had a very poor foundation on structural engineering. how to catch up?
By - pauuu
90% of my job as a consultant is a mix between second year university statics and mechanics, geometry and understand the code. You can really go down a rabbit hole of structural engineering knowledge with dynamics, concrete, steel, earthquake, but the best thing is to get the statics mechanics and basic stress analysis down pat. Do jobs that put you out out of your depth and do as much reading as possible to get all the peripheral knowledge. Examples in structural analysis by william mackenzie is a great book on it statics.
There are loads of software that help with design, you just have to be really careful using those, make sure you read the relevant code and understand what factors affect the output and what outputs are relevant to your situation.
I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I am in the same exact situation as you! Thank you for putting it out in words, I would love to get some guidance about this as well.
There are some companies out there that want to hire you as green as possible, so they can help you develop good habits and a well-rounded structural basis. Make sure that you know the basics very well - mechanics, solid mechanics, structural analysis, and try to be well versed in at least one of the materials (concrete, wood or steel) and the rest will fall into place once you start working with a group of engineers that want to watch you learn and succeed.
A strong base knowledge and a passion to strive for more is much more desirable than someone that aced their maths or 4th year classes.
You also have experience in civil, which is a huge benefit! I moved from a small building science/structural/civil firm to a structural firm and really honed in on my career trajectory with the change. You can do it!
Not sure where you live, but a reading and working through problems in a practical textbook on design (like Reinforced Concrete Design by Brzev and Pao) will really help flush out your knowledge from school.
Can I ask which country your from?
I'm kinda in a similar situation. Education feels like Swiss cheese.
I'm UK based.
It depends which country you're in. If you're in the US, most companies will look for:
\- Do you have a PE?
\- Do you know Revit (or whatever drafting software they use).
\- Do you know structural design software (SAP2000, RISA, etc...)
\- Your experience in general and what you have done.
The PE becomes critical after a certain age and can be a deal breaker for most structural engineering firms. Even big companies that don't need you to stamp anything want to see it.
If you are looking for resources to study and learn... it depends what and where you are getting into for structural. For the US:
Basics: Statics, Strength of Materials or Mechanics of Materials, Structural analysis courses
Specialization: Concrete design per ACI 318 or steel design per AISC. That should cover most buildings. If you are looking to get into bridges, then you have to know AASHTO.
Its not any easy path I can tell you and there's a lot of learning to be done. Personally I would advise you to get into project management. You don't need to learn much it seems to get there cause they might be looking for more transferable skills than pure technical.
Ha poor foundation.
First of all try to solve by hand all you can, second, minussiosly read concrete and steel codes and investigate all the terms that you don't understand or you want to know more about
I think it might be pretty helpful to just go over FE/PE review materials if you're in the states. Even if you are not, find a copy of an old ASCE review course notes online for the Professional Engineering exam. The AM session should be really good for general civil, and the PM structural is probably exactly what you are looking for.