Structural engineering

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Structural engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the design of any structural system(s), the purpose of which is to support and resist various loads.

Most commonly, structural engineers are involved in the design of buildings and nonbuilding structures, but also play an essential role in designing machinery where structural integrity of the design item is a matter of safety and reliability. Large man-made objects—everything from furniture to medical equipment and from vehicles (trucks, aircraft, spacecraft and watercraft) to cranes—require the input of a structural engineer.

In building construction, the structural engineering field is a subset of civil engineering. In a practical sense, structural engineering is largely the application of Newtonian mechanics to the design of structural elements and systems that support buildings, bridges, walls (including retaining walls), dams, tunnels, etc.

Structural engineers ensure that their designs satisfy a given design intent predicated on safety (i.e. structures do not collapse without due warning) and on serviceability (i.e. floor vibration and building sway do not result in occupants criteria discomfort). In addition, structural engineers are responsible for making efficient use of funds and materials to achieve these goals. Typically, entry-level structural engineers may design simple beams, columns, and floors of a new building, including calculating the loads on each member and the load capacity of various building materials (steel, timber, masonry, concrete). An experienced engineer would tend to render more difficult structures, considering physics of moisture, heat and energy inside the building components.

In the United States, the structural engineering field is often subdivided into bridge engineering and structural engineering for buildings. Additionally, structural engineers often further specialize into special structure manufacture or construction, such as pipeline engineering or industrial structures.

Structural loads on structures are generally classified as: live loads such as the weight of occupants and furniture in a building, the forces of wind or weights of water, the forces due to seismic activity such as an earthquake, dead loads including the weight of the structure itself and all major architectural components and live roof loads such as material and manpower loading the structure during construction. Structural engineers mainly fight against the forces of nature like winds, earthquakes and tsunamis. In recent years, however, reinforcing structures against sabotage has taken on increased importance.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notable Structural Engineers

[edit] External links

ja:構造力学 ko:구조역학 pt:Engenharia estrutural zh:结构工程学

Structural engineering

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