50 years, and bridges for over a hundred years' time, so our structures will be used and enjoyed by thousands of people long after we’ve gone. We also breathe new life into old structures – renovating or changing the use of buildings that were designed decades ago and turning them to completely new purposes. It’s about adding life to what used to be once just a dream, a plan on a paper.

We make the world safer.

Structural engineers make sure all our buildings and infrastructure are safe to use. We also help society address the biggest problems, from climate change to disaster relief. We build bridges, to help bring communities in developing nations out of isolation. We study how to make buildings stand up during earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. We help improve the way we build, minimising the impact construction has on our planet, and work to make the best use of limited resources.

We solve problems.

Structural engineers use many skills – from basic mathematical tools, through to physics, cutting-edge technology, and communication. I spend my days talking (in meetings, emails, and site visits), drawing (in pencil or on a computer), thinking and calculating. I meet hundreds of people in my job, and need to work collaboratively with them to make a success of our project. Most of all structural engineers are the problem solvers in design teams, designing solutions to the challenges construction projects knock together.

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We are respected professionals.

Structural engineering is not easy, but it rewards hard work. We are widely respected by other construction professionals for our skills, which are a vital part of unlocking the potential of a project, overcoming its challenges, and most of all, ensuring that it is safe.

The power and influence that structural engineering has is significant in so many aspects of life. It is not just an industry where you analyse results of soil samples or play around with timber, concrete or steel. Structural engineering is where you build up the world surrounding us all. It’s responsibility and innovation, in every sense of the word. And now, if we’ve piqued your curiosity, don’t stop here: find out more info about structural engineering and learn everything about how to work your way towards it. How about getting a degree in engineering in the UK?

 

Special thanks to David Knight for providing us with this article. David is a member of The Institution of Structural Engineers, who has added breath-taking projects to his portfolio over the years. Among them, we mention the Philippine Arena in Manilla, the West Kowloon Terminus building in Hong Kong and the Greenwich Reach Swing Bridge in London. 

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