Types of Engineers
Breathtaking Designs Depend On Them
It’s thanks to structural engineers that our skyscrapers, tunnels, bridges, dams—really anything that’s built—all stand up tall and strong and safe, and last a good long time. Structural engineers look at the smallest building elements—arches, beam, columns, trusses, shells, and the like—and make sure they’re put together correctly to satisfy the needs of whatever they’re designing.
If it’s breathtaking, hair-raising, or cliff-hanging, a structural engineer has no doubt been involved. Think cool. Very cool. The Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, London’s Millennium Dome, the St. Louis Arch are all triumphs of structural engineering.
Yes, they’re artists with a capital A, but structural engineers are also problem solvers and they’re always pushing the boundaries to bring us the new and super-helpful: the tallest, most intricate skyscrapers… a pedestrian bridge that rises like a wave to let people continue their walk across the river as a ship passes underneath… a historic building renovated with new materials…emergency housing quickly built after a flood or other natural disaster.
Also think extreme engineering. Structural engineers can design the near impossible: tall towers that will be just fine if an earthquake hits…energy turbines that function in rough waters…cliff-hanging houses that are stable and safe…elaborate stages for rock stars that can be struck and reset in a flash at the next venue…viaduct bridges that span deep canyons to get us where we’re going faster and more securely.
Interested in structural engineering?
Check out this video:
Building as Flower
Straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Higher and Higher Go the Skyscrapers
Structural and civil engineers work together to create spans over water and over land, going for the most elegant and safest possible structure. Strong supports, strong spans, and a strong visual are the basics—and it’s amazing how many different varieties engineers come up with.