What Every Structural Engineer Needs to Know!

#1

Here is a basic list of things every structural engineer needs to know. Please feel free to add to this list!

  1. Know the standard of care for your practice in your area. In broad terms, the standard of care is that level of service ordinarily provided by other competent members of our profession, providing similar services in the same locale and under the same or similar circumstances.

  2. Know the methods of analysis appropriate to the problem or design

  3. Understand and follow the load path

  4. Know and understand the application of codes and standards to each problem, task or design

  5. Know and understand the properties and limitations of the materials you are analyzing or designing. Many structural engineers do not understand concrete beyond its compressive strength. Each material has unique properties, limitations and application. Know the differences and how to incorporate them into your analysis or design.

  6. Know your own limitations and when to ask for help.

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pinned #2
#3
  1. Educate yourself on the power you do have, and the power you do not. Extracting your foot from your mouth can be painful.

  2. Fully understand and practice the engineers’ code of ethics for your state. You can make or break your professional reputation.

  3. Repeat and emphasize #6.

  4. Being a Structural Engineer implies responsibility for safety, even when you are not being paid for it.

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#4

Mike…good points, thanks! Ron

#5

Sorry for the delayed response… dealing with some personal issues at home. Engineering is easy, it the people problems I have difficulty with.

11. Try to be aware of areas of liability, where you can.  Some areas are latent.  The profession is becoming more and more litigious.
12. Repeat and emphasize #5.  I’ve often encountered problems where there is no ‘clear cut’ solution and it is a matter of understanding materials as well as first principles.
13. Try to keep as current as possible with most areas of technology.
14. Be aware of alternative methods of analysis and design and know which are more appropriate.
15. Always maintain your integrity.

Dik

#6

Thanks, Dik. Excellent points.

#7

If the formatting could be fixed…

Dik

#8

I’ll see what can be done with that…

split this topic #9

2 posts were split to a new topic: 3, 4 or 5 Matting?

#10

It’s the format of the text… still wonky

Dik

#11

Dik’s points unwonked:

  1. Try to be aware of areas of liability, where you can. Some areas are latent. The profession is becoming more and more litigious.
  2. Repeat and emphasize #5. I’ve often encountered problems where there is no ‘clear cut’ solution and it is a matter of understanding materials as well as first principles.
  3. Try to keep as current as possible with most areas of technology.
  4. Be aware of alternative methods of analysis and design and know which are more appropriate.
  5. Always maintain your integrity.
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#12

Thanks…

Dik

#13
  1. There is not always a hard, well defined line that separates structural engineering from other engineering disciplines. Have at least a working knowledge of other fields. Examples:

Civil: Buried / Submerged Structures
Chemical: Containment of Acidic or Caustic Chemicals
Electrical: Cabletrays & Ductbanks
Geotechnical: Piling
Mechanical: Pipe Hangers

#14

SRE:
Done all those as well as Switch Yards, Dead End Structures and Transformer Yards.

Dik