Structural Engineering is a specialty within Civil Engineering. Structural Engineers create drawings and specifications, perform calculations, review the work of other engineers, write reports and evaluations, and observe construction sites. In other words, structural engineers make sure that buildings don’t fall down and bridges don’t collapse. Structural engineering is among the oldest types of engineering, dating back to the first instance of tree branches being lashed together with vines to make a shelter. Throughout recorded history, people have been designing and building increasingly larger and more sophisticated structures, from primitive huts to the International Space Station.
Structural engineers are primarily concerned with the safety and stability of structures that they design. Structural analysis is the main tool that structural engineers use to ensure that a structure can withstand the various types of forces that it will encounter during its normal operation. A structural designer must ensure that the train station they are building won’t collapse when snow collects on its rooftops in the winter.