Challenges Faced by a Structural Engineer
Structural Engineering is a very mature field yet offers a range of challenges for a structural engineer. There are incentives like delivering improved environmental and economic performance – that face issues that are relevant to wider audiences that are present in various fields of engineering.
A structural engineer faces challenges in formulating the structural systems that too in an industrial environment. This is a combination of chemical, electrical and mechanical processes. The challenges in this are multidisciplinary therefore there is a need for the structural engineer to understand the need of the process to be supported in order to achieve designs that are feasible.
Rules and standards to Designing for a Structural Engineer
When a structural engineer designs a building it is not just the codes, rules and standards that he has to be aware of – his success also depends on knowledge and expertise of items that are used along with designing like specialized equipment and mechanical parts.
For example: a study of seismic design for industrial buildings done by structural engineers is incomplete if they do not have the knowledge that governs the seismic design of non structural parts and structures that are non-built.
Modification or addition of Existing buildings by a Structural engineer
As per common experience the drawings of existing buildings are not available therefore the structural engineer has to go down and take measurements on the field. The biggest challenge for a structural engineer is to test these existing buildings without destroying them to determine their condition.
In case the demand on an existing building is to build something more to add weight to the existing structure – as per the assigned structural engineer a load test has to be performed to determine if the existing building has sufficient strength capacity.
When a structural engineer designs modifications for an existing building he should be aware of the codes of governing bodies so that special care is taken – to avoid in creating a confined space or area within maintenance areas.
The challenge of structural engineer to deal with pre-engineered building
Pre-engineered buildings are favored by structural engineers due to their design limitation and faster construction. The challenge here is that a structural engineer has to gain knowledge of the openings that will be required and the interior clearance details before he even thinks of submitting the fabrication drawings. If this is not done properly it may result in tapered columns. This can cause huge amount of delays in construction.
The limitation or drawback faced by pre-engineered building is that they cannot be modified as per ones own choice due to technical limitations of addition or expansion. A structural engineer has to understand that a pre-engineered buildings are designed so that they adhere to the strength requirements that have been proposed yet not adding additional capacity to it.
The more efficient the structural engineer’s design is the more economic it will be.
Support for Equipment designed by structural engineer
A structural engineer needs inputs from the client and manufacturer for designing support structures and equipment supports. Equipments required for clearance and lifting are also considered important. In a building site every structural engineer has to keep in mind that there should be platforms to be provided so that the requirements for equipment maintenance and monitoring can be accommodated.
Being a structural engineer is a challenging opportunity because there is huge creative thinking process involved due to the limitations faced in their field of work.