Discussion Thread

  • 1.  Career in Structural Design

    Posted 04-25-2019 04:39 PM


    I am Rabi Kumar Verma. I am pursuing a B.Tech in civil engineering from Integral University. I would like to pursue a career in structural design. What can I do to prepare myself for a career in structural design?

    Rabi Kumar Verma S.M.ASCE
    918707 278379

  • 2.  RE: Career in Structural Design

    Posted 04-26-2019 09:28 AM
    Get involved with drafting and detailing now in class and in the workforce.  There is a great demand for good detailers.  It will teach you how to put structures together.  Any engineer can size a beam, but connecting the members is the hardest part of design.

    Chad Morrison P.E.,M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI
    (401)231-4870 EXT 2207

  • 3.  RE: Career in Structural Design

    Posted 04-26-2019 10:43 AM
    Hi Rabi,

    My advice is as follows:

    1. Get an internship with a contractor that erects concrete and steel structures while finishing your degree.  You'll gain exposure to the final product and see which designs were practical and which ones weren't.  Contractors have there faults and will always complain about engineers (unfairly in some cases) but they are the ones who actually build the designs and it is invaluable experience.  I've noticed that every engineer who has a background working on the contractor side of things has a leg up on those who never worked on that side of the business.  Disclaimer on this, make sure your career makes its way to a design firm early because that's where you will gain the invaluable technical experience.

    2. Excel in the classes you take at the university; I remember people in my university saying "this course isn't necessary, etc, etc" and that's the completely wrong attitude.  Structural engineers have to contend with complex designs and your training on these must have a solid foundation at the theoretical stage.  You will become a good structural engineer with experience, but you will not excel without that foundation.

    3. Get a masters degree in structural engineering and make sure you excel in the following classes: finite element, structural dynamics, & foundation design.  Finite element is how all structural engineering software works, if you have a good foundation in that subject you will do well with the software we use every day.  Structural dynamics is important to understand for, amongst many others, seismic, tall building, & equipment support design. Though the geotechnical engineers often provide parameters of soils, it is the structural engineer who has to perform the design, a good background in geotechnical engineering and foundation design will make you an effective structural engineer. 

    4.  When you choose a firm, look at the type of work they perform.  If you like tall building or tunneling, or bridge design look for firms that do that kind of work.  You are a fresh slate at your first position and the experience you gain will take your career in the direction the firm is going.  Don't worry too much about this because often times you become a specialist and that is something positive.  There are many jobs for structural engineers.

    This is the advice I would have given myself 9 years ago, when I was in the position you are in now.  It comes from my experiences in a design firm and takes into account things I did that were positive and things I wish I had done now that I am in the position I am in now.  I hope that your career is long, successful, fun, exciting, and most importantly, I hope it makes you happy!

    Jordan Cecinini A.M.ASCE, PE
    Structural Engineer
    Jersey City NJ

  • 4.  RE: Career in Structural Design

    Posted 08-20-2019 08:17 AM
    Here's my best advice and what I actually did to get into the industry:

    Get internships, best way to get hired. Easier said than done, but here's what I did, note that I got involved in engineering outside of just going to class to even land my first internship, and I had around a 3.2 GPA, internships open up more internship opportunities:

    Undergraduate classes -> competed in engineering competitions (including ASCE) ->became board member for student engineering organization -> civil engineering internship -> obtained bachelor's degree -> 2nd civil engineering internship -> structural engineering internship -> attend graduate school -> 2nd structural engineering internship -> obtained master's degree -> DCI Engineers

    If you want me to go in-depth, I'd keep typing but I actually made videos on how I got my multiple internships and my advice on how to get into the structural engineering industry:

    How To Become A Structural Engineer
    YouTube remove preview
    How To Become A Structural Engineer
    How do you become a structural engineer? I'll be going through 8 things that you can do to become a structural engineer, especially if you want to work with earthquakes and seismic design in the United States.
    View this on YouTube >

    7 Ways To Get A Civil Engineering Internship (Structural)
    YouTube remove preview
    7 Ways To Get A Civil Engineering Internship (Structural)
    Find out 7 ways to get a civil or structural engineering internship that work in the industry. I'll even explain how to properly use LinkedIn to get an internship. 👇 SUBSCRIBE TO MAT'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL 👇 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXgu5Q3I520Q0NO4dJhvAng?sub_confirmation=1 ►Structural Engineering Channel Podcast (Co-host): http://bit.ly/2Ja3rAU ►iTunes link for TSEC Podcast: https://apple.co/2JaawkT ►Music I use: http://www.epidemicsound.com Mat Picardal is a structural engineer at DCI Engineers.
    View this on YouTube >

    Mathew Picardal, PE
    Structural Engineer & Content Creator
    DCI Engineers
    Structural Engineering Life Channel: