As a structural engineer, you will face the challenge of analyzing and designing structures to ensure that they safely perform their purpose. They must support their own weight and resist dynamic environmental loads such as hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, floods and even terrorist explosions. Projects in which structural engineers are involved include:
- offshore oil structures
- space platforms
- amusement park rides
- office buildings
You will develop and utilize knowledge of the properties and behaviors of steel, concrete, aluminum, timber and plastic, as well as new and exotic materials. To make certain that the plans are being followed, you will often be on the construction site inspecting and verifying the work.
The active areas of structural engineering research include the following:
- blast mitigation and design
- bridges and pavements
- composite materials
- experimental mechanics
- fiber reinforced composite in structural applications
- multi-physical and multi-scale phenomena in engineering and life science problems
- nondestructive evaluation
- repair, retrofit, strengthening of structures for extreme events
- simulation of structural failure for extreme conditions
Structural/Materials Testing Laboratories
The structural engineering emphasis maintains a suite of state-of-the-art laboratories including CEE Concrete Laboratory, CEE Materials Engineering Laboratory, CEE Structural Engineering Laboratory, CEE Experimental Stress Analysis Laboratory, CEE Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory and the Engineering Remote Test Facility.
The laboratories contain several computer controlled servo-hydraulic testing frames (110-kip, MTS machine, 220-kip MTS machine, 300-kip Rihle machine) in addition to modular frames that can be customized with several 100+/-kip free-standing servo-controlled actuators (at the Remote Test Facility). The Materials Laboratory also contains a 600-kip compression tester, an instrumented drop-weight impact machine, a Charpy/Izod impact machine, torsion testing machine, rotating-beam fatigue tester and beam testing machine.
Support equipment includes several concrete mixers, a humidity and temperature controlled curing room, a programmable oven, a laser holographic interferometry table, nondestructive test equipment, freeze-thaw test chamber, automated chloride penetration equipment, several load, strain and displacement transducers, and associated amplifiers and conditioners.
Primary undergraduate classes that use these laboratory facilities on an ongoing basis include CV_ENG 3600 Civil Engineering Materials, CV_ENG 3300 Structural Analysis, CV_ENG 3312 Concrete Design, CV_ENG 3313 Steel Design, and CV_ENG/MAE 4610/7610 Experimental Stress Analysis.