What is Structural Engineering?
Structural Engineering is concerned with the research, planning, design, construction, inspection, monitoring, maintenance, rehabilitation and demolition of permanent and temporary structures, as well as structural systems and their components. It also considers the technical, economic, environmental, aesthetic and social aspects of structures.
Structures can include buildings, bridges, in-ground structures, footings, frameworks and space frames, including those for motor vehicles, space vehicles, ships, aeroplanes and cranes. They can be composed of any structural material including composites and novel materials.
Structural engineering is a creative profession that makes a significant contribution to infrastructure and industry, as well as residential and recreational developments.
Structural engineers carry out strength calculations and prepare drawings of structures to ensure they are strong enough to avoid collapse when loaded. The most common structures dealt with are buildings and bridges. Tunnels, walls to hold back earth embankments, large tanks and silos, and mining structures also form part of a structural engineer's work.
Specialist areas include oil drilling platforms and associated infrastructure, shipbuilding and aircraft design.
Structural engineers generally work in teams and look at the way a structure is to be built. They ensure buildings are strong enough to withstand natural forces and loads imposed by the nature of its use. Through research and the testing of both form and material, new solutions are developed which promote safer, more environmentally friendly buildings and structures.
Some structural engineers work in the design of structures (carrying out the strength calculations and supervising drawings), others specialise in the building of structures and some work in research.
Structural engineers commonly work with architects, builders, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineers to ensure that all parts of the structure are safe and capable of fulfilling their intended function. They also make sure structures use appropriate materials efficiently.
About the Structural College
The Structural College is one of nine responsible for the learned society activities of Engineers Australia. The Structural College policy is managed by the Structural College Board.
History of the Structural College
In April 1995, the Council agreed to the formation of the College of Structural Engineers. This College was born from the need for separate representation outside the Civil College.
The Structural College consolidated its position and by 2000 had increased its membership to over 1,100. The College Board was actively overseeing the membership review process and had been involved in auditing the CPD.
A number of distinguished engineers were made Emeritus members of the College during this year and evaluation of candidates for the prestigious John Connell Medal and RN Chapman Medal took place. The Structural College was looking forward to a strong entry into the new millennium with the ASEC Conference held at the Gold Coast in May 2001.
2001 also saw the first Eminent Speaker Tour conducted by Professor Ian Gilbert and the publication of the first issue of the Australian Journal of Structural Engineering (AJSE). Both of these elements of the College are still important parts of the College program. The Structural College is known throughout Engineers Australia for its benchmarking success when conducting Eminent Speaker Tours.
To date the membership of the College has grown to over 7,000, continues to rise and includes members in rural and remote (regional) areas of Australia. Members work in a range of diverse industries such as design, planning, construction, inspection and rehabilitation.
The Structural College is at the peak of Engineers Australia’s learned society with other colleges and is held in high regard within the Australian community, often being asked for expert commentary or opinions on issues of structural significance.
It has been effective in setting discipline standards for professional engineers. It is innovative in providing guidance on CPD related deliveries to both capital and regional areas and continues to embrace the highest standards of education for its members.
The College encourages Chartered practice and the Graduate Development program amongst its members. This is a program which provides mentoring by members of the Structural College and senior structural engineers.
The College currently has a Board of ten members and is extremely active in pursuing tasks and actions to aid value to its membership.
Structural engineering groups
- Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) - UK
- IStrucE and Engineers Australia MRA
- Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) - USA
- Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) - NZ
- International Association of Bridge & Structural Engineering (IABSE)
- Australian Steel Institute (ASI)
- Concrete Institute of Australia (CIA)
- Timber Promotion Council (TPC)
Structural College Awards
To join the College you need relevant experience in research, planning, design, construction, inspection, monitoring, maintenance, rehabilitation or demolition of permanent or temporary structures and structural systems and their components. You also need to know about the associated technical, economic, environmental, aesthetic and social aspects.
Admission to the College allows you to take part in Engineers Australia's Graduate Development Program. The program provides mentoring from members of the Structural College and senior structural engineers. Experienced structural engineers are encouraged to apply.
For any enquiries regarding the Structural College please contact:
Learned Society Advisor
11 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600
To contact Member Services please call 1300 653 113