Structural Engineering

TradeTravelJournal.com | Many people are enjoying various sturdy buildings even if they don’t think much about them. The fact that a lot of homes have remained standing for at least several decades while withstanding many natural calamities speaks well of the structural engineers’ quality of work.

Structural engineering is more than just accomplishing several mathematical calculations regarding a building’s strength and resiliency since they’re also responsible for making sure that such structures can remain standing during the hurricane season. With such expertise, Structural engineers in New Jersey are also able to preserve the historical significance of various old buildings in the state.

Besides ensuring that a building is structurally sound, structural engineers also ensure that both homeowners and building owners can fulfill their legal obligations to provide a safe space for the building’s occupants.

For those who are still not convinced that structural engineers are making significant contributions in today’s society, they can take a look at various modern-day structural engineering marvels like the world’s largest artificial island, Dubai’s Palm Islands, and the world’s largest hydroelectric power station, China’s Three Gorges Dam. Today’s structural engineers owe their successes to several millennia of structural engineering history.

One of the initial and most notable contributions in the structural engineering industry is the successful construction of the first step pyramid for Pharaoh Djoser by the first-named architect throughout history, Imhotep, in 2700 BC. The same millennium saw the rise of the Great Pyramid, which was the most massive human-made structure until towers and skyscrapers were built in the 19th century.

Besides the structural marvels of the past, several well-known people, including Archimedes and Galileo Galilei, have made significant contributions in engineering besides the actual construction of a building.

Archimedes published On the Equilibrium of Planes, which contained his calculations on various areas and centers of gravity of many different geometric figures. Archimedes’s work managed to underpin most of the modern structural engineering’s mathematics and principles of structures.

Vitruvius recorded the various methods, materials, and machines that the ancient Romans used to construct their aqueducts, thermae, columns, and others in his De Architectura.

Galileo Galilei’s Dialogues Relating to Two New Sciences heralded the beginning of the structural analysis.

A lot more happened even during the pre-scientific revolution that lasted up to the early 18th Century A.D., which included the Hooke’s Law, the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, the Fundamental Theory of Calculus, the Euler-Bernoulli Beam Equation, and the Theory of Virtual Work.

The 19th and 20th centuries saw more progress in structural engineering for a short amount of time, which included the construction of the Ditherington Flax Mill which was the first building to use cast iron as the interior frame, the Belper North Mill which was the world’s first “fire-proof” building, the Home Insurance Building in Chicago which was both the first metal-framed building and the first skyscraper in the world, the Eiffel Tower, and other structures.

There were also multiple patents filed during the 19th and 20th centuries, including patens for the most common type of cement used in the world, Portland Cement, and various licenses for tubs, slabs, and beams that use Joseph Monier’s steel mesh reinforcement and concrete system. Several theories and papers like Claude-Louis Navier’s Elastic Theory of Beams were also published during this time.

Structural engineering’s development throughout millennia led to the rise of the Information Age when engineers started using software in the field, computational analysis software was used to help build the Sydney Opera House, AutoCAD was introduced, and when the term “Building Information Modeling” was popularized.

Professional structural engineers in New Jersey take full advantage of the Information Age’s fruits and employ tools like BIM software for their structural projects, resulting in the construction of buildings with greater structural integrity than older ones. This is all thanks to the long history of structural engineering, as shown in Lockatong Engineering’s infographic.