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August 28, 2017

The Evolution of an Industry

 Structural engineers who are just starting out on their career journey can look forward to a future full of exciting developments.

Structural engineering is one of the cornerstones of the construction industry. It’s thanks to the efforts and knowledge of qualified structural engineers that architecture can keep on evolving and pushing boundaries. You only need to take a look at the London skyline to see that!

There’s no doubt that the industry has changed and evolved massively within the past decade, but what does the future hold for structural engineering? Will an engineer still have the same responsibilities in ten years’ time as they do now? Or will they play a totally different role? Let’s take a hypothetical leap ten years into the future to find out.

The key responsibilities will remain

It’s hard to see the essential definition of a structural engineer changing too much in the next decade. After all, their services are always going to be needed, as a building cannot be constructed safely without them. They will still be responsible for designing the structure that will support a building or other kinds of construction – and to be able to do that takes a lot of training. A prospective structural engineer will still need to study hard to get to the top, and will need to hone the same skills mastered by their predecessors.

Technology begins to advance

Ever-advancing technology could also be a big factor to consider in the coming years. Repetitive tasks that take up a lot of engineers’ time are now gradually becoming more and more automated. While technology evolves to support them in more areas of their job, a structural engineer could have the opportunity to gain new skills. An engineer’s role could soon encompass the creative side of design too. This isn’t a sign that the role of the structural engineer is being overtaken by technology and rendered irrelevant – rather, it means that technology is allowing a structural engineer to collaborate with other experts in construction and greatly expand their skill set.

Structures are growing more complex

The structural engineering sector has been growing and changing alongside others – with one particular influencing factor. Architecture has been evolving at a rapid rate, and we’re all so used to seeing incredibly tall or elaborate structures now. There’s been a real shift towards buildings that are fluid and organic in recent years, and this ‘curvy’ architecture is always posing new challenges for structural engineers. As designs become more and more complex and architects grow more ambitious, structural engineers will be increasingly challenged. This, though, is where their expanded knowledge and cooperation with other fields will come in. What would have seemed like impossible feats ten years previously will become reality.

The future is bright

For those who have just joined the industry, there’s never been a better time to be a structural engineer. It’s a sector that’s on the brink of massive development, and the job itself is set to evolve into something that encompasses so much more than the traditional concepts of structural design. As our buildings get taller and our needs change, a structural engineer will step up to the plate and show us all what great design and innovative thinking can do.