Sydney Opera House, Australia

Pictured: The foyer of the Opera Theatre in the eastern wing of the Sydney Opera House, showing the internal structure and steel framing of the glass curtain walls. Sydney, Australia

Structures – list of some of the great structures of the world. Buildings, towers and other amazing structures.

Building – one of the most ancient human skills. It is part of how we have survived . Humans have learned to build in a great many different ways, to suit different needs and local conditions. We build mostly for shelter. Buildings can shelter people, or animals, or machinery, or anything. The simplest building is just a roof, to keep the space beneath dry, or shady. Adding walls gives more shelter, from the wind or rain. It also gives security.

Structural engineer – An engineer with specialized knowledge, training, and experience in the sciences and mathematics relating to analyzing and designing force-resisting systems for buildings and other structures. A structural engineer usually has one of two roles on a building project:

  • performs or supervises the analysis, design, and document preparation for the building structure and has knowledge of the requirements for the load carrying structural system. Responsible for the design of the primary structural system – the completed combination of elements that support the building’s self-weight, the applicable live load which is based upon the occupancy and use of the spaces, and the environmental loads such as wind, seismic, and thermal.
  • responsible for the design, fabrication, and (sometimes) installation of engineered elements such as precast or tilt-up concrete, open web steel joists, pre-engineered cold-formed steel or wood trusses, and metal building systems.
  • precast or tilt-up concrete
  • open web steel joists
  • pre-engineered cold-formed steel or wood trusses
  • metal building systems
  • steel framing of the glass curtain walls

Meet the people in Structural Engineering
A structural engineer is a licensed engineer who is qualified by education, training, and experience to design structures. Everyday examples of structures designed by structural engineers are bridges, beams, columns, and foundations. They are particularly concerned with the design of load-bearing structures, which include buildings, walls (including retaining walls), dams, and tunnels.

  • Christopher J. Selvaggio, PE – I design bridges, retaining walls, and other structures that you see around the city. A typical day might include figuring out how big girders need to be to support a new bridge deck. Some beams can be deeper than 10 feet and over 100 feet long.
  • Alishia Ballard – Civil Engineering (video 2:50) graduated from San Diego State University. After graduating, she has been interning with San Francisco Public Works in their structural engineering section. Structural engineering is a subcategory of civil engineering, and it often involves designing, inspecting and analyzing structures like bridges and buildings.
  • Grace Wright – Studying civil engineering allows me to explore a wide range of careers in engineering that I previously hadn’t thought of, for example surveying and geotechnical engineering. I’ve learnt a wide range of skills that have equipped me for my placement such as basic CAD skills, introduction to Revit [a building package from Autodesk] and concrete and steel beam/column designs.

That’s engineering

  • buttress – architectural structures, usually made of stone or brick, built against walls to add strength or support.

Do It
Challenges for you to work on…

  • Ewok Escape – build a device that will balance an ewok on top of a cart as it travels down a wire. Explore the concepts of center of mass, rigidity, flexibility, and weight distribution as you redesign your device and try to make it as tall as possible.
  • try these activities – Structural engineering with LEGO – tension and compression, brace, loading constraints, building to scale

Learn more…

  • Godden Structural Engineering Slide Library – Most structural systems are illustrated, and throughout the Library certain structures are singled out in each section for more extensive coverage using overall views, views from different angles, and close-ups of details such as boundary supports that have a significant influence on the method of analysis and on the resulting structural behavior.