Integrated Buildings & Structures

  • 1.  Structural Engineering Requirements

    Posted 04-01-2021 10:16 PM
    Hello,
    I am Haqqani, last semester B.S student in Civil Engineering.
    Could you guys please elaborate which skills and knowledge should a Structural Engineer have (Theory, Courses, Software, Communications and etc...).

    Thanks,

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    Haqqani Khoram S.M.ASCE
    Intern
    Kabul
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  • 2.  RE: Structural Engineering Requirements

    Posted 04-02-2021 09:23 AM
    Hi Haqqani,

    First off congratulations on nearly completing your bachelor's!  I think one thing that my university education didn't really cover was how to use codes and when it is appropriate to use other references.  I'll give two examples that have been on my mind lately.

    Tornadoes are rare in the Mid-Atlantic United States where I live (and in general), so ASCE 7-10 and 7-16 exclude tornadoes from the code requirements.  However, the commentary for ASCE 7-16 has a lot of helpful information and references if you wanted to design to tornado loads.  If a client was interested in a tornado-safe structure, it would not be code-required to do so, but the commentary could get you started.  Things like deflection and vibration criteria are also highly dependent on client preference and not necessarily governed by code.  Local governments in tornado-prone areas may also have specific requirements for structural engineering under these extreme events, as they sometimes do for snow load, wind load, seismic load, and flood load.

    The second example is base plate design for steel columns.  The steel code provides criteria for plate bending and such, but the behavior and failure modes of the steel-concrete assembly can be tricky.  Because of this, AISC releases Steel Design Guide 1: Base Plate and Anchor Rod Design.  The design guide uses a combination of requirements from ACI and AISC, academic research, and engineering mechanics.  Since it is a credible reference and is industry standard for base plate design, it is a safe and economical basis for design in most cases, even though it is not part of a legally adopted building code.

    All of my undergrad work was out of textbooks, which had the same analysis equations as the code but organized differently.  It may be worth taking some time to familiarize yourself with IBC, ASCE 7, ACI 318, AISC 360, NDS (or, if you are interested in bridge design, all of these are bundled into AASHTO).  Understanding code requirements and knowing when it is appropriate to use other references or judgment are critical skills that affect 90% of the work I do.

    Best of Luck!

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    Christian Parker EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Project Engineer
    Washington DC
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  • 3.  RE: Structural Engineering Requirements

    Posted 04-16-2021 08:12 AM
    Thank you very much Mr. Parker!

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    Haqqani Khoram S.M.ASCE
    Intern
    Kabul
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