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Structural Engineering Softwares

  • 1.  Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 05-20-2020 11:01 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-20-2020 12:30 PM
    I am a Civil Engineering student pursuing my Bachelor's. I want to use this lockdown time in learning some new structural engineering software for modeling and analyzing structures. What are the software's which a civil engineer must know? 
    Also, can you give me the resources for the software that helps too.

    Mohammad Taha Fayaz Shah (S.M.ASCE)
    J&K , India


  • 2.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 05-20-2020 03:37 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-20-2020 03:37 PM

    Great question. The answer varies greatly depending on what field within structural engineering you are planning to work. I have work in Industrial, Residential, and now bridges and have used a combination of multiple software. I would say, in terms of finite element analysis, RISA seems to be very popular for steel design. Other great options I have seen are SAP2000 and ETABS. Currently, I do a lot of work with MIDAS Civil. No matter what software you end up using the concepts and way you create your model is exactly the same, they all use the same back end calculation method (via stiffness matrices). I would suggest you learn at least one of them (probably RISA 2D or 3D) and you can apply that knowledge to any other program. The only difference you will see is some additional (or lack of) features that could be quickly learned.

    As per other software, again it varies a lot depending on what you are working on. I have used Tekla Tedds for "hand calculation", proprietary manufacturer software (HILTI PROFIS, Simpson Anchor, etc..), RISA Connection and Foundation (an extension of RISA 3D), ShapeBuider, ConcreteSection,  etc.. 

    For other "simpler" calculations we use a lot of excel spreadsheets and Mathcad sheets (really good program to learn). 

    I would recommend you tackle a FEM program and that knowledge will transfer to any other program with minor changes. Most other calculations are done either by hand, excel spreadsheets, or other very intuitive software in my experience. 

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Luis Duque EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Broomfield CO

  • 3.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 05-23-2020 09:36 AM
    Dear Taha Fayaz,

    You can learn Tekla, Staadpro or Etabs. which will be helpful for your future. One thing i learned during this pandemic that person who has expert in design sector, will be  continue working even through all the construction work was shut down.

    Al-Amin (A.M. ASCE)

    Al- Amin A.M.ASCE
    QC Engineer
    Hydrochina Corporation

  • 4.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 05-24-2020 08:02 AM
    I've used GTSTRUDL for over 30 years. It was developed at Georgia Tech and was acquired by Intergraph/Hexagon a few years ago. They used to send out a free trial/student edition. It was limited to a few joints and members  but otherwise fully functional. Check their website to see if they have a free version. Your university may be able to help.

    George Watson P.E., M.ASCE
    CenterPoint Energy
    Houston TX

  • 5.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 05-26-2020 05:06 PM
    Hi Mohammad. Try Staad.Pro. It is a powerful and versatile software. I have been using it since 1996. Other advantage of Staad is it's  powerful editor, where you can see the written programme commands, so you see what are you doing, and if wanted you can change your commands in the editor and the change will be reflected in the graphic screen. 
    Additionally, it has many construction codes embedded in it.  No other soft has it. Good luck.
    Carlos Jaramillo

    Carlos Jaramillo Aff.M.ASCE

  • 6.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 06-01-2020 09:04 AM
    Before going on with software please study hand computation of BM and SF and different types of structure, boundary conditions , column and beams alignment

    Alex Thomas R.Eng, M.ASCE
    CochinAlexThomasR.Eng, M.ASCEIndia

  • 7.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 06-02-2020 11:48 AM
    Its true. Very well said.

    Vasile Dan Pristoleanu A.M.ASCE
    GOPA-Intec GmbH

  • 8.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 06-02-2020 11:09 AM
    I recommend ETABS and SAP from CSI
    Powerful tools and easy to learn

    Alan Heinsen P.E., M.ASCE
    HGE Psc
    San Juan PR

  • 9.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 06-02-2020 11:49 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 06-02-2020 11:49 AM
    How can you analyse the structure before deciding the structure students must learn to columns beam alignment? 
    Please try to study it at first. 
    Plan your building. 

    Alex Thomas REng MASCE MIE 

  • 10.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 06-03-2020 09:06 AM
    What a great question. As many have mentioned, there are a lot of software packages available, and depending on the industry you work in or the company you work for, some may be preferred. I would recommend finding a software package that is available at little or no cost and has lots of training resources. For example, RISA allows you to download a trial version of their software (RISA 2D, RISA 3D, RISA FLOOR, etc.). If you understand the basic principles of how to operate the software, the skills will be transferable. I would also highly recommend you look for resources for an introduction to matrix structural analysis and the finite element method. The finite element method is the analysis engine that structural software uses and it is vitally important to understand what the software is doing to be able to properly use it. There are tons of resources online and ebooks on the subjects.

    John Cleary Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE
    Associate Professor
    Daphne AL

  • 11.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 06-04-2020 12:07 PM
      |   view attached
    Some of the Structural Engineering software tools that need to know...

    For Super-structures (Linear materials and Nonlinear Analysis & Design):
    CSI-Etabs, CSI-SAP2000 & Staad Pro V8i (Based on Professional Standards Codes of Practice)

    For both the Super & Substructures (Nonlinear materials and Nonlinear Analysis & Design):
    ANSYS & ABAQUS (Based on FEM analysis)

    For Substructures (Linear materials and Nonlinear Analysis & Design):
    CSI-SAFE & OyasisPile

    For BIM:
    RevitStructures & TEKLA Structures

    For Drafting:

    These are the structural software tools that I use, & There are so many other software tools are also available and you can use those tools completely based on your choice...

    Subin Geevarghese A.M.ASCE
    Guest Lecturer
    College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET)

    Co-Founder of ARV Noahnaym
    Kerala, India

  • 12.  RE: Structural Engineering Softwares

    Posted 11-22-2020 09:08 AM
    All available commercial software packages available are good.  One more productive than others, or with more or less features, but they essentially do the same:  ETABS, MIDAS GEN, RAM STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS, STAAD PRO, RISA, SCIA, ROBOT, RFEM, etc., etc.  All of them are wonderful pieces of  software engineering and programming (my sincere and deepest respect for those engineers first, and programmers), but they -the sofware- will do what  you do.   

    If you are thinking on pursuing a career in structural engineering you'll need to learn some of them, - the best always be the one you know and master -, but, and here's my piece of advise if I may:  learn your trade by heart first, become a structural engineer by knowing the core concepts of our profession, be very careful and do not convert yourself in a simple "software operator".

    Ramses Sanchez Aff.M.ASCE
    Descon, Srl