The Role of Structural Engineers in the Construction Industry

The modern era has recognized the importance of structural engineers in the construction process. It is mainly concerned with the integrity of buildings and large structures such as bridges and tunnels in terms of design and physical strength.  They are responsible for the assurance of safety and durability of structures they are building. They are also duty-bound to find possible solutions to technical problems should these arise in the process of construction.


The nature of their job requires structural engineers to work both in the office and out in the field. In fact, many of them divide their time to be able to attend to these responsibilities. As professionals, their strengths lie in the following subjects:


1. Physics, Problem Solving and Three-Dimensional Conceptual Skills


This enables structural engineers to apply principles of physics and mechanics in the construction of safe and sustainable buildings.


2. Design


Structural engineers are primarily responsible for the design of structures and the calculation of loads and stresses the structure can withstand safely. They should equip themselves with the ability to factor in varying qualities and strengths of different materials used in different areas of the construction process.


3. Survey


This is a necessary task that should be conducted even before the actual construction work begins. It involves the participation of structural engineers because they need to conduct a survey and investigation of the site to determine if the location is suitable for the project.


4. Communication


As they are involved in almost all phases of the construction process, structural engineers need to coordinate with other professionals who work on the project. This includes civil engineers, architects, environmental scientists, and landscaping professionals. Additionally, structural engineers may also be required to assist representatives of government agencies that have regulatory authority over the project.


5. Management


Structural engineers manage and supervise a number of skilled professionals that are involved in the design, construction and control of materials needed for the project. Management skills can help them a lot for a smooth and systematic flow of work so that target dates are met and costs are minimized without compromising quality.


The construction of buildings and other structures can involve millions worth of materials and dozens of skilled workers. It is important for project owners to find a reliable provider of structural engineering services to ensure the integrity of the building in all phases of the construction project.


image credit: igorovsyannykov (

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