Structural safety is dependent on structural engineering. As part of the industrial engineering process this form of engineering is heavy in design, planning, research, inspection, and monitoring. This impacts all forms of buildings that can be encountered. While many associate it with skyscrapers and other large buildings, structural engineering is essential for bridges, in-ground structures and other detailed manmade structures.
Traditionally, structural engineering will be used predominantly in the construction industry. However, manufacturers of rigs, satellites, ships, aircrafts and similar structures may also take advantage of them. Those practicing this form of engineering must be licensed in their respective state.
The most creative form of industrial engineering, the main focus is on the infrastructure of a building to ensure it is strong enough and that a collapse is highly unlikely when it is loaded to capacity. The exception is with tunnels and walls that are designed to prevent earth or water from entering. In these cases, the engineer needs to ensure that the variables of force and strength won’t lead to cracking or a compromised foundation.
As with other forms of industrial engineering, there is more than one set of eyes that review the work of an individual. This helps to ensure that any overlooked loads or natural forces are taken into account and a potentially hazardous mistake of the engineer isn’t overlooked that could cause harm to others. Usually, with thorough research on environmental factors, the purpose of the structure, building materials and surrounding structures, it is possible to ensure that there will be no potential safety hazards.
Once the strength calculations and drawings are done, final research occurs before the information produced is sent out to architects, builders and fellow engineers. As the building process begins this individual will review the structure and ensure that the appropriate materials are being used for the job, in the most efficient manner as possible.
In the case of a structural failure, forensic structural engineering can review the former plans and real world factors to determine the underlying cause. That can help insurance companies to process claims and to ensure that future builds are built safer with higher standards.