Structural Steel Design


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Structural Steel Design is a specific category of Structural Design. When it's been decided that the framework of a building is to be made of steel, the Structural Engineers designs this in conjunction with the Architect. The Structural Steel Designer produces design calculations to prove that the structure will cope with the normal loadings that are anticipated during the life of the building, as well as those that can be expected during extreme events, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and fire. The Structural Steel Designer develops drawings that are in turn used by the Steel Detailer to make workshop drawings for use by the Steel Fabricator.

Structural Engineers also design tall buildings, bridges, wharves, dams, towers, sports stadia and exhibition centres in concrete and sometimes timber. The work requires the application of proven structural theory, as well as local building codes.

The Structural Engineer administers each project contract, from the preparation of the tender documents to the production of design documentation - the drawings and specifications - and also ensures that that the actual construction work is performed in accordance with the contract and to acceptable standards.

Invariably the Structural Engineer engages in Project Management, taking responsibility for design teams who will work in a variety of disciplines.

Structural Engineers are often required to provide asset management services, reporting on the condition of structures and their proper maintenance. They also give advice on the safety of structures, which can be compromised by corrosion and concrete cancer.


The preferred High School subjects are Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry.

Training to acquire a Bachelor of Engineering degree takes four years. Other qualifications include the Diploma in Engineering and the Bachelor of Engineering Technology degree.

Chartered Professional Engineer status conferred following suitable work experience, the candidate having demonstrated to peers the necessary skills and judgement.