Engineering is a discipline that has existed since the advent of the wheel. An engineer is someone who designs and/or builds machines, but the term can also be applied to someone who analyzes designs to implement them in the construction of objects or systems more efficiently.
Although traditional engineering has focused on the construction industry throughout history, the digital revolution has led to the creation of software engineering along with other engineering positions pertaining to software, networking and other data-related disciplines. These days, software and hardware engineers in the digital space may even interface with a construction engineer or a building engineer when working on large projects that require some crossover of these different types of engineering.
What’s The Difference Between Structural And Construction Engineering?
Construction engineers and structural engineers share many of the same duties in the design and building of structures, but one of the key differences between these two types of engineers is that construction engineers focus their efforts on the materials and methods used in the actual construction process while structural engineers focus on the physics principles behind the design of a structure.
Both of these roles are important since they require one another in order to competently complete big projects. Without the right materials, engineering plans won’t work, and without the right plans, there’s no way to know which materials will be right for a project.
While structural and construction engineers are the most common professionals to find working on the actual creation of structures, building engineers are also needed as construction progresses and even after construction is completed. A building engineer is an engineering professional who specializes not only in structural and construction engineering but also in the maintenance of structures.
A building engineer may be consulted during the construction process to monitor the placement of plumbing and HVAC systems as well as electrical and lighting components. After construction is complete, a building engineer may be needed to remain on-site to assist with maintaining and repairing structures and systems, assisting in renovations and upgrades as well as helping with additions to existing structures and systems.
Working As A Building, Construction Or Structural Engineer
If you have an interest in engineering and building things, a career in structural or construction engineering may be right for you, but what does a construction engineer do each day? While some engineer duties are standard and may include managing many aspects of the building process, others will vary based on the specifics of the project.
One day, a construction engineer may be supervising the installation of framing materials, and the next, they may be involved in reviewing blueprints for a new skyscraper to be built in a downtown area. Construction engineers are also sometimes civil engineers, meaning they are concerned with the design and implementation of government buildings and construction on public land.
Everything from pedestrian and vehicle traffic to proximity to schools and parks must be considered when planning out engineering projects as a civil engineer. Additionally, a civil structural or construction engineer must consider the number of resources a structure will need from nearby utility providers, including water, electricity and natural gas.
It may be possible for newer structures to offset resource usage by implementing technologies like solar. Engineering may also include features like indoor turf materials that can clean the air and reduce the number of materials that must be filtered. This can lead to more efficient indoor air quality and less electricity consumption by HVAC systems.
In most cases, an engineer will not be involved in the actual construction process themselves, but the role does require a great deal of knowledge regarding construction technology and techniques along with a firm grasp of physics and science. Math skills are also used daily in engineering as a construction or structural engineer will need to solve complex equations to ensure precise measurements. One small mistake could lead to major problems in the construction of large structures, so attention to detail is a must.